Old North Stables Teaching and Display Garden

A Community project Worcester, Worcestershire

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Old North Stables Teaching and Display Garden

Increase the local, sustainable food supply whilst creating an inclusive shared space where people can engage within their community.

They did it!


On 12th Sep 2014 we successfully raised

£2,550

of £2,500 target
with

32 backers

in

28 days


New stretch target

Our Stretch Target

£5000

What will we use the extra money for

- We will get in touch with local farmers and teach them about permaculture and support their business by creating veg box schemes - this will also make the Stables self-sustainable and generate income to further expand the project, generate events and/or invest them in other transition initiatives

- Aquaponics

- Vertical gardening

- Solar panels

- Drip irrigation

- Getting more raised beds

- Buying equipment to produce apple juice - at the moment we lease the equipment

Keeping our environment clean by getting our hands dirty!

Summary

Our mission is to increase the local, sustainable food supply whilst creating an inclusive shared space where people can cultivate both practical and social skills and engage within their community. We aim to achieve this by creating a teaching and display garden at the heart of Worcester, where people will be able to learn sustainable gardening practices and share knowledge. In doing so, we are rehabilitating the Old North Stables, the site of the old racecourse stables which had been abandoned and left for bramble and weeds to take over. Everyone is welcome, whether they have a garden or they just want to grow plants in their homes or at the teaching garden, to make new friends or just to be involved.

The spirit of sharing and cooperating is strong within our community and we seek to maintain it and encourage it by creating an environment where it can thrive.

 

Who we are

The Old North Stables Before

We are Transition Worcester, a part of the global Transition Towns movement. What is more, we are a group of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers of different ages, nationalities and with very different skill sets, experience and knowledge, ranging from building, repairing and gardening to permaculture, foraging, orchard work, waste reduction etc. Most importantly, we all share the Transition vision of building a resilient and sustainable future, and increasing the sustainable production of local food is a big part of it.

 

The big idea!

New volunteers have joined us every week, as they noticed the progress being made on rehabilitating one of the central areas of the city, and our community is constantly providing support under the form of materials, work and expertise.

One of the many actions Transition Worcester has taken in the local area is to rehabilitate the Old North Stables - before this, the site had been abandoned and, when Transition took it on, it was covered in bramble and concrete.

Where we are

While, in most situations, a concrete floor would be a very bad place to start transforming into a garden, we are turning this to our advantage by using raised beds. This will make it accessible for people with disabilities or reduced mobility and will still allow children to participate in

The site is currently being transformed into a teaching and display garden, where people of all ages, with any level of experience and any degree of ability can meet, practice gardening, gain new insight into sustainable living and actively cooperate towards creating a happier, fairer and stronger community.They will also be able to learn about sustainable gardening practices, pruning, permaculture and other practical skills, while making new friends and sharing ideas and knowledge. the activities or, alternatively, to use the designated playground we intend on building.

 

Why we are Crowdfunding

By empowering people to cooperate and develop the places within their city towards a common goal, we also aim to create a model that can be replicated and expanded in other cities, for the benefit of the wider, national community.

Working on the site

Despite a large amount of work being put in every week by volunteers who allocate their time and their personal resources towards creating the Worcester Teaching Garden, and despite a couple of local businesses providing support with materials, we have reached a point where securing further funding has become essential for the development of the project. The £2500 we aim to raise would go a long way, as it would be spent on buying parts to make our polytunnel functional, buying a suitable and secure garden shed, setting up an irrigation system using water from rain collection, getting more raised beds and making the location wheelchair accessible.

We plan to become self-sustainable in the long run by producing our own electricity, offering courses, selling apple juice, jams, pickles and vegetables.

 

Testimonials

People tell us that as a result of being involved in their local "transition initiative", they're happier, their community feels more robust and they have made a lot of new friends.

‘I have always been an outdoor person and throughout my working life I’ve engaged on many medium scale projects in several countries. Approaching retirement I panicked, as I needed an outlet for my outdoor proclivities. It is almost through a kind of osmosis that I found and joined Transition Worcester and ended up being the chairman.

Since then, our aim has been to engage with other people, help Worcester become more sustainable and to get others to join us in what I find to be an encouraging and invigorating way of life. As a group, we need things to focus on, and the Old North Stables is a really important point of contact with the people of Worcester. I am very enthusiastic about it and I can see great things for this place.‘

(Jazz, 70, Volunteer and Transition Worcester Chairman)

'It feels so empowering to be able to do something that will change the face of your community, and just walking by the Teaching Garden fills me with pride. I’ve gained so many skills without even being aware of it and – as if working on this project wasn’t already rewarding enough – I got to make a few very dear friends.'

(Maddie, 27, volunteer)

'A lot of people didn’t see the potential of the site but, through hard work and strategic thinking we really started seeing some results and, now that we have a few structures in place, people see that we mean business and that we are ready for the challenge of transforming this site into a hotspot for the local community while also sending out an important message: we need to grow more of our own food by working together!'

(Stefan, 24, volunteer)

'I’ve really enjoyed being involved with Transition over the years - the enthusiasm of everyone involved really inspires you to get things done. It’s a great place to share skills and knowledge and to get involved!'

(Heather, 35, volunteer and steering group member)

'I started working at the Stables when a friend – Jazz – asked for my help. I have a background in engineering, so right now I help with fittings and bits and pieces. I think what they’re doing– and they managed to get me involved in it as well – is a wonderful idea with a lot of potential. And for me it’s nice to use life skills to be able to do this. Besides, all it’s cost me is hard work, cuts and bruises and it’s worth it to get to do something important for your community.'

(Tony, 70, volunteer)

 

The Rewards

  • £5 - Monthly newsletter + pictures of how the project has been developed + an ice lolly made from 100% natural, delicious locally sourced fruit
  • £10 - Monthly newsletter + pictures of how the project has been developed + a bottle of 100% natural, delicious locally sourced apple juice
  • £25 - Monthly newsletter + pictures of how the project has been developed + Pot with herbs/spices from the teaching garden and plant seeds
  • £50 - Monthly newsletter + pictures of how the project has been developed + A tree and we will name a plant or tree from the teaching garden after you
  • £100 - Monthly newsletter + pictures of how the project has been developed + A box of seasonal, locally grown vegetables and fruit
  • £250 - Monthly newsletter + pictures of how the project has been developed + Transition Worcester Teaching and Display Garden Honorary Membership - You will receive invitations to all of our closed events (BBQs, Garden Parties, Apple pressing days, etc.)
  • £500 - Monthly newsletter + pictures of how the project has been developed + An ice lolly and a bottle of apple juice + an apple tree and a box of seasonal locally grown vegetables and fruit + Honorary Membership and invitations to all of our closed events (BBQs, Garden Parties, Apple pressing days, etc.)

All of the material rewards (lolly, bottle of apple juice, pots and trees) will need to be picked up in person from the Transition Worcester Teaching and Display Garden’s site at specific dates and times.

 

How you can help

First of all, you can help by making a pledge! No pledge is too small - the money will be put to good use. Second of all, please share this campaign with your friends and in your community whether it's via Email, Facebook or face to face over a pint of lemonade. This project cannot happen without the participation of our great community and every share and pledge will count towards building this project further.

 

Thank you

Thank you so much for your time and contribution. You are personally contributing to the transformation of this project from a vision to a reality. We couldn't do it without you!

The Transition Worcester Team 

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