Helps us win Tesco’s #BagsofHelp fund

Our new project Meet you by the Mosaic has been shortlisted for a public vote in Tesco’s #BagsofHelp initiative!

We want to work with the local community and a local artist to develop a mosaic near the front of St Leonards Warrior Square station.

Please vote for Meet you by the Mosaic in stores during the months of March/April to help us secure a grant of up to £2,000.

New funds for our community garden

Great news. We were successful in our application for a Sustainability & New Economy Grant from Quakers UK.  We will receive £200 to help fund the development of our community garden at St Leonards Warrior Square station, specifically around the water collection.

There is no water supply close to the garden and we so for the past few years volunteers have been carrying buckets of water across the foot bridge to top up water needs over the spring and summer months. We’re really excited to be able to take control of the water supply by purchasing some large water butts for the north platform. These will allow volunteers to spend more time focusing on planning,  designing and planting.

Your Plants Will Grow High Next Spring When You Use These Autumn Gardening Tips

By Clara Beaufort

Horticulture knows no such thing as time off. There’s work to do right now if you want your flowers and vegetables to enjoy lush, healthy growth when warm weather returns. Use the tips in this post as your guide to gardening success.

Clean up the Dirt

Start your autumn chores by removing dead or dying plants from your garden beds. Give the remains a close look-see for evidence of mold or blight. If you see such signs, then burn the infected plants. If you don’t, then add them to the compost pile so they can work for you all winter long. Remove any foreign matter and give the soil a good, deep raking or tilling to break up clumps and aid aeration. Taking these steps now will lay the groundwork for next year’s harvest, according to the experts at Mother Earth News.

Mulch in Moderation

Too much of anything is a bad thing; that includes mulch. You should add a thin layer to your beds on top of 1-2 inches of compost. Anything more can actually work against you by preventing the cold from killing mold and blight.

While you’ve got your hands in the dirt, remove the roots of weeds like Bermuda grass and nutsedge. Otherwise these pests can overwinter in your garden to menace you next year, according to the gardening gurus at DIY Network.

Water Ahead of Time

Hard winter soil can block rain and melting snow from nourishing the roots of your trees and shrubs, according to Better Homes and Gardens. So get the jump on frost by giving these plants a generous watering now. This will act like the hump on a camel’s back, providing much-needed moisture throughout the cold season.

Don’t Forget Your Lawn

Autumn is for fertilizing your grass. Turf can store nutrients over the winter, digesting them in a gradual process that will help to ensure greener results next spring. You should aerate your lawn before winter cold sets in.

Consider Planting Cover Crops

Plants like hairy vetch and cereal rye can safeguard your soil over a long, severe winter, making them good choices for cover crops. Just make sure you till them into the ground next spring before they go to seed. This is a favorite trick of organic gardeners, according to Rodales. The seeds are small and even modest rainfall can help to establish them in the soil, making this idea almost effortless to implement.

Handling Hardscape Maintenance

The term “hardscape” refers to stone walkways, retaining walls, and other non-organic elements of a garden or landscape design. While less fragile than living plants, these structures do need annual care. This should include:

  • An autumn inspection to correct imperfections that could lead to trouble down the road. For example, a crack in a walkway might seem like a small thing. But it may become a trip hazard should water enter it and freeze, forcing the stone or masonry to expand. You should also look, not only for cracks, but for soil or stone cavities alongside or under hardscape. Otherwise wintertime precipitation could fill the gap and turn to ice, creating a problem called “frost heave” which can damage or even destroy hardscape.
  • A general sweeping to remove foreign matter, followed up with a washdown from a garden hose or pressure washer. This will discourage the growth of mold or mildew, which can deface hard surfaces.

Performing these needed steps will protect your garden and your landscape features from winter’s wrath. So give it your best, then brush off the dirt off your pants and start planning for next spring.

 

Guest blogger: Clara Beaufort

Gardenergigs.com

Gardening And Your Health: How Working In The Dirt Can Have A Positive Impact

Gardening is a favorite pastime for many people, but it’s not just a hobby that yields pretty results; it’s also a great way to get in shape and improve your mental health at the same time.

Working in the sunshine, creating something beautiful that also has tangible rewards, and doing something physical after working in an office or other fairly inactive environment can have many benefits for your health, not the least of which is the fact that you get in a workout every time you go into the garden. Bending, kneeling, stretching, weeding, watering, planting, and reaping all take a measure of physical strength and endurance and allow you to work several muscle groups at once, which makes it a great activity for those living with arthritis or joint pain because you can customize your movements and only do as much as your body will let you.

Of course, having a garden also benefits the planet in many ways, so you really can’t go wrong. If you’ve never thought of yourself as someone with a green thumb, now may be the time to reconsider and get to planting. Here are some of the best benefits of having a garden and tending it.

You get to work outside

Working outside in the sunshine gives you a boost of vitamin D, which has been shown in studies to help with stress, depression and other mood disorders. Gardening allows for plenty of fresh air while giving you the option to work only as hard as you want, so it can be done by just about anyone, regardless of their abilities or mobility concerns.

You’ll eat healthier

If you choose to plant edibles in your garden, pick things you know you’ll eat so that nothing goes to waste. Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and peppers are all great options that are relatively easy to grow depending on your climate, and you can harvest quite a few of them. Think about foods that you can grow nearly year-round, as well; beans, broccoli, turnips, and squash are great choices for a fall harvest.

If you’re interested in year-round crops, you might also consider building a solar greenhouse that will help you keep your plants healthy and abundant during all kinds of weather. Make sure you have the space in your yard and check with the city to see if you need a permit to build.

You can boost your mental health

Many people who garden report a positive boost in their mental health, especially people who spend a lot of time in an office setting or don’t get to work with their hands much. There’s something relaxing about working in the dirt and knowing which move comes next, spending time choosing the right plants and watching them grow under your care, and it can help boost your self-esteem, as well.

It can help your memory

Seniors who garden are more likely to battle the risk of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive function disorders because the act of working outdoors and planting helps the brain stay active and vital. Not only that, but many studies have shown that people who work in the garden have a reduced risk of stroke.

Remember that gardening can include heavy lifting and other physical work, so ask for help if you need it. Always wear sunblock and wear light-colored layers of clothing in the summer to stay cool. Being prepared and careful will help you get the most benefits out of working in the dirt.

Maria Cannon © 2017

Flourishing community garden

Thanks to all the hard work of our volunteers the community garden at the station is flourishing. The sunflowers are starting to appear as well as Cosmos, Cornflowers, Honeysuckle and Lavender and much more. We’ve lost a few things to the wildlife but we’re more than happy to share! In fact we encourage the local residents to help themselves. Get down to the garden and see if there’s anything ready – courgettes are looking good…

TTH join the Chelsea Fringe 2017

We’re teaming up with the Greenhouse Group in Alexandra Park and the Bohemia Walled Garden to put on some garden events in Hastings during Chelsea Fringe.

At St Leonards Warrior Square Train Station we will be hosting a garden swap shop and planting sessions for adults and children from 11-3pm. Bring your unwanted garden tools, plants, seeds and other garden related stuff. (read more about dos and don’ts for our swap shops).

Throughout the day we will be planting in containers so come along with your old teapots, wellies, tins and ceramic pots, anything waterproof and frost proof. Surprised us!

Also expect some musicians to drop by and play some tunes, share in a pot of tea and you will be able to try some produce, directly from the garden!

Read more on the event page.

A day to clear your shed & clear your head!

 

Events

Our proposal bench at the community garden

Last Sunday, in less than half a day, our team of eager volunteers put together a beautiful garden bench. We created a ‘Proposal Bench’ for the #JaneEyreProject which takes place in St Leonards from Feb 21 to March 7.

We are inviting visitors to the garden to sit, enjoy the space and write a proposal.

So come down to the garden at St Leoanrds Warrior Square (north platform), see what we’ve been creating and write some words.

 

The Hastings Midnight Run film is released!

Take a look at the video for the Hastings Midnight Run, an event we took part in last autumn. See if you can spot someone you know!

The Midnight Run is a walking, arts-filled, night-time cultural journey through a city. It gathers strangers and local artists/activists to explore, play and create whilst the city sleeps.

The Hastings Midnight Run from Inua Ellams on Vimeo.

Commissioned by the Hastings Storytelling Festival, this event featured:

ARTISTS //
FILM MAKER – Joe Kaufman
BARGAIN STUDIOS – Alfie, Amy & Danielle
STORY TELLER – Gareth E. Rees
COMMUNITY GARDENERS – Transition Town Hastings.
MUSICIANS – MAGIC CITY MOONFLOWER – Lynda, James & Ross.

Facilitated by IMOGEN BUTLER COLE

Transition Town present at Flick Chat, Rock House

On Nov 29, Rock House hosted an evening of short, PechaKucha style presentations. These are intended to inform, inspire and even include calls-to-action. Our very own Karen Simnett gave an excellent presentation about the work of Transition Town Hastings and what we have achieved in the last 2 years!

Please share this with anyone you think would be interested.

 

 

Open day at the community garden

Great weather, wonderful food and great people!

On October 9th we celebrated our first harvest at the community garden. Self grown, free food was offered to locals passing by including squash, spinach and chickpea curry, freshly pressed apple juice, apple cake, artichoke cake and sweetcorn fritters.

We also raised over £75 which we can put towards our many expenses. Thanks to all those who came down to the station and supported us.