Here at Spiralseed we’re very excited to be working with May Project Gardens, who will be hosting our first Introduction To Permaculture day event of 2017!
A few years ago I was very privileged to meet Ian Solomon Kawall, aka KMT Freedom Teacher, a musician, community activist and founder of May Project Gardens in Morden in south London. The project began in 2009 with the aim of bringing communities closer together through ecological and ethical activities. The site has approximately 250sqm of growing space where a variety of fruits and vegetables are grown by individuals who volunteer their time to help keep the project going. The site was designed using Permaculture principles, advocating working with nature not against her to fulfil our needs, and great emphasis is placed on reducing waste and increasing efficiency. It has a medium sized polytunnel, a small herb garden, two large main crop beds, a wildlife zone (which includes a pond and a wild flower bed), a small food forest garden and four different composting systems.
The main aim of May Project Gardens is to bring communities closer together to act collectively. The project provides access to the tools necessary to educate communities about the issues that affect the environment and as a result the effects they have on those inhabiting the planet. May Project Gardens helps to demonstrate some of the solutions to these issues and encourages all to get involve and make a difference. We hold regular open days where anyone can come along and get involve either helping out in the garden, sowing seed, weeding, harvesting, etc. or help make some of the many produce we create at the garden namely jams, chutneys, and juices. We also deliver workshops and courses on a range of topics including Permaculture, composting, using recycled wood, wild food foraging, and fruit and vegetable growing. In addition the garden is the focal point of a number of other community building and educational initiatives;
Over 2,000 clients accessed the Trussel Trust Foodbanks in 2013/14 in Merton alone; 78% of them were from the east of the borough, consistent with the patterns of deprivation (Trussell Trust; 2015). The difference in life expectancy between someone from West Merton and East Merton is a staggering 10 years. Lifestyle risk factors (such as poor nutrition and stress) account for almost 40% of total ill health in the borough (Public Health Merton). GCE run regular food workshops, and have published a beautiful hand illustrated book detailing how to grow your own food and as well as simple yet healthy recipes, enabling you to make delicious, nutritious and diverse meals on a budget. Copies are available to order direct from the web site here.
In addition to managing the garden, KMT is a musician and hip hop artist, and runs Hip Hop Garden and Permaculture Courses, and with his team works on empowering the local youth via a project called ‘Come We Grow’;
Come We Grow selects the best grassroots artists, workshops facilitators, organisations and activist to awaken the eco-conscience to action; line-ups which resonate with the planet-saving message of the event and the May Project. Come We Grow is an inspiring event for the whole family, featuring upbeat vibes, acoustic music, environmental talks, demonstrations and most importantly solution. The events are organised by the passionate and knowledgeable team at The May Project Gardens, who are focused on promoting sustainable living for the future and creating an eco-friendly space in which both young and old can thrive.
KMT has also released an excellent 4 song EP of his own, ‘Fear of a Green Planet’, in order to showcase his skills and raise funds for the project, and at the same time tell the story of how the project came to be. It’s available for download from Bandcamp for the amazingly low price of just £5, and I’d thoroughly recommend it, not just because it is generating much needed cash for a very worthwhile project, but also because it is bloody good – check it out here;
Spiralseed are also pleased to be beginning what will be a long term partnership with May Project Gardens with our first low cost Introduction to Permaculture day. Places are available to book now – don’t miss out!