Grow Feral design by City Edition Studio, Bristol
Artist Producer, Weston Super Mare, throughout Summer 2021
Grow Feral is a call to action to engage with the natural world, to reimagine our shared land, and attend to the interconnected nature of things.
To be feral is to return to our natural state, to become empowered to ‘do it together’.
A series of creative workshops and hands-on making and doing sessions, each with an outcome, with and for local communities explore the symbiotic relationship of all of the natural world - humans, creatures, plants, land and earth, as a radical act of gardening and growing together. To be radical is to go to the very roots of things.
Commissioned by Culture Weston, funded by Arts Council England, as part of Big Green Weeks, Weston Arts + Health Weeks and Heritage Open Days and in association with Osprey Outdoors community allotments.
Co-Design Grow Feral Micro-Garden
photo credits: Adam Leppard
Co-design a new micro-garden and create a seated, and part-edible growing area to ‘green’ Weston town centre for residents and visitors alike to sit, talk, and be with nature.
The sessions draw upon and explore Permaculture principles to develop a playful and plantful design considering the aesthetics of plants, growing and the natural world. Permaculture is a creative design process and philosophy informed by ethics and natural ecosystems that work with nature rather than against it.
Led by Abel Pearson of Glasbren - a not for profit organisation and small-holding based in Carmarthenshire, Wales. Glasbren are intent on harnessing the power of growing food, together, for a brighter, healthier, more abundant future for all.
The Art of Botanics: Plant Crafting
photo credits: Adam Leppard + Sam Francis
Explore our connection to the natural world through a range of creative plant crafting activities which both have proven therapeutic benefits for body, mind and soul. The womxn only sessions will be an introduction to the creative potential of plants, growing and allotment life.
Participants embark on a sensory tour of the community allotment site in full bloom to identify the myriad wildflowers, plants, weeds, flowers, and vegetables, which we will then gather to use during the crafting sessions.
Try out different direct-printing methods including monoprinting and cyanotypes as well as gather seeds from plants to make wildflower seed packs, and enage in green wording play.
‘Grow your own Feral Kits’ were created out of these workshops which include a hand-gathered wild seed pack, hand-made botanical plant print, and a green word bookmark made by workshop participants. The kits are available for £1 via customised Vending Machines located around Weston: Loves Cafe, Strange Catch Chip Shop, Dr Fox’s Tearooms, The Cove Cafe.
From the Earth to the Table: Build a Wood-fired Clay Oven
photo credits: Adam Leppard + Melissa at Osprey
Co-build an outdoor clay oven for the purpose of baking food, using clay extracted directly from the allotments clay-rich earth along with other reclaimed materials.
The session will be a hands-in-the-earth experience - a physical and tactile process involving ‘puddling’ (mixing the clay-sand mixture with your hands - or feet!) to construct a unique clay oven to be proud of. The process of building one together, will connect us as a group as well as to our ancestors who would have used similar techniques for cooking food many millennia ago. The clay oven will be an invaluable reseource for the Osprey community to develop food and cooking related activities in the future.
Led by Rachel Baker who has a background as a potter and baker, and has united these skills to build a number of clay ovens with community groups including Golden Hill Community Garden in Bristol.
Osprey Community Allotment Open Day
photo credits: Mark Atherton
Osprey Community Allotment volunteers have been busy all year establishing the new site using permaculture principles, growing familiar English fruit and vegetables, and developing an ‘exotic’ polytunnel called ‘Bato Kunku’ (Gambian for ‘farm by the sea’) attempting to grow produce that originates from outside the UK. Embark on a sensory tour of the community allotment site with it's cottage garden and orchards in full bloom, and sample some of its delicious vegan produce cooked up by Weston’s Loves Cafe using the clay oven especially made for the event.
Come along to be nourished by the many delights that can emerge from a flourishing allotment garden, and get a chance to make your own herbal tea bags, pick up some produce, and flowers and take away a specially designed menu card.