May news

Hello all, and I hope you are enjoying the sunshine! We certainly are, and so are our seedlings!

The blue skies are marking the beginning of a very exciting season for us- we have lots of growing, teaching, learning, building and celebrating planned for the coming months.

We hope you get a chance to swing by Forest Farm Peace Garden- whether to help us build our cob oven in four weeks, celebrate World Music Day with us, or get your hands dirty at one of our regular gardening sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Here’s what we have coming up at Forest Farm Peace Garden:

Learn how to build a cob oven using clay, straw and your hands and feet!

At Forest Farm Peace Garden, 1-2 June, 10.30am – 4pm


Forest Farm Peace Garden is creating a new addition to our lovely permaculture community garden and we want you to get involved.

We are building a cob oven so we can all enjoy the fruits of our labour – having a cob oven on site means we can make pizzas, breads and crumbles on site from produce we grow in the Garden. The workshop will take place over two days over Saturday 1st – Sunday 2nd June and will be free of charge.

In this workshop we will go through the theoretical need-to-know and practical steps involved in building an outdoor oven with the soil underneath our feet with instructor Glenn Van Lint. We will be mixing the “cob”- a combination of clay subsoil, straw and water- by barefoot dancing and forge with it into a dome that is a beautiful, efficient and sustainable cooking tool. Find out more about cob here: and

Please contact to confirm your space as places are limited. We would really like most people to commit to coming to both days: we are very happy to be able to offer this cob-building course for free, but need to make sure we actually finish the project over the weekend so would like some commitment.

Families welcome!

We look forward to getting you on board.


WORLD MUSIC DAY: 23rd June 2013

Our next Open Day will be World Music Day on Sunday 23rd June, 12noon – 4pm. We’re in the process of booking performers and activities for the Open Day. If you have any recommendations for local groups who do music, dance or singing please get in touch, as we would like the event to reflect a wide range of cultural and community groups in northeast London.


2013 WORKSHOPS @ Forest Farm Peace Garden

We have an exciting line-up of workshops at the community garden this year. We’ll send out more info closer to the day, but here’s a sneak peak at what’s coming up:

7 July:  workshop on natural solutions to common pests and diseases in vegetable crops

28 July: Yoga in the Garden

11 August:  workshop on companion planting and crop rotation

8 September: workshop on soil care: green  manure and composting


Other events of interest

Conservation Team events in Redbridge

Tuesday 21 May: Orchard Management at Forest Farm

We’ll be tending to the orchard trees at Forest Farm Community Garden.


Meet at: the portacabin, Forest Farm Community Garden, end of Hazelbrouck Gardens, Hainault, IG6 2XL


Saturday 25 May: Wildflower Walk

Come and join local expert Brian Ecott and learn how to identify the wildflowers growing in Ray Park and Roding Valley Park. Identification sheets will be provided.


Meet at: James Leal Centre, Ray Park, Snakes Lane East, Woodford Green, Essex, IG8 7JQ

Wednesday 29 May: Children’s Half-Term Event:  Mad About Minibeasts!

Come and learn all about the different minibeasts that live in our secret garden in Ray Park.  You’ll get a chance to do look for minibeasts in 3 different habitats, draw what the creatures you find and play some wildlife themed games.

Booking essential as places are limited: 020 8559 2316

1.30pm-3.00pm, £3 per child

For more information about conservation events get in touch with the Redbridge Nature Conservation Ranger Team, Tel: 020 8559 2316,

Redbridge Cleaner Air Champions

Join us and take action to improve the air we breathe!

Cleaner Air Champions is an exciting new project being run by Sustrans with local volunteers to reduce local air pollution and improve the areas we live in. We are looking for enthusiastic people to get involved and act as Cleaner Air Champions in their local community and promote positive and easy actions to improve the air we breathe. This project is currently being run in Hackney, Havering and Redbridge.

In addition we have £10,000 to take volunteer ideas forward and make them happen.

We will provide volunteers with support and training in their role. This will include:

·             Information about the causes and impacts of air quality

·             Support and resources to measure air quality in your local community

·             Guidance, support and funding to take action to improve air quality in your local community.

If you are interested in being involved in this project then please contact Laura on or 0207 0172356.


Otesha Project

The Otesha Project is a charity based in East London fighting youth unemployment and climate change through training and support for young people, helping them into life-changing, green careers.  We’re a member of the East London Green Jobs Alliance.

The Otesha Project is launching their ‘Branch Out’ programme, a FREE horticultural work training programme in East London for 16-25 year olds.  The course provides practical skills training leading to a level 1 City & Guilds horticultural qualification (delivered by our programme partners St Mary’s Garden), an accredited environmental literacy qualification, employability skills training, literacy and numeracy, financial literacy and support to find paid employment at the end of the course.

Applicants must be 16-25 years old, able to travel to East London 2 days a week and be at least at Level 1 literacy and Entry 3 numeracy.  We are able to link up interested applicants with numeracy and literacy training options if they currently do not have the levels required for Branch Out to enable them to eventually participate.

The first cohort is running until June 2013, with five more courses running over the next two years.  Places on the course are limited so please encourage suitable applicants to get in contact as soon as possible to register their interest.


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