The shoe box of seeds came down from the shelf today. I sorted through it ruthlessly and made a pile of things I didn't need any more. Then I rounded up the children and headed off to Avon Wildlife Trust's Feed Bristol project. It's a community vegetable growing garden and it's absolutely fab.
Today was their annual seed swap. Hand in your packets of excess seeds and pick out something a bit different. There were stalls and homemade cakes, lots with vegetables in them and a fire to poke sticks into and a lovely little house made of all natural materials.
The whole site is sustainably run, it was such a pleasure to be around people who "get" the whole sustainable thing. Where we live it's hardly ever even considered sadly. I have one or two like-minded friends, but really on the whole people locally are just not into it. At Feed Bristol so many little details were attended to, it was a whole different vibe. Natural shelters that will just decompose back into the earth when the time comes, dozens of people arriving by bike, natural fibre clothing, organic whole food. It was really inspiring to see so many people so committed.
The site is such a wonderful spot, I imagine it looks absolutely glorious in the summer. Not quite so excellent was the view out the back though.
Sadly a load of local allotments have been ripped out to put a city bus route through. The allotment holders did their very best to protest and hold on to their precious plots, but in the end the council won out and they were evicted. Disappointing isn't it.
While I'm on the subject, Wellywoman has a fantastic post up today about the ancient grazing wetlands that are the Gwent levels, on the other side of the river. Do have a read if you have a spare moment, it's such very precious land, and such an interesting post.
Back to the seeds. We had a good rummage and I picked out a fancy looking white patty pan squash, some radishes - you can never have too many radishes, okra and some pink mallow flowers amongst other things. I hung about the bee lady picking up tips. Oh how I would love to have bees. I picked up a couple of leaflets telling me which bees like which flowers.
And something new to me, a nice man gave the biggest boy a handful of oca tubers. They're from the Andes where they're second only to potatoes in popularity. You can eat them raw, apparently they're a bit lemony, or you can cook them just like a potato. I do like to try something new.
We need to pop them straight into pots on the windowsill and keep them frost-free. I'll keep you posted on their progress.
If there's a seed swap near you I can highly recommend it. It's great to find one or two different things to try and pass on your own stuff to someone who'll appreciate it. And there's cake.