Monday, 8 August 2011

Bath City Farm Update

Exciting news: we've joined up with the lovely people at Growing Together to kick off the work at the new Bath City Farm allotment, and they've given us £200 to help buy some tools and stuff. For anybody who doesn't know what Growing Together is, it's a project very similar to Student Community Allotments. Growing Together is based in Oldfield Park, where they work to convert disused student gardens into working allotment spaces for use by local residents. In this way, they bring together the students and the residents in Oldfield Park. Good stuff! We're hoping to get more involved with Growing Together in the future, and there may come a point where our projects join together in a very solid way, rather like a custard cream biscuit (the custard is obviously symbolic of our joint goals). I'll post more about our relationship with Growing Together as it develops, for now let me show you what we've bought with their money.
To begin with, we wanted to get a weed suppressant cover over the top of the allotment . Weed suppressant cover is basically a sort of posh tarpaulin which lets rain through but keeps sunlight out. It does what its name suggests: by stopping the light getting through, the weeds start to die off, which makes them a bit easier to tackle. The cover is also useful for that stage when you've prepared a bit of land, but aren't yet ready to plant anything in: if you put the cover over the top of the freshly-dug bit of land then it should stop the weeds springing up again.

So, do you want to see a stage-by-stage description of how we laid the weed suppressant cover? Do you really? Are you sure you haven't got anything better to do? Okay, here you go.

Stage 1: Get youself a big roll of weed suppressant cover.

Stage 2: Unroll your big roll of weed suppressant cover.

Stage 3: Realise that you haven't brought a hammer, and use a rock to knock in some pegs.

Stage 4: Lay on top of it. This is the final and most important stage.

After this was done, I spent a little time imagining myself as a weed beneath the weed suppressant cover. I was all like "Where's the sun gone? There's no sun! How am I supposed to grow with no sun? The rain can get through, and that's great, but I need sun as well. Hello? Hello? Can anybody hear me? Oh well, I guess I'll just die."

Following this act of genocide we decided to cheer ourselves up by buying some tools and a big lock-up box to keep them in. The lock-up box was very heavy, but luckily it was a sentient lock-up box and wandered down the hill to the allotment all by itself.

"Good afternoon. Lovely day for a stroll."

"Pardon me, goats. I am a sentient lock-up box. Please show some respect."

Once it reached the allotment, it unpacked itself. Then it built itself. It was really amazing to watch. You should have been there.

"Pardon me, I haven't got my lid on. Could you look the other way?"

"Hello. I'm Shirley, the sentient lock-up box. I'm very hungry."

We decided to feed Shirley some tools, before her hunger drove her to eat us. She was very happy with this.


We fed Shirley the following tools:
1 shovel
1 fork
1 hoe
1 trowel
1 hand fork
1 pair of shears
1 pair of secateurs
1 pair of gloves
2 screwdrivers, which were used to construct Shirley. I know that I just said Shirley constructed herself, but that was really just a joke. It was actually me, I constructed Shirley. You can even see the instructions in the box. I am sorry if you are disappointed, but there is really no such thing as a sentient lock-up box... Or is there?

Shirley has a padlock which requires a combination code to unlock: if you get in touch then I will be happy to give you the code. If you would like to get involved with our efforts at Bath City Farm, then please e-mail me at and I will be happy to help you. We need all sorts of volunteers: if you'd like to help out for a couple of hours doing some weeding, or if you'd like to grow food in one of our allotments, or if you'd like to give Shirley a colourful paint job, then please get in touch. 

Thank you to Anna Boneham and all at Growing Together for supporting the new allotment at Bath City Farm. If you would like to know more about Growing Together, then follow the link here.