Friends of Page Park
From Wednesday 16th September we are running free growing sessions for any community members who would like to learn how to grow, harvest, cook and eat a wide range of seasonal vegetables, such as root crops, brassicas, onions and leafy greens.
There will be 2 sessions each Wednesday
Kirsty, who is a member of staff, an allotment holder and an experienced educator, will be running the sessions.
People need to confirm attendance via an email to either
People can specify which session they would like to attend but if their preferred session has filled up prior to them getting in touch, they will be given the option to attend the other session, e.g. the afternoon session rather than the morning session.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, group numbers for each session are limited to 5 people plus the trainer, and anyone wanting to be involved in the seasonal sessions will need to commit to attend at least the first 3 concurrent, weekly sessions – but it is hoped that people will want to attend sessions throughout the 4 seasons. The autumn season’s growing sessions will start on Wednesday 16th September – next week!
After the first three weekly sessions, training sessions can extend to a fortnightly basis during the autumn and winter. During poor weather, the polytunnel can be used – with face coverings and social distancing rules applied – to sow seeds, prick out seedlings or for environmental conservation training purposes, such as how to choose and grow companion plants, making compost tea, testing and ameliorating soil, growing green manure, creating hoverfly lagoons, and much more.
We anticipate that during the winter sessions, some theory and practical training sessions (possibly prompted by atrocious weather) will be better suited to the tennis pavilion, where there are radiators and a kettle – but no toilets. As well as growing vegetables, sessions will also involve infrastructure training, such as how to build raised beds, cloches, post & rail fences and cold frames. These sessions can be interwoven between fortnightly growing sessions during the winter for anyone wanting to continue to attend weekly sessions to learn other relevant skills.
The sessions are estimated to run until early July 2021. People do not need to attend all sessions throughout the 4 seasons, but they may well find that they want to because of the nature of growing vegetables, harvesting them, preparing, cooking them and eating them as part of a team. However, if people do not want to attend sessions throughout the year, then that’s fine too. But worth considering is that if numbers in a session become depleted, we will offer the opportunity to attend the session to anyone who finds themselves on the waiting list, which is only fair. Because of this fairness to all – and limited availability – we ask that people confirm their attendance each week by the end of play on Friday afternoons for the following week’s session(s). Priority for the following week’s session(s) will be given to regular attendees due to the need to build on from attendees’ former training and development, especially as some of the sessions will involve team preparation, cooking and eating of what will be bountiful harvests each season.
The new paved path from the polytunnel to the bowling club’s path means that the allotment area is much more inclusive to people who are physically less-abled, and because of the many positives of the course structure towards mental health, we are very much hoping that anyone with short- or long-term mental ill health expresses an interest in attending sessions.
Finally, we have a wide range of seed packets that have been donated by lovely members of the community, including the Friends and members of park staff, but please feel free to bring in any packets of seed that you would specifically like to learn how to grow, or if you would kindly like to donate any unwanted seeds to our seed bank.
16 Sept 2020 to July 2021