Tom Chance for London

Growing the Cossall Estate

By on 29th March 2010

After a week speaking at a digital rights demonstration, a free map meeting, a 600-strong Critical Mass and lots of electioneering capping off days at the office it was quite a relief to complete the weekend with a spade, wheelbarrow and several tonnes of soil. Growing Southwark, who I first came across last September, have been running a community food growing project on the Cossall Estate in Peckham.

I planted my broad beans at the event in February – here’s a pic of me with my pots – but this time the work was much more heavy going. Residents, Growing Southwark volunteers and a team from Veoila with 2 master carpenters worked together from Thursday-Sunday to erect a 18×1.5×0.6 meter raised bed. When I got there on Sunday they were filling them up with 16 tonnes of organic soil and soil improver.

Volunteers and residents filling the raised beds

Volunteers and residents filling the raised beds

After a couple of hours lugging large quantities of soil around in wheelbarrows, including racing back with kids giggling away in the empty barrow, I finally got to plant my fledgling broad beans. They look a bit sad here because I didn’t have any stakes to tie them to, or water to cheer them up, but I’m assured by growing legend Lesley that they “are looking good”.

My slightly sad looking broad beans

My slightly sad looking broad beans

Back home, after a lengthy phone interview with Benjamin Mako-Hill about my involvement GNUPedia (one of the predecessors to Wikipedia), I added the raised bed to OpenStreetMap, bringing my week full circle.

  1. Voncile
    2nd June 2011

    Thanks alot – your answer solved all my problems after several days sturgligng

  1. Tweets that mention Growing the Cossall Estate « tom's blog -- - [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by GreenFeed and Tom Chance, Southwark Greens. Southwark Greens said: Southwark Green @tom_chance …
  2. We did it-Cossall Estate Community Growing Project has its first 20m raised bed « GrowingSouthwark's Blog - [...] in February and some marigolds (great companion plants for tomatoes).  See Tom’s blog Planting [...]