This isn't just a community garden! This is an experiment in the act of collectively creating new common space, in negotiating its use, how its run and maintained so it can to meet the diverse needs and interests of everyone who uses it.
After a year of research: consultations, surveys, design workshops and public meetings, we have developed a picture of how the garden of 385 Queens Road can be best put to use. We found, from those conversations, that people in the area want:
A place for different people in the neighbourhood to come together and meet each other.
A public place we feel a sense of ownership over.
A productive garden, where skills relating to food growing, health, environment, resilience and self-sufficiency can be learned and shared.
A place with the resources to facilitate diverse public events, activities and projects.
A relaxing outdoor space away from the main road running through New Cross.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
This project is about finding effective ways that neighbourhoods can create shared resources for themselves.
This garden has been co-designed, and will be run and programmed by, the people that use it, making it relevant to what we actually want and need in the area.
The building will be carried out by those who will be using and maintaining it afterwards. The process has been designed so that there are always opportunities for people to learn new skills. The educational emphasis to the project as a whole is important, self-organised skill sharing and knowledge exchange between different people in the area utilises and strengthens the skills of those involved, rather then relying on outside experts.
Once complete the garden will have 4 distinct new social spaces providing the room, the tools, and the network of skilled community members to not only maintain and use this space, but, we hope, to facilitate other self-organised projects in the wider area.
Steps to get it done:
Once complete, the garden will host a diversity of events, programmed by those that live around it and that use and care for it. There are things that are planned for the space once ready, and others that are happening already and will move to the garden once completed, such as:
A free bike maintenance workshop.
New Cross People's Kitchen – a weekly free meal cooked with surplus food that aims to create a forum for conversation & action in the area.
Herbal medicine meet-up attended by people from all over the world exchanging knowledge & skills from different traditions.
Film, music, poetry and performance evenings led by local artists.
Production of products which could help sustain The Field & it's members: fruit & veg, herbs, bread, pizza, beer, furniture...
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