Top image: Hananh Brackston and growers enjoying a break

 

Coming soon: to celebrate our first year on the field, Allotment Soup’s Artist-in-Residence Hannah Brackston will be designing a free artist zine.

Aerial view of Allotment Soup here

‘Definitely not very bland’

Since moving onto our field, we have undertaken a wide range of developments including cutting back vegetation, uncovering an old road track (now partly excavated too), fence repairs, plot digging and of course, lots and lots of planting!

We are cautious about disturbing any ecosystems indigenous to the land, so our approach could be described as tentative additions as we discover, chart and encourage the flora and fauna within. We work around nature – we don’t impose our will on her, but we do try to aid her by creating habitat for endangered species and food supplies and shelter for tired migrants. It’s around these cycles that we find places and conditions to grow our food, looking for the renewable resources and encouraging self-sustaining ecosystems: embracing the philosophy of permaculture.

We continue to try to understand the site from an ecological point of view, with help from visiting experts – not to mention the Walney Island residents who have become our core team, and know the islands seasons and winds.

All our project growers bring energy, vision and expertise to be harvested: it’s them organising complicated draining systems drawn from a lifetime of engineering experience or bringing us species of tomato plants that fare particularly well in their garden.

 

Allotment Soup Trips

Our research and investigation includes a field trip programme, when our growers and community are invited on day trips to visit example allotments, community gardens, permaculture farms and other sites/people who can build our knowledge and inspire us. Several are planned over the next few months – to join us, follow the future events link below.

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Initial events on the Allotment Soup site

It is impossible to predict the Allotment Soup project one year from now. The last year has highlighted the need for setting up a poly tunnel and developing our pond. Certainly we will build on our successes and learn from our failures, become more ambitious in scale and share the joy of discovery with a lot of new people (please do come and join us!) – probably realising in the process that we have fallen hopelessly in love with our bit of scrubland.

Want to join us? Find out about future events here.

Get directions here.

Follow us on Facebook here.

In Curating the Ground, find out about our very first project exploring the field, with the help of Vickerstown Primary, Armelle Tardiveau of e.c. Architects and Maddi Nicholson of Art Gene. (Link below in Further Reading).

Discover more about this first year from lead artist, Hannah Brackston: the varied programme of events taking place on and off site – and the discoveries that we (literally) unearthed during our first year Download the PDF report here.

Image gallery below:
Public event – archeological excavation of  the Allotment Soup site
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Teamwork