When we put a call out the good people of the Moor Pool Estate and the surrounding area for a bit of help with our Carless Eco Centre spring clean, well we weren’t even sure we’d have enough biscuits to go round – and we never skimp on the biscuits.
Whatever time of year we go to Carless Eco Centre it always looks great, but as the long cold sleepy winter ends and as spring beckons nature looks like it’s just about ready to wake up, but before the serious business of summer the eco centre needed a bit of TLC.
What we thought might be a slow and steady trickle of people who might join us, turned out to be a veritable whirlwind of activity almost as soon as the gates opened. Lots of people, doing lots of great things – together. What a joy it was. We have nothing but gratitude to all the people who came to help us prepare the eco centre for summer. We had two Duke of Edinburgh volunteers, Zoya, 15 and George, 13, as well as James, 11, our Gen Z volunteer, most of our amazing trustees came sleeves rolled up, with the mantra, let’s get things done and always with a smile. Along with our new, Gardening Guru’s group, local Street Watch, the local police officer, three toddlers who were strangely drawn to our brand new hand-made mud kitchen courtesy of MPHT Trustee, Phil. Alex and Amy from Birmingham Contemporary Music Group also joined us.
Our dedicated allotment, Nettlefold Park and Moor Pool volunteers. Local residents who know and love the Carless Eco Centre as much as we do as well as Henry, Bella and Maisy, our faithful four-legged friends, who call the eco centre their second home.
The atmosphere was lovely, with everyone mucking in together, watering, weeding, clearing, cleaning, composting, recycling, digging, planting, sweeping and sowing seeds. Of-course as community gardeners we believe that those who sew together, grow together!
One particularly over grown patch of ground near to the entrance of the eco centre was speedily cleared and transformed, as if by magic so it could be sprinkled with wild flower seeds. It’s a perfect spot for wild flowers as they will be the first sight you see, and smell when you enter the eco centre and hopefully it will attract an abundance of bees and butterflies.
It was thirsty work and there were constant supplies of tea and coffee to keep our volunteers hydrated and happy. And while we worked, we chatted about just about anything and everything, but mostly about what a calm and lovely space Carless Eco Centre is and just what a lovely oasis it will be in the summer, aiding health and wellbeing and honing our gardening skills as our planting programme takes shape.
This season will be the first summer we will be able to make full use of the green house. We have already planted sunflower seeds, thanks to Alex and Amy dahlias’ and sage, thanks to our Gardening Guru’s Wednesday morning group. In our longest raised bed we will be planting mostly edible flowers and hoping to repeat the crop of sunflowers that swayed and smiled on us all through last summer. Originally planted by a Brownie group earning their, ‘grow own badge.’ Well from the way the sunflowers lasted well into late October, they certainly excelled themselves and should give those badges a proud polish.
In the green house we are hoping to grow peppers, tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines, chillis and cucumbers, while in the two smaller raised beds we will be nurturing carrots, spring onions, leeks, lettuce, maybe rhubarb, radish and beetroot. We may even try and grow potatoes in black rubble bags, while our potted herbs will of chives, parsley, coriander, basil, mint, thyme and sage will nestle nicely at the front of our raised flower beds. As well as growing we will be running a series of summer events through the school holidays so keep a look on our social media and local signage for dates, times and activities.
If you would like to be involved with the Carless Eco Centre and allotments on a more regular basis, then please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
An extra pair of hands is always a welcome pair of hands and you won’t find a more friendly group of volunteers this side of Birmingham or beyond! So we’ve given you a bit of an insight into what we do in and around our outdoor growing spaces and there’s still a chance it might snow – so imagine the joy this place will bring us all in the summer sunshine! – Gardening is great so let’s get gardening!