St Mark's Mansfield

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Don’t give up!

On Tuesday, Sheila, Su, Abigail, John O’Leary and I welcomed RHS assessors Jenni and Steve to the Community Garden.   Over tea and courgette cake (a great hit!) we described the progress that had been made in the last year and found ourselves glowing with pride as we realised how far we’ve come.   Steve took lots of photos, loving the sunflowers and also the pollinators hard at work in the flower beds and wild meadow.  Everything looked beautiful on such a glorious day.

I think Jenni and Steve were genuinely impressed.   Jenni is involved in the RHS schools gardening project and was very keen to hear about links with our Under Fives, Young Lions and Boys’ Brigade.   It would be lovely to forge a connection with our parish Primary Schools, High Oakham and Sutton Road and to invite them to come and learn about composting, seed sowing and the growing of fruit and vegetables.

We also discussed funding and possibly being part of Mansfield’s ‘In Bloom’ efforts and we came away buzzing with ideas and plans for the future.

“Don’t give up!” they said, and we won’t for as long as our knees hold us up and our hands can grip a trowel.   Let’s hope that some of the seeds we’ve sown in the minds of our young people mean that we can eventually hand over the spade to the next generation of gardeners and that the community garden at St Mark’s will continue to flourish for years to come.

We await the outcome at the awards presentation in September!   Fingers crossed we’ll top 90 marks this year!

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Maun Valley Citizens

Community organiser

Maun Valley Citizens are recruiting a Community Organiser to take on the role of supporting and building the group, which is an alliance of 20 schools, churches and community groups in Maun Valley (Mansfield and Ashfield).
The group is looking for an individual  who is skilled at relationship building, campaigning and developing leaders. 
The successful candidate will work initially across Mansfield and Ashfield, supported by the Nottingham Citizens senior organiser. They will also join the national Guild of Citizens UK Community Organisers, benefiting from training by leading practitioners in the UK and US. Full details here.

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Taking stock

The garden is suddenly full of colour, with sunflowers, sweet peas, red and white runner bean flowers and the golden trumpets of courgette and pumpkin plants attracting bees, hoverflies and other beneficial insects.   The espalier apples and the medlar are loaded with fruit.   We must net the soft fruit next year though as the currants and the cherries were all bagged by the birds before we could get round to picking them.

All this produce belongs to the whole church community so do help yourselves and if you would like to offer a donation of time or money in return, we would be very grateful!

In the meadow only a few bee orchids have put in an appearance this year and the grass seems to have smothered some of the wild flowers.   We plan to sow yellow rattle in the autumn as the roots will hopefully weaken the stronger growing grass.   The common spotted orchid flowered again but unfortunately was beheaded by the strimmer!

The greenhouse has been a real boon and I can hardly remember what it was like before it had pride of place at the heart of our community garden.   The hot weather a few weeks back took us by surprise and the tomato plants unfortunately got a bit scorched as no-one was around to open the door for more ventilation but there are some lovely little cucumbers forming and hopefully we’ll get a few tomatoes too.

The wellies adorning the railings at the front of the hall are looking splendid with pansies and lobelia.   There’s a big red trug full of water inviting anyone passing to give them a reviving drink if necessary.

We’ll be getting our annual visit from the RHS assessors very soon so if you feel you could spare an hour or two to do some weeding, watering or mowing, please let Sheila or Isobel know.   We’d love you to join us!