Progress Report from Food4Macc - Express Grant, March 2013

Background

Cheshire Community Foundation was kind enough to award Food4Macc a grant of £444.64 in March 2013 for the renovation two plots of land at Station approach Macclesfield. The grant was to cover materials and plants for Food4Macc volunteers to create a fruit and vegetable garden in a highly visible site to promote the benefits of locally grown food.  This document represents an update on progress made and list of items purchased with the grant money.

Progress

The site had to be cleared of rubbish and some perennial shrubs.  Some of the shrubs were passed on to the Macclesfield Guild who used them on other sites in the town.      

The site was cleared in April 2013 and a quantity of well-rotted horse manure was applied.

One of our members designed a layout for the gardens comprising fruit trees and various types of fruit bushes and climbing beans.  A number of lavender plants were also planted to attract pollinating insects and provide additional colour to the site.

These plants and trees were then purchased from local garden centres/nurseries.

In early May 2013, a number of Food4Macc volunteers helped plant out the plants in the prepared site.

Since then, the plants have been watered and the beds weeded and litter removed on a regular basis.  We have had very little vandalism although one blackcurrant bush was pulled up and taken away.  This has been replaced. In June trellising was purchased and fastened to the brick pillars.  A variety of climbing beans were planted which grew up the trellising and along the railings.

Signs were attached to two of the brick pillars providing the public with information about the gardens and Food4Macc and acknowledging the support provided by the Cheshire Community Foundation.

One of the trees is not looking too healthy and one of the gooseberry bushes will probably need replacing and in addition we would like to plant two additional fruit bushes and we will need further fertiliser in the Spring.  We will also probably plant some Spring flowering bulbs over winter.

From the original grant application, we have not needed the two tons of topsoil, seed compost, canes and the litter picker.  We would like to use that money for additional plants and replacements.

The Future

The site has been extremely successful and has drawn compliments from many passers by. Whenever we do any work there, people always stop and ask about the garden and Food4Macc so it is certainly achieving its objectives.  We encourage people to help themselves to the produce and some have been doing that and most people seem to treat the site with great respect.  We do get some littering but no major damage so far.

Food4Macc greatly appreciate the support provided by the Cheshire Community Foundation without whose help this project would not have materialised.

Stuart Potter

On Behalf of Food4Macc