Thursday, 14 July 2011

Let's make a mushroom farm!

The poster says it all! But just as a recap, if you'd like to learn how to turn wanted logs into a tasty treat, come to the meadow on Sunday 31 July from 1pm -4pm and help make our very own mushroom farm. We'll be filling logs with shiitake and oyster mushroom spores, so next spring, we can come back and harvest a fungi feast.

Our adventure in fungus is being supported by the nice folks at muf.

Friday, 8 July 2011

More blooms!

They just keep on coming!

Homes for our feathered friends

Hot off the heels of the ants post comes more good news for Mabley Green's birds. Thanks to the RSPB, muf and the amazing woodworking skills of the kids at Gainsborough Primary School, we now have a set of locally made bird boxes, built especially for the birds in our area. There are three boxes now gracing the trees of Mabley Meadow - one at the front by the road, and more two further back. The boxes are a fantastic addition to the meadow so let's hope the birds agree.

All three boxes were hung with tender loving care, and probably in the most ridiculous, foolhardy way possible. So while the pictures below are kind of entertaining, it's probably best not to use them as a guide if you're going to do this yourself.

Getting antsy

To the untrained eye, this may look like a mound to dirt in some grass. But it's actually something pretty amazing - a thriving ant hill in the meadow (but on the far, far side away from the houses, so Eastway residents, you have nothing to fear).

When the grass was being regularly mown, this healthy colony wouldn't have stood a chance. But thanks to the meadow, insects are starting to thrive in the area. Although ants aren't everyone's cup of tea, they're a tasty treat for birds. So having more of them around means it won't be long before our feathered friends start setting up homes in the area. So that's great news - even for those of us firmly in the anti-ant camp. Stay tuned for bird song in 2012...

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Summer blooms

Spring was pretty amazing. But summer is shaping up to be totally spectacular as the lush purples of the Phacelia and deep blues of Cornflowers give way to the vibrant yellows of California Poppies. And we're just getting started!

Blue poppies from Abbey Gardens

Abbey Gardens had their summer fair a few weeks back, and while their plant stall was a roaring success, there were still a few pots left over. So artist a good friend of Abbey Gardens, Nina Pope, donated some of their blue poppy seedlings to us.

As well as being a green-fingered friend of Mabley Meadow, Nina is also running The Floating Cinema, which will be lighting up the canals around East London over the next few months. Check out the programme here.

And if you want to check up on our new poppy plants, they're currently putting down their roots in between the logs in the beetle habitat. If they flower this year, they'll look a bit like this - so keep your eyes peeled.

Thanks for the soap carving workshop Gary!

The weather may have been thundery and wet, but Gary March's soap carving workshop was brilliant. And as we were safe and dry below the flyover, it gave everyone plenty of time to settle in and get creative. Gary will be our very own artist in residence in August too when he sets up his studio below the flyover to carve benches for the meadow. So stop by and say hi, and if you ask nicely, he might even let you have a go!

As well as thanking Gary, a big thank you goes out to muf for organising and funding this fantastic event.

Then after the rain and thunder, the sun came out - so it was the perfect day for our flowers too!