On Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th August 2012, edible gardens, allotments, smallholdings and community growing projects all opened to the public as part of the Incredible Edible Somerset Open Gardens Scheme. Taking place were over 9 different workshops, with more than 134 people participating. Many more people visited projects, describing the weekend as “Inspiring” and “Informative”.
On Saturday 11th four workshops took place throughout the day, including one on fertility building to create healthy soil for healthy harvests.
Members of Axbridge Community Allotment shared their recently planted forest garden, giving an introduction to the techniques and principles with more than 26 people throughout the afternoon.
Also open to the public were a small-scale multifunctional Potager Garden in Glastonbury, an allotment and trial forest garden in Wedmore as well as Porlock Community Orchard in West Somerset, as well as healing garden project, Heads Up in Wells.
Sunday brought more inspiration as a handful of enthusiastic people visited a home garden in Street that shared their sustainable living secrets. Over 24 people participated in an introduction to permaculture workshop that was held at LAND Learner Centre Brook End. Visitors got to see the diverse kitchen garden, medicine garden, fruit tree nursery beds, orchard and more as well as take a look at all the indoor ecosystems in the greenhouses and polytunnel.
In the afternoon another group of more than 20 got involved in the Grow Your Own Medicine Workshop, which involved exploring the huge variety of medicinal plants at Brook End as well as looking at some of the important factors to consider when planning to integrate medicinal plants into any sized gardens.
Meanwhile in Minehead, 12 people also explored Autumn and Winter Growing at the Transition Minehead and Alcombe Friends & Family Allotment.
Overall it was a fantastic weekend, blessed with sunshine, that brought together newbies and old hands to learn about the pleasures of growing your own, building relationships and creating opportunities to share skills across Somerset.