Each evening, a presentation ran from 19:30 until 20:30 with plot holders talking about their plots, their interests, and what they do when they’re out on the soil.
Straight afterwards, from 20:30 to 21:00, each session included a roundtable discussion with Glasgow City Councillors, Council Officers, and representatives of local growing groups. They discussed the theme of the presentations, and plans or initiatives to support growing and community-building in Glasgow City.
The events are all over, but FebFest’s legacy continues! We’ll post recordings here soon, and we want to continue the conversation with growers.
If you’re interested in telling other plotholders and gardeners about your specialist subject, we want to hear from you. We’ll be running a series of short, informal chats over Zoom so that people can learn from each other. We’ll be able to pose questions from the audience and share the video on the website aftewards.
If you’ve got something you think is worth sharing, get in touch and let us know!
FebFest 2021 Programme
Mansewood allotments cats are a small group of feral cats that have made Mansewood their home. Come and meet them!
Wellhouse Allotments is a community-based allotment in Easterhouse where we hold community events and raise hens and rabbits along with some other animals – feel free to get involved!
Roundtable discussion (20:30 – 21:00): Bailie Elaine Ballantyne (SNP – Councillor for Baillieston, the ward where Wellhouse Allotments are based) Eddie Andrews (Connect Community Trust / Wellhouse)
A fantastic look into how different allotments integrate animals with growing sites.
Watch Richard’s hen coop tour:
Doreen and Marie talk about how they transformed wasted space on their site to a space for all, using it for family and friends days, and creating a space for their waiting list / plot holders who can no longer manage a whole plot. They’ll also talk about the creation of a calendar which aimed to involve as many of their members as possible.
Gill will share her experiences of growing in a raised bed, and how you can turn the usual arrangement on its head by bringing the ground closer to you!
Roundtable discussion (20:30 – 21:00): ‘Social Justice & Community-Building’ – Councillor Eva Murray (Depute Leader of the Labour Group on Glasgow City Council, and also Labour Group Spokesperson on the Environment, Sustainability & Carbon Reduction City Policy Committee) and Euan McLaren (The People’s Plot)
Councillor Murray will be on hand to share her experience and vision for social justice in Glasgow.
Euan will be able to talk about The People’s Plot and their activities to find, fund, and open up new growing space in Glasgow.
Wormeries are a great way using kitchen scraps to make compost and can be a fun way of showing kids how food is created for plants. Join Jenny MacGillivray of Urban Roots and Propagate to find out more about worms, why they’re fantastic for the garden and allotment, and discover how to build a low cost wormery of your very own!
Grab a cuppa and join us for an informal chat to share ideas around activities by and for children at allotments. People of all ages are welcome to participate. The chat will be kicked off by Svenja Meyerricks (Centre for Human Ecology), Sapna Agarwal and her children, and Susan McNaughton O’Mahony (Propagate) sharing some ideas and resources
Running to seed: seed saving and seed lore with Glasgow Seed Library
Why save seeds? Join Rowan Lear, Annie Nickolay-Blake and Max Johnson for a chat about seeds – we will introduce Glasgow Seed Library, discuss different reasons for saving seed, offer up some seedy folklore and explore other ancient allotment crafts, like plant-based dying and basketry. We’d love to hear what grows especially well for you in Glasgow, if you’d like to save seed for the library this year, and what special or heritage seeds we should be stocking and sharing in the future…
Glasgow Seed Library is a repository of organic, open-pollinated seeds, designed to be freely accessible to growers across Glasgow. Initiated in 2019 at CCA Glasgow, and steered by Glasgow Community Food Network and a group of seed aficionados, the library has distributed vegetable seeds to over 200 people across the city, and organised workshops around seed saving skills and seed sovereignty. Find out more: https://www.cca-glasgow.com/about-cca/glasgow-seed-library
Max: A longtime forager, foodie, and nature geek, Max is the founder of The Washhouse Garden. Also working as a freelancer, he is passionate about providing mindful, soulful workshops and courses that connect people with food, the natural environment, and one another. Most often this is through using the natural materials me can find in our local land/cityscapes, and utilising practices that are thousands of years old. Recently this has involved making and selling baskets made from foraged materials, and leading foraging walks teaching culinary, crafty, and medicinal uses of wild plants, while also looking at the mythology and folklore surrounding these plants, which have shaped us as much as we have used them. If you’d like to see some examples of what he’s been up to, you can look on his instagram account @thewashhousegarden
“In the world of Glasgow allotments, there is one prize worth winning: The St Mungo Cup.”
“For Adrian and David, brothers from Glasgow’s east end, it’s the focus of years of hard work. They’ve been second and third, but never first. Could this be their year? Standing in their way is Norman – fastidious, dedicated, the 4 times reigning champion. In the run up to the competition, access to his allotment is by invite only.”
“Filmed over the summer of 2018, it’s an intimate look at the bond between allotment and plot holder, between place and people. It explores the way our environment shapes us and we, in turn, create spaces to survive and flourish.”
Exact details are still to be confirmed, but we’re hoping to have the star of the show there too!
Running time: 87 minutes (so start watching before 14:30 on the day or you won’t have time to finish it before the Zoom starts!)
St Mungo’s Approval Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/stmungosapproval/
Jenny and Christine have been gardening together for ten years. This session is about how sharing work and ideas while allotmenting can subtly but fundamentally change your life. For them, it’s been about engaging with the lives of plants, and people, in making a place over time.
Jan’s going to talk about sharing a plot with children’s and adult groups. Mansewood Community Centre (MCC) is the ‘plotholder’ of Plot 133 at Mansewood allotments. Jan has been involved from the beginning to create a plot to be shared with school children, youth groups and adult groups.
About the speakers
Christine and Jenny were work colleagues for many years and each of them has a flat in the west end of Glasgow. In 2009, they both decided to apply for an allotment. Christine checked out local allotment sites which had huge waiting lists, whilst Jenny applied to Springburn Gardens where a plot came up in spring 2010, so they decided to work it together. Jenny had had some experience of veg growing down South where she used to have quite a big garden. Christine had helped her Dad with his veg patch when she was growing up. They are now both Springburn plot holders and jointly working two plots as one.
Jan is one of 4 sisters who are all keen gardeners and she took on a plot of her own at Mansewood in 2007. She’s been the ‘Head Gardener’ on plot 133 at Mansewood for the past 10 years.
Roundtable discussion (20:30 – 21:00): Councillor Anna Richardson (SNP, and Chair of Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Committee at Glasgow City Council) and Abi Mordin (Propagate)
This discussion will centre around a theme of community-involvment and wellbeing.
Abi is a founder member of Propagate and a food activist. She has been working across community and local food projects for over 20 years, and is passionate about food sovereignty and resilience. An experienced grower, facilitator, practitioner and researcher – Abi’s inclusive and collaborative attitude encourages everyone to be involved in thinking about and creating sustainable food systems. Abi is Chair and co-founder of Glasgow Community Food Network, co-founder of Glasgow Food Policy Partnership and holds an MSc in Food Security.
John Butterworth: Trained fruit trees for small gardens and allotments: the easy way to make cordons, espaliers and fans.
Clem Sandison: Hear about Alexandra Park Food Forest in Dennistoun – a community green space where we’re working with nature to produce fruit and other perennial crops that can be harvested by the local community. Clem will offer practical tips on how to improve your soil health (and get a better crop of fruit) through methods such as mulching and companion planting.
About John Butterworth: John completed a Masters degree in Horticulture in 1978. He then worked in a variety of roles in market gardens in England and Southern Africa. In 1985 he co-founded Ayrshire Organic Growers, a workers’ co-operative pioneering a ‘Community Supported Agriculture ‘ box scheme. From 1990 – 2010 he founded and ran a mail order organic fruit tree nursery, Butterworth’s Organic Nursery, specialising in apple varieties (including historic Scottish varieties) suited to North and West Britain. Research into appropriate varieties led to a book ‘Apples in Scotland'(2001). Fruit trees were a hobby before becoming a job, and since retirement in 2010 he is once again involved with fruit trees on a voluntary basis.
About Clem: Clem is a Director of Alexandra Park Food Forest, a Community Interest Company that aims to reconnect people to nature, restore soil biology, support biodiversity and grow an abundance of organic fruit and herbs. Clem has a background in art and community development and has worked on food system change in Glasgow for over 20 years. She’s passionate about collaborating with urban and rural communities to tackle food injustice and the climate crisis through sustainable food production. She’s worked at the Hidden Gardens, Whitmuir Community Farm, The Orchard Project, Glasgow Community Food Network and currently facilitates farmer-led innovation with the Soil Association.
Roundtable discussion (20:30 – 21:00): ‘Climate Emergency’ – Councillor Susan Aitken (Leader of Glasgow City Council – SNP) and Joe (St. Paul’s Youth Forum)
Councillor Aitken will be able to discuss the Sustainable Glasgow initiatives. Attendees might also be interested to check up on what’s planned for the rescheduled COP26, the UN environmental conference which comes to Glasgow in November
Cathy: ‘The Novice Allotmenteer and Getting Started!’ A lighthearted chat about being a novice allotmenteer and the journey I’ve been on with my partner. From working a half plot in 2018, then gaining the other half to become a full plot in 2020, how we got started and how much the allotment has become part of our lives.
Jane: Jane Butterworth’s allotment became so full of flowers that they spilled out into the creation of Dear Green Flower Farm, Glasgow’s first community-run flower farm. Jane had a career in gardening and garden design before founding Dear Green Flower Farm, a social enterprise dedicated to growing traditional Scottish garden flowers and native wild flowers in the heart of Glasgow’s West End. Its main site is in the Botanic Gardens. The charity is run entirely by volunteers who are engaged in everything from sowing the seed to arranging the flowers into bunches for local sale and donation to vulnerable Glaswegians through various charities. All welcome!
Angela: I’ll be talking about how growing flowers and looking at them contributes massively to mental health and happiness. For me, the allotment is a refuge from a job that can be very noisy and stressful, and helps me to unwind, switch off and recharge…
Ann: ‘Enviroprinting’ – An informal introduction to this magical process. An environmentally sound way of making prints from the leaves, flowers and weeds that surround us, and having FUN!
Roundtable discussion (20:30 – 21:00): ‘Health and Wellbeing’ – Councillor Martha Wardrop (Green Party)
Councillor Wardrop will be around to discuss green health partnerships, green recovery and social prescribing.
Robin and Brian will talk about how they’ve built their huts, and perhaps give you some ideas about how – with enough imagination and creativity – making your own hut is more achievable than you think!
Roundtable discussion (20:30 – 21:00): ‘Social Justice & Community-Building’ – Councillor Kim Long (Green Party) and Alison Phipps (UNESCO Chair Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts)
Councillor Long will be able to answer questions on Green party policy as it relates to community gardening, and Alison will be around to discuss the impact allotments can have on integration into communities.
Where it all began and how Glasgow Potato Day has transformed into THE Glasgow annual gardening event to start the new gardening season.
2022 will be Glasgow Potato Day’s 10th Anniversary! Get a little insight into the world of 50+ potato varieties and the Scottish seed potato market.
The day relies heavily on the enthusiasm and commitment of a great band of volunteers. Come along and hear a bit about what it takes to get the show on the road and why so many volunteers come back to help year after year; can’t be all bad??!!
Roundtable discussion (20:30 – 21:00): Councillor Susan Aitken (SNP – Leader of Glasgow City Council) and Seamus Connolly (Group Manager, Parks Development and Bereavement Services)
Brian has been a keen bird lover for many years and hopes after his talk you all can look at our our feathered friends with more interest and think what you could do to give them a helping hand.
Jane has been interested in wild bees all her life and organises her allotment to help them thrive. She is going the chat about the joy of bumble bees and other bees and what you might be able to do to help them.
Delia and Cat both keep bees; Delia on her plot, and Cat in her garden. They have a fantastic wealth of knowledge between them about keeping perhaps the allotment’s most controversial and misunderstood segment of wildlife!
Roundtable discussion (20:30 – 21:00): ‘Environmental Recovery’ – Gillian Dick (Glasgow City Council) and Abi Mordin (Propagate)
Gillian will be around to discuss her work as the Spatial Planning Manager at Glasgow City Council, and her connection with the Connecting Nature project.
Abi, a friend of GAF from over at Propagate, will be on hand to offer perspectives from the world of nature-friendly food growing.
Urban Roots, a community-led charity in the southside of Glasgow, have recently aquired some new land. Come and join Emma and Liv from Urban Roots for a virtual tour of their new community garden space at The Bowling Green, a public common in Pollokshields.
They’ll talk about the consultative design process, land contamination issues, costs, and onward plans for the site as part of pandemic recovery in our community.
Paul and Jan will share their experiences of growing over the past decade. Whether you’re a new plotholder or old, it’s always interesting to see peer over the hedge to see how other people do it.
In the beginning….
In 2007 Jan and I had been living in a Glasgow tenement for more than 30 years but both had a yearning for growing space – not least through our involvement with environmental campaign groups and global food producers. So when the chance came up to give a hand to a couple of plot-holders who were finding it a struggle to get to grips with their allotment at Hamiltonhill, we jumped at the opportunity.
Hamiltonhill Allotments had closed during 2004-06 following an unfounded contamination scare. However, no-one could remember when Plot 16 had last been cultivated…. so no wonder the plot-holders were finding it a struggle. In the course of the year there were three of us, Jan, me and our old friend Anne Elliot who had taken up the challenge and when our names came up on the waiting list we grasped this chance to consolidate our presence on Plot 16.
Plot 16 was a plot-holder’s dream – or nightmare…. a blank slate for our ideas or a wilderness to thwart our dreams…..!
Roundtable discussion (20:30 – 21:00): ‘Environmental Recovery’ – Councillor Kyle Thornton (Conservatives)
Councillor Thornton will be around to discuss and answer questions on heritage, community-building, and the environment.
Gameli Tordzro of the Ha Orchestra will give us a live performance at 3 (http://www.haorchestra.com/)
Alison Phipps is a plotholder and one of our FebFest roundtable panelists from the evening we had on shed-building. She’ll be performing her mbira, a Zimbabwean instrument, in a video recorded at the plots.
Ruairidh and Serena Whitmarsh’s family has a plot at Kelvinside Allotments. Ruairidh is a composer, and he’ll be debuting a new piece to open our show – Allotment Assortment! His sister Serena is a talented fiddle player, and she’ll be closing it out with a recording of traditional pieces on fiddle, with accompaniment from Neil Wood on the clarsach (a Celtic harp).
The recordings will all be available here afterwards, and on our website at glasgowallotments.org.
Tune in at 3pm for the launch!
NB: Dates for specific themes may change. If you register for an event, we’ll contact you about any updates via the email address you provide.