Edible Hexham – prizewinners !

On the 5th July four stalwart members of Edible Hexham travelled to Alnwick Gardens to learn they had been awarded first prize in the ‘Urban” category of the annual NCC competition ‘Love Northumberland”

Pictured receiving their certificate and award of 350 pounds from the Duchess of Alnwick are Elizabeth Leonard, Sue Hick, Rosemary Theobalds and Wendy Breach.

The awards are given every year to community groups and schools for their work in the environment in Northumberland and improving their local area and community.

The prize money will be put towards more herbs and veg for new planters in 2018 amd for extra signage.

Congratulations to all !

Annual plant swop stall

tt-seedling-swap-2017 (2) (1)

Oue annual plant swop stall at the farmers market will this year be on May 13th. Bring any  spare veg, or fruit seedlings or seeds to the stall to swop with something you don’t have. This is a good chance to try something knew or replace failed crops, you never know what you might find !

This year we are also asking for pollination plants for bees and other insects. If you have nothing to swop don’t worry – just give a donation !


Go Local return visit by Barbara and David Grundey

Chris and Iain from Go Local came to our TT Open Meeting to explore how we might be able to join together in promoting locally grown produce freshly harvested from the garden to local people in ‘Transition’. Iain also offered Hexham Middle School Gardeners the possibility to loan their gardening machinery and the provision of seedling plants. Edible Hexham beds and troughs could also benefit from plants supplied by Go Local.

Here we are after we had weighed or counted out our £4 members’share parsnip, onions, pachoi, salad leaves, celery, garlic, and chillies. Also available was freshly baked bread made to order and homemade preserves, duck and hens eggs. GoLocalsmiles
What a joyful visit that was! On arriving home we threw the vegetables in the soup pan, and made a wrap with the freshly cut salad leaves. Produce this fresh has an aroma and crispness quite unlike the supermarket products. David and I have joined and will be driving there on Saturday mornings the Members’ regular collection day.

Go Local have had a really good and productive season which is extended by their having ample growing space in large polytunnels which are a great asset particularly for our cool Northumberland climate. Go Local have plenty of capacity and would like to link up with Hexham people to increase their customer base. IMAG0414Find the Go Local Membership form for vegetable supply to be collected from Ovington hereGO LOCAL POSTER

Ah ha! But here’s another RHS award winning garden.

A first blog from Barbara. What a pleasure it was when I was able to hand over the framed certificate of the RHS ‘It’s Your Neighborhood Award’ for our neighborhood garden in Gibson Place. SONY DSCSONY DSC Young Alex, pictured here preparing to plant his very own runner bean plant, turned pink with pleasure as he careful read that our garden had won the highest award ‘Outstanding’. Alex, and Zach are shown planting up our runner bean pyramid.  DorisAnd there’s a picture of Doris here too for it was she who did the watering and watched over the garden from her front room window. This garden has won a ISOS Housing Association community garden award three years running which has provided funds to buy rhubarb plants and current bushes now planted in amongst the herbs and flowers….so we’re all in transition towards being a more resilient and sustainable neighborhood.

This is how the objectives of Transition Tynedale and RHS Northumbria in Bloom have come together to involve local people in caring for their own neighborhoods.


Calling all gardeners !

Now is the time to start planning which crops you will be growing this year, an exciting time of sowing seeds and anticipating a warm spring. (!!!)

 This is an appeal to all gardeners to grow a few extra plants for the  TT food projects we are involved in – the 2 community gardens,  the annual  ‘Seed and Plant swop’ stall at the farmers market in May and our new initiative – Edible Hexham.

All these initiatives are aimed at encouraging local food production and they all need your help !  Please sow a few extra seeds and grow them on for these projects, they will all be gratefully received. Plants are needed from March onwards for the community gardens and Edible Hexham , and more again in May for the plant stall.

Manpower is also needed for these projects. From the experienced  gardener  to complete novice, we need your help to make things  ‘grow.’( pardon the pun !)

For offers of plants and help please contact the following people at transitiontynedale@googlemail.com

–          Megan      –   HMS community Garden

–          Claire    –    No 28 Garden, Hexham east

–          Debbie    –   May plant stall

–          Rosemary    –   Edible Hexham

Edible Hexham

Edible Hexham came into being after a small group of TT members paid a visit to Incredible Edible Todmorden in June last year, a visit organised by Richard Powell.
We met some amazingly enthusiastic people who had began working with vegetables, fruits and herbs as a way to engage a somewhat dispirited community following the closure of the last Mill some years previously. The story of what they have achieved can be found on their website, http://www.incredible-edible-todmorden.co.uk/, and we came away with the conviction that this is something which we could do in Hexham – not the same as Todmorden, but developing in our own way.

Sue Hick and I made a start in the autumn. TT members will know how knowledgeable Sue is and how good it is for me to work alongside her. The Incredible Edible idea is one whose hour has come, for no less a prestigious organisation than the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is looking to see edibles included in its competition gardens. We are represented on the Hexham in Bloom committee who have welcomed the idea and we intend to have edibles planted by the Spring Judging in April.

We have identified a few small plots in Hexham to include in the scheme and a few planters in the town centre. Plots are the Goose Market, Wentworth Car Park near the Tourist Centre, and at the hospital. We will need signage to explain the idea of Edible Hexham, and to invite members of the public to help themselves to the veg, fruit and herbs when they are ready to be picked.

This is just a snapshot of plans so far, and very shortly, I will be asking for volunteers to take responsibility for just one of these planting places so that they will be watered and cared for.

As always, TT wants to involve as many new people as possible, and Edible Hexham sees itself working in partnership with Hexham in Bloom, the Town Council, the Community Partnership and most importantly, the Food Bank, so that more people can enjoy cooking with fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs.

Watch this space for further updates and opportunities to be involved.

The Guerilla’s have been to Gibson Place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis type of Guerilla is very rare but has been flourishing for a number of years. It’s good news; they began as two but have multiplied. It’s the gardening guerillas!

This type of guerilla has been recognised by Mr.ISOS, who was very pleased and decided to conserve the species with a monetary award.

Are these guerilla’s recognised by the Transition Tynedale even though they are a wild untamed species?

How Incredible Edible Todmorden happened!

Here’s the TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design)Talk on Incredible Edible Todmorden

Their mission statement was ‘If you eat you’re in!’ they didn’t have a strategy they just got on and did it! They believed small actions count and many small actions created a transition movement people supporting each other towards a greener lifestyle. 

Love and best wishes Barbara


Trip to ‘Incredible Edible Todmorden’ – Inspiration !

Seven intrepid Hexham Transitioners eventually went on a minibus to Todmorden last week and came back inspired by their adventure. Here are just a few comments  – Photos to follow

Incredible Edible, a small group of people deciding that they could make a difference to “change the world with kindness.” The abiding message that I was left with was kindness. Estelle was our gentle tour guide, passionate, funny, humble…she must have conducted tours on numerous occasions, but her enthusiasm was palpable. Having her tell her story convinced me of the potential of a few dedicated and committed people can make to bring about change on such a dramatic scale. Transformation: – the place & it’s people – through tangible inclusive action.

Very simple really just three things – community, business and education – and they started with food because everyone eats! Not an exclusive thing: ‘If you Eat, you’re In’.

Stories have the power to ignite the soul…If you are sitting comfortably I will begin. Remember all the produce is free, yes free, a bit of counter culture going on there. One Sunday morning  a working party was making its way to a site where two youngsters were helping themselves to fruit, filling a bag, lots of fruit, caught in the act you might say.

‘We’ve been doing this for you, you can have it’, the working party explained.

 The boys took some convincing that if they wanted the fruit that was fine so long as it was for eating. So utterly overwhelmed were they by the suggestion that they could actually keep the fruit that they remained and helped weed. Little actions can bring about behavioural changes, simple powerful stuff.

Todmorden isn’t a rich place – it’s normal, even poor – but what they have going on there is pure gold. I’m a convert. I left with more hope than when I arrived…I have a sense of longing to continue to develop and build on what we already have going on here in Hexham.  Richard

Our eyes were opened! And on our return to Hexham, we found ourselves looking at dismal pieces of Council planting and filling them in our imaginations with Todmorden – style herbs, leaves, and fruit trees, all full of colour and interest. And it gets better because not only can the residents of incredible, edible Todmorden look at them but they are encouraged to pick them, eat them, and put them in their salads and stews.

Estelle, the dynamic inspiration behind the idea, gave us a wonderful tour of the town, with every raised bed or planting yielding its own story through her rapid telling of how it came into being and how it continues to flourish.

Earning social capital was a new concept to some of us, but it is certainly happening in Tod. Rosemary

A great inspirational day out  !  Todmorden certainly has made an impact on the UK environmental movement and shown what is possible. .

What struck me most was not the planting but the enthusiasm of the organisers and the tremendous amount of organisation and fundraising involved – all by volunteers. From small beginnings in just 5 years they have had a very valuable number of spinoffs involving schools,  local business, police etc. There has also been an unexpected spin off of ‘green tourists’ – some of whom were us ! check out the incredible edible film at http://www.incredible-edible-todmorden.co.uk/home

All plantings are well signed with large signs explaining that the food is free,
planted especially for bees etc. Essential for spreading the word .

Hexham has made a good start in local food production with its community gardens, farmers market, apple days, food festival etc. The success of Incredible edible Todmorden is due, I think, to its volunteers and its publicity machine. We need to do more public planting and in particular more publicity about our work – only that way can we really get the message about local food across to everyone in Hexham.   Sue

Interested in hearing more ?  Come along to the next Transition general meeting , July 3rd, 7.30pm in the Forum café.



Annual Seed and plant swop stall – appeal for seedlings

As part of our efforts to encourage people to grow their own food we have,for the past 4 years ,  held a seed and plant swop stall at the Hexham Farmers Market in May.  Our 2013 stall is being planned for early June and we would appreciate any surplus seedlings – vegetable, fruit or flower – for the stall.

Despite the unseasonal weather now is the time to plant seeds, especially if you have access to a green house,- if not then just on the windowsill.  Even if you have no cover, hardy veg such as peas or broad beans can be sown in pots and left outside in a sheltered place to germinate in time for the stall. Please sow a few extra and bring them along to the stall to swop for others . Even experienced gardeners will find something unusual to swop with !

The exact date will be finalised at the next regular TT meeting and we will be asking for volunteers to help – in the meantime watch this space  and sow some seeds !