Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Creating a Community Garden 5

I am chronicling the creation of a Community Garden on an area of derelict land (an abandoned play-area) between Sir Ivor Place and Nightingale Place in Dinas Powys.

Since the previous post, there has been a clearance day, the garden has been officially named, and contractors have started work on the site.

To recap, the project was initiated by Elizabeth Millard (Chairperson of the Dinas Powys Residents Group) and Councillor Keith Hatton, and is supported by Creative Rural Communities (through their Community Foodie project) with Rob McGhee being the Rural Regeneration Officer involved. Most of the funding for the project has come from Tidy Towns Wales.

On Saturday 10 Dec 2012, a group of volunteers assembled to do some clearing up. This provided the first opportunity for hands-on work at the Community Garden, as the land has now been officially leased by the Vale of Glamorgan Council to the Dinas Powys Residents Association (for an initial period of ten years). Here is a photo of some of those who took part.

At a meeting on Monday 7 January at Youldon House a name was agreed: Nightingale Community Garden. A number of details were discussed, at this and at a subsequent meeting on Monday 21 January, including plot size, site security and plot holder agreements. In addition to being an area were the community can grow its own food, the garden will include a recreational area with seating.
Merry Metcalf and Giles Metcalf, between them, have designing a logo for Nightingale Community Garden, conducted an information mail-drop to local residents, established a Facebook page and an email address for the project (see below), and helped adapt an existing Plot Holder Agreement (tabled by Rob at a meeting) for discussion.
On Monday 21 January, Acorn tree surgeons removed trees from part of the site. The logs and wood chips will be used in the garden; for instance, some of the larger logs will be used for benches.
Gerald Davies, the main contractor, arrived on site for the first time on Tuesday 22 January. They knocked down a wall to allow access to the site (the wall will be rebuilt) and today (23 Jan) started to erect fencing. This stage of the project will take about four weeks and will also involve the breaking up and removal of hard-core and rubber surfaces, the laying of paths, marking out plots and building deep beds, and the arrival of topsoil and compost.
There will be an opening day in the spring (further information to follow). I’ll post again soon, with more photos, as Nightingale Community Garden takes shape.

Nightingale Community Garden on Facebook:!/groups/nightingalecommunitygarden/


Previous posts:

Oct 2012

Aug 2012

Feb 2012

Jan 2012

Friday, 11 January 2013

North Canton

We are in Canton, Cardiff, beside the statue of Billy the Seal in Victoria Park.  From the north-eastern edge of Victoria Park, start walking along Romilly Road West.  We will be walking down Clive Road, past the One Mile Bakery, and through Thompson’s Park.

On your left at the junction of Romilly Road West and Clive Road:

One Stop
95 Clive Road CF5 1GL (2022 9725)
One Stop Stores are a chain of ‘corner shops’ owned by Tesco. This one opened in 2010. The site was previously occupied by an off-licence.

At the junction, turn right and walk down Clive Road in a southerly direction. On your right:

63 Clive Road CF5 1HH (2034 3087)
This Coffee Shop on the corner with Ethel Street is, not surprisingly, renowned for its waffles.  It usually serves breakfast, baguettes, soups and cakes, in addition to sweet and savoury waffles.  Manager Victoria Morgan is sister to Pat Morgan, member of Welsh band Datblygu who were formed 30 years ago. An exhibition of band memorabilia is currently on display in the café.

Further down, on your left:

John’s Fish Bar
54 Clive Road CF5 1HH
“Cod almighty”, it proclaims in the window, "Fresh haddock in the Valley". The database lists 43 fish and chip shops in Cardiff, but not this one. Thanks to Rhys, who commented below, I now know why!

The Duke of Clarence
48 Clive Road CF5 1HJ (2037 8033)
Brains-owned pub built in Victorian times and refurbished in 2003. notes that it won a Community Pub of the Year award in 2004 and a Family Pub of the Year award in 2005. This lively locals’ pub serves classic pub food, has a carvery for roast dinners on Sunday, and incorporates the D.C. Coffee Shop. There’s a skittle alley/function room and a beer garden out back.

If you continue down Clive Road you’ll be back on Cowbridge Road East, near the Zero Plus Fish Bar. Turn around; back at the junction with Romilly Road West and Romilly Road go straight across. Walk up a slight hill, take a right into Syr David’s Avenue.

Walk along to the end of this road and enter Thompson’s Park. You will have walked past the One Mile Bakery, a bread subscription scheme operated by Elisabeth Mahoney from her home (it’s not a shop, so don’t disturb her).

One Mile Bakery
Syr David's Avenue CF5 1GH
The One Mile Bakery is so named because it delivers bread, soup and preserves to addresses within a one-mile radius of Elisabeth Mahoney’s kitchen (i.e., Canton, Pontcanna and Llandaff). Everything is made in her kitchen using seasonal produce and traditionally-milled organic flour. It is a bread subscription service, so customers pay in advance. Prices range from £11 a month (including mid-week delivery) for classic loaves, to £25.50 a month for a package that includes sourdough bread, soup and preserves. She used to deliver everything herself, but this is now done by Harry, who lives around the corner, on his new bicycle.

Elisabeth currently bakes around 50 loaves a week, which she says is about ideal for her size of operation. The subscription scheme currently has a waiting list. Sourdough loaves are varied through the month, with the addition of seeds, nuts and fruit. The soup comes in large compostable containers; this week’s soup was carrot, ginger and clementine juice (there is usually a meat or vegetarian option). I can personally vouch for the blueberry and lime jam, which I am enjoying on a slice of wholemeal sourdough as I write this. It’s marmalade-making time soon.

Elisabeth also runs baking and cookery classes in her kitchen (Google the bakery’s website for further information). On the day I visited (10 Jan), the Food Hygiene Rating inspector had visited One Mile Bakery for the first time.

It is appropriate that a new bakery is operating on the edge of Thompson’s Park. This park was once a private garden belonging to the Thompson family, who owned Spiller & Co - one of the largest flour milling companies in Britain. The family presented the park to the City of Cardiff in 1924.

You will have entered the upper part of Thompson’s Park (St David’s Field) from the end of Syr David's Avenue. Follow the path down into the lower ornamental garden. Here, you’ll find a Green Man carving and, in the centre of a pond, a bronze statue of a boy holding a butterfly (a copy of John Goscombe John’s ‘Joyance’).

Exit the park at the nearby gates to Romilly Road (park currently closes 4pm).

Almost opposite is Radnor Road, down which, on the corner with Pembroke Road:

Pembroke Mini Market
82 Pembroke Road CF5 1QP
Convenience Food store.

Back on Romilly Road:

Llanover Arts Centre
Romilly Road CF5 1FH (2063 1144)
Llanover Hall is a thriving Arts Centre, with pottery and art studios, a theatre, and galleries. It has a first floor café, serving coffee, snacks and lunches on weekdays. Louise makes great soups when she’s in the kitchen. The café is a focal point of the building, for relaxing and socialising between classes. A brand-new kitchen was installed last year, after a poor inspection rating. I regularly do life drawing, portraiture and pottery here.

Previously, on the walking tour:

Cowbridge Road East 3

Cowbridge Road East 2

Cowbridge Road East 1

Bute Park

Cathays Park

Cathays Terrace

Salisbury Road

Woodville Road

Crwys Road

Wellfield Road

Albany Road

City Road