Abbey Gardens Pumpkin fest – a free event for all ages
Saturday 27 September 2014, 1pm-4pm
Abbey Gardens, Bakers Row, London E15 3NF
Celebrating all things pumpkin, the most expressive of the vegetables…
Come along for the free activities and enjoy the garden
- Enter the pumpkin carving competition – bring your pumpkins already carved or decorated to the event
- Bring your pumpkins, squashes or giant marrows to help us create a Pumpkin Exhibition – you may win a prize
- Children’s pumpkin craft workshop
- Delicious food created by Vegan Peasant
- Pumpkin face painting
- Get your photo taken as a Pumpkin Head
- Enjoy music from Regent Community Brass Band
- Learn the history of pumpkin carving
- Buy fresh produce, as well as homemade pickles, jams and chutneys on our honesty stall
- Garden tours from our garden leader, Hamish Liddle
- Test your knowledge in our Vegetable Quiz
- And our ever-popular tea and cake stall!
All activities are free. Drinks, food and honesty stall produce for donations to the garden.
Five teachers from School 21 (which is housed on the old Rockaby School site in Stratford) came by the garden today on their quest to explore local organisations in order to set up new links with the school and their students. Its always enjoyable to explain the garden, how it came about and how it all works and the conversations it triggers. The garden is a real manifestation of a collective effort with a strong ethos of sharing. The conversations are a welcome reminder of what we all have achieved over the years.
On another note, I am happy to officially confirm that four out of five visiting teachers passed the ‘smell the comfrey liquid challenge’ – an outstanding result.
“Is it an allotment?” It’s the question we’re asked most often by visitors and passers-by. It looks like one. We grow things that allotmenteers grow. But we garden together at our three free garden club sessions a week run by garden club leader Hamish Liddle. The beauty of that is that anyone can come along, from people who’ve never gardened before to keen gardeners, there are energetic and delicate things to do, people can give as much or as little time as they can spare – and it’s sociable gardening. We harvest what’s ready, to share and for our community events (we ask visitors respectfullly not to harvest outside garden club sessions but if you’re interested in our produce do come along to our events and visit the honesty stall).
If you’d like to get involved, come along to one of our garden club sessions: Saturday 10am-4pm, Tuesday 1pm-3pm or Thursday 4pm-7pm, ask for Hamish and fill out a form. Children must be accompanied by a parent or carer.
If you’d like to visit first, the garden is open daily from dawn ’til dusk or come to our Pumpkinfest on Saturday 27 September from 1pm-4pm, a free event for all ages.
Whatever you’re expecting from one of our gardening sessions, there’s always an “Ooh, look at that!” moment at some point. Today’s delights included tomatoes growing in a fan shape and biologist Marleen’s potato harvest uncovering a perfect section through a plant. So when we come and do some gardening, we take away more than our shared harvest, the pleasure of sociable gardening and the satisfaction of helping to make a lovely community space grow – we take a bit of knowledge home too.
‘Any Other Business’. The extra bits of a meeting discussed at the end. Unless you’re at Abbey Gardens, when AOB quite often arrives at the beginning, with veteran innovator Charlie, in the form of an invention or an idea that he will explain at the end. Or in the middle, if there are any hesitations long enough.
This thing of upcycled marvellousness is a prototype watering device, turning waste plastic and clothing into a way to move water straight to the deepest part of a raised bed, where roots need it. Charlie and Luu are ready to test it. We’ll let you know how they get on.
Food. It’s what brings the 20 plus nationalities gardening at Abbey Gardens together. A conversation by a veg, fruit or herb plant, discussion of the gardening session’s harvest – you’ll hear as many recipes as you see people. Gherkins, bottled with proper Czech know-how by Dasha, are back on the menu this year. We’re looking forward to them and there may be some on the honesty stall at our Pumpkin Fest on Saturday 27 September 1pm-4pm. If our garden volunteers haven’t got there first (they’re very good indeed)…
It’s thirsty work, gardening. Handy, then, that many of our herbs also make refreshing tea – and that they’ve had a great growing season. Dasha has been harvesting and drying to make blends for our Pumpkin Fest on 27 September (1pm-4pm). Pictured: camomile, milk thistle and mint. Come along and visit our lovely honesty stall.
Hamish, our garden club leader, will be taking a well earned Summer break so our garden club sessions from Saturday 19 July to Saturday 2 August will be informal gardening for regular volunteers, with a task list provided by Hamish. If you’d like to visit, do come and say hello – inductions for new gardeners will resume from the Tuesday 5 August session.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by our stall today at the Mayor’s Newham Show!
We hope you enjoyed testing your knowledge with our seed quiz and of course getting to be a PUMPKIN HEAD as part of Abbey Gardens Year of the Pumpkin!
In order to download your pumpkin head photo, please follow the instructions below and don’t forget to hold the date for our PUMPKINFEST – Saturday September 27th from 1pm-4pm at Abbey Gardens.
To download your PUMPKIN HEAD photo:
- Please visit the PUMPKIN HEAD flickr page - https://www.flickr.com/groups/2635868@N25/
- Click on the photo you want to download
- In the bottom right of the screen, there will be a download button (arrow pointing downwards) or an options button (displayed as three dots) – click either one
- Select ‘view all sizes’
- Download the size you would like
Pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin carving, pumpkin growing… If you’re so into pumpkins that you’ve pretty much turned into one by the end of the season (or you just fancy being photographed with a pumpkin on your head), then come along and be photographed as a pumpkin head at the Mayor’s Newham Show on Sunday 13 July 2014, Central Park London E6, from 1pm – 4pm in the Active Outdoors area.