Posted on 12 February 2014.
It was a most convivial and cheery gathering of the South London Master Gardeners, but just a little poignant. This was the last of the meetings under our Local Food funding. No matter! Action planning, inspiration in food growing and team-building were the aims of the day. Master Gardeners may be losing the t-shirt, but they are gaining many other opportunities.
We’d chosen Crystal Palace for our last hurrah. It straddles the intersection of no fewer than five of our boroughs! What’s more, it’s an extremely vibrant hub for all matters local food (and more) thanks to Transition Town CP. Our venue was the Grape and Grain Pub, who’ve hosted weekly jamming/preserving for TTCP, and is also the site of the Tipsy Garden (read more here). Heather the landlady and Phil the Assistant Manager couldn’t have been more welcoming.
To highlight some ongoing opportunities to volunteer, Gemma from Garden Organic’s Food Growing in Schools: London and London Julie from Capital Growth spoke. Coffee followed, with CP young entrepreneur Callum’s beetroot brownies and parsnip blondies. The next topic was the local food growing agenda: presentations to inspire and group discussion from Dr Moya Kneafsey of CAFS (Centre for Agriculture and Food Security at Coventry University), and Karen Jones of TT Crystal Palace. There followed an action planning activity, and delicious lunch from Comfort and Joy.
After lunch it was all hands to the pump for our Seed Swap event (click to read the story and see the flickr slideshow). And then back to the Grape and Grain for a horticultural quiz and celebratory cake by Veryan at Demi Patisser, a local business fostered by the Food Market. The AHA team (Alona, Helen, Annina) team won a litre of seaweed extract each. Now there’s a prize that only an organic grower would fully appreciate!
MGs also enjoyed a certificate presentation for April 2013 trained MGs (click to read the story), seeds, other giveaways and non-stop MG chat! We missed the MGs who couldn’t make it.
MGs presented Fiona with a hamper of preserves, seeds, cards and other thank you goodies. Well, that was most touching. What a nice day with friends!
Big thanks to The Grape and Grain, Comfort and Joy, Crystal Palace Food Market, Demi Patisser, CP Patchwork Farm, Julie, Gemma, Moya, Karen, Sainsburys, Callum, and all MGs for their contribution.