We Create and gardener Cynneth planted a temporary Community Garden on Hardwick Green over summer 2021. The Field Fare project saw us growing and foraging for ‘useful plants’ – such as herbs for cooking and infusing, and flowers and roots that make natural dyes and inks – in raised beds on Hardwick Green. Residents helped themselves to the produce when it was ready and we distributed seeds and community growing packs to residents to cultivate in their own gardens, pots and window boxes.
Our cultivated planters also created a beautiful sensory garden, filled with plants selected for colour, scent and texture. In talks and workshops we explored the botanical heritage of St Peter’s and St Paul’s with Rob the Cotswold Forager, and relearned traditional methods of using home-grown plant-life, such as in an Anthotype workshop with Lisa Lavery that used photosensitive beetroot, spinach, and berry juice to make home-made prints. We also held a brewing workshop and used home-grown hops and ready-made malt extract to make our very own Hardwick ale, a nod to the 60+ inns and pubs that used to populate the area and a way to teach ourselves ancient methods of working with plants.
With support from Cheltenham Zero, in 2022 the Field Fare pallet planters were relocated to the Rest Garden in St Peter's and the School House in St Paul's so look out for free seeds, plants, herbs and veg in these locations.
Download gardener Cynneth's fantastic temporary Community Garden Toolkit for tips about how to set one up using reclaimed and repurposed materials at minimal cost here.