Blenheim Gardens (Edible) Estate: Step 3: Winning Over the Residents

By Bonnie | December 06 2008

Blenheim Gardens (Edible) Estate: Step 3: Winning Over the Residents

Blog Category: General update

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    Just before Vinnie and I made a presentation to the residents and board members at the General meeting I met with John Potter the (repairs and maintenance) Estate Manager and Neville, the Caretaker. Both were very supportive and wanted to see disused, muddy, trodden over borders and beds used for growing food, with the prospect of making new raised beds on the Meadow not meeting with disapproval. With their support all that remained was to get the resident’s permission to go ahead. My estate is run a Residents Management Organisation so all decisions have to me made by the residents, usually just those who turn up to general meetings, and the final word lies with the board, also comprised of residents. Luckily no one had a problem with the idea and all seemed very positive: The attendees agreed: * For me to consult with residents on the estate regarding this project * For the estate office to distributed 440 copies of literature about the project around the estate in November. * For me to utilise areas on the estate to pilot the project. Some residents at the meeting warned that the young ‘hooligans’ of the estate would destroy anything planted. This is not something I think will happen if neighbours are encouraged to be involved in public beds and they are raised a little (to dissuade walking or riding over them) and if the young people are also encouraged to take part. The plan to get young people involved was helped by Vincent Dmytriyev, who runs the Clapham Youth Centre on the corner of the estate. He got in touch and Vinnie and I met him and we agreed the Youth Centre would be a perfect place to start some plants off, with a nursery on their roof. Our growing plans fit well with their existing juniors Green Fingers activities on Monday nights, run by Fiona Clarey who has an allotment on Windmill Allottments, Lyham Road. Shortly after the meeting a Newsletter was sent out to every residence on the estate, in this was something about the project and a questionnaire. Not many people read it as we only got three uestionnaires back, but that’s what happens when your article is sandwiched between soething on the Neighbourhood Watch and something on asbestos in your ceilings…Here is is anyway… Estate Handout.doc And a one page handout about the project…. Blenheim Garden Estate Growing Simple Proposal .doc

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Bonnie