Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Make walnuts, not war.

Our tree-planting with Pedro Reyes on the 18th was amazing! The Hackney Tree Gang generously donated three hours out of their busy morning to get stuck in and keep an eagle eye on our planting technique. And everyone (including Pedro) helped dig the hole and get our new, 10-foot walnut tree safely planted.
Photo courtesy of Gareth Wilson.
Photo © Mark Blower
Pedro and his Palas Por Pistolas project are both totally inspiring, and it's an honour to have a tree planted in Mabley Green as part of it. AND, he brought one of the spades he made from melted-down guns with him all the way from Mexico, which he's generously donated to us.
Photo © Mark Blower
It's a beautiful object - if you'd like to see it (and even put it to good use on the meadow), come along to our next volunteering day on Saturday November 6th!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Tree planting with The Serpentine Gallery + Pedro Reyes - Friday 15 October

As part of next weekend's Map Marathon, the Serpentine Gallery have invited inspiring Mexican artist Pedro Reyes to London to plant a tree as part of his incredible Palas Por Pistolas project. Pedro saw our meadow online and loved it. So he's chosen Mabley Green as his planting spot!

Palas Por Pistolas is an ongoing project Pedro started in Culiacán, a city in western Mexico with an extraordinarily high rate of gunshot deaths. So to help combat this violence, he held a gun amnesty to encourage local people to hand in their firearms. In total, he collected 1527 weapons (40% of which turned out to be high-powered automatic weapons exclusively for military use), which he melted down and turned into shovels. Now he's using them to plant 1527 trees across the world, and showing all the locations with a Google Map. AND the first and only tree to be planted for the project will be in our very own Mabley Green!

Because we like to keep things local, The Hackney Community Tree Nursery have kindly agreed to give us one of their young saplings - a walnut tree, grown right here in Hackney. So as well as linking our park to a fantastic global artwork, in a few years our new tree will give us a delicious walnut harvest too.

Come help us plant this historic tree!
Pedro and a curator from The Serpentine will be at Mabley Green from 10am on Friday 15 October. So if you'd like to come meet the artist and take part in the planting, come along! We won't be in the meadow itself, but in the main part of Mabley Green - between the overpass and the boulder (see the map below).

Also, our new tree will require special attention until it's properly established - so we'll need lots of people to help out by watering it. If you'd like to get involved, just email mableymeadow@gmail.com and we'll work out a roster (afterall, we don't want to drown it with kindness!).

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Engine gets stuck in.

The nice folk at Engine love our meadow - and we love them right back! Over summer, they turned their offices into a woodland plant nursery for us. Then last week, they came all the way out to Mabley Green to muck in and lend us their green fingers for a day.

We started out by planting seedlings that were raised by the Lea Bank Square gardeners as part of our growing scheme - a long row of Hemp Agrimony for the butterflies and some Foxgloves for the bees.

Then we got digging and made a beetle loggery from tree branches that Hackney Council had kindly collected for us. After lying in the undergrowth for a couple of weeks, the logs were already full of creepy crawlies, so we should have beetles in no time!

Thanks again Engine. You rock!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Roll on spring

The Hackney Wicked Festival has been really gathering steam over the last few years, and the the 2010 festival was the best one yet. Partly because it was much bigger than before, but also because this year, they kindly gave us a stack of Growing Concerns vouchers to buy a huge pile of spring bulbs.

We got two enormous bags of daffodils and two big boxes of purple crocuses, then headed back to the meadow where lots of lovely local people got stuck in and we got them in the ground. We planted hundreds of them! But we saved some too, which we'll when we sow our next batch of wildflower seeds. That way, we'll have beautiful bulbs in spring then as they die back, our spectacular meadow take over for the summer.