After 20 years The Naturewise/Margret McMillan Forest Garden has come to and end. A big heartfelt thank you to everyone that has contributed to this wonderful project, that has shown what can be done in an inner city setting. Any feedback from anyone who has been touched by this project is welcome. Info@naturewise.org.uk
This project is in the same area, and most of the people involved had been volunteers at Margret McMillian Fg. The Forest garden (Priory Common Orchard) project, https://www.sites.google.com/site/priorycommonorchardn8/home the project is connected with http://www.urbanharvest.org.uk/
"Those who are concerned with the full implications of the ecological crisis which we now face generally agree that urgent steps should be taken to plant many millions of trees. There is no reason why many of the desperately needed new trees should not be fruit trees planted in peoples gardens and public green spaces comprising of fruit and nut trees, fruiting bushes and climbers as well as herbs and perennial vegetables." Robert Hart
Benefits of Forest gardening;
Environmental: Increases local biodiversity, encourages wildlife, tackles problems of pollution and waste by promoting composting and avoiding transportation of foof by growing food locally.
Health: Pysical and mental; Improves pysical health through excercise that has a purpose and reduces the effects of poverty by unabling people to have acces to wholesome locally grown fresh foood.
Educational: Creates opportunities to learn experiencially about natural ecosystems and sustainable design in practice. In addition children can be taught core subjects using a forest garden.Forest gardens are very special, healing places for people. They are a model of how the city environment can provide organic produce, edible and medicinal, as well as an educational resource, and wildlife, habitat.
Forest Garden Harvest
The fruiting season in our city nursery School Forest Garden starts in June with big juicy loganberries, which are growing up through an apple tree. This is followed by strawberries, blackcurrants, red, white and buffalo ones too, gooseberries and worcesterberries. The feast continues in August, figs started coming through, to stand in the depths of a major capital city like London, with all it's negative outputs of pollution and crime and be able to pick and eat ripe juicy sweet organic figs is wonderful.
There are still grapes, apples and pears to come. I could go on with this list of goodies. One very satisfying experience is to see all the excited laughing faces of children and adults harvesting and caring for the Forest Garden.
What has touched me deeply in my work with Forest Gardens is much more than the fruits.It's all the children, women and men who have carried out this pioneering work over the years, and made forest gardening a reality in this capital city. They arrived in all shapes sizes and colours they came from all over the place, locally, nationally and internationally.
Robert Hart, who developed the idea and practice of forest gardening in the U.K, died a few years ago. I'm sure he would be smiling to see his vision happening in the grounds of such a large nursery school in an inner city area of London, attended by over 200 children.
What we planted