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  • Rebecca Armstrong

Keep growing / Learn / Experience nature / For all ages … with Organiclea

Dear all

September brings lots of opportunities to connect and learn with Organiclea with workshops, courses, tailored volunteering roles and play! Please read below – something for all ages and we hope it will excite your appetite to participate as the season starts to change! Please share with others and directions to our Hawkwood site at the very end:

‘Get growing over winter’ – Free workshop at August Open day, from 12-1: Sunday 30 August

Running as last-minute opportunity due to several requests from those seeking winter food plants and coming to Open Day for our plant sale. Lots of other goings-on at this Open Day, see and have a day out!

Forest School for 3 – 6 year olds: Thursdays, starting 17 September (for 6 sessions)

Choose the morning group 10.30am-1pm or afternoon group 2- 4.30pm. We are really pleased to offer this extension of our growing ‘Forest School’ sessions. It offers children aged 3-6 an opportunity to explore and enjoy the natural beauty of the Hawkwood site. Children will need to bring a packed lunch or snack for all sessions and be dressed in appropriate clothing, footwear and waterproofs. Parents are requested to remain on site for the duration of the session. £60 (Full price), £50 (Sibling price), £30 (Low income price – limited availablity), £12 (Single session price depending on availability) To book a place or for more information call Tehseen on 07946477091 or email – Note places are going very, very quickly, so contact asap!

City and Guilds Level 1 ‘Practical Horticultural Skills’ (10.30 – 4.30 for 6 sessions): Fridays, starting 2 October

This course is a unique way of achieving an accredited gardening qualification through practical learning. It is designed to build basic and technical skills for anyone who is thinking about working as a gardener or who wants to enhance your food production knowledge for the home environment. You will be studying in a community market garden environment with blend of classroom guided learning and practical tasks. Learning takes place at Organiclea’s Hawkwood site in Chingford. Booking is through Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service (WFALS): 020 8496 2974020 8496 1061. Use course code: HNG 7187-5SA They can advise re fees, income-related discounts, and free places for learners recieving benefits. This course is always fully booked so enquire with interest asap.

Hands-on training at the harvest end of our market gardening work: Tuesdays to start asap

With the season turning, we need more hands! From 11am-4pm on Tuesdays, a small team help the production team harvest produce across Hawkwood ready for our box scheme and restaurant customers. Opportunity involves getting closer to our work as you help with harvesting, weighing, quality control and packing of produce. Harvest hands can expect to take home a small bag of produce every week and be involved in focused gardening activity after the harvesting is completed. We ask for a regular commitment of 3 months to help give you good training in tasks and predict capacity.  If you are interested in joining the Harvest Hands team contact or call 020 8524 4994.

September workshops, free at local Walthamstow libraries in partnerhip with OrganicLea

  1. Growing in Small Spaces – Tuesday 8 September, 11am – 12.30pm, at Wood Street Library (Forest Road)

  2. Planting for Winter – Thursday 11 September, 11am-12.30pm, at Higham Hill Library (North Countess Rd).

Booking for both is at

Hand Built Wind Turbine Course: Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 October, 9am-5pm

Learn how to build and install a Hugh Piggott wind turbine from scratch using basic materials. Learn about on-grid and off-grid electrical systems, and get hands-on experience and learn transferable skills in welding, wood carving, working with magnets and resin. V3 Power is a worker’s cooperative based in Nottingham, which has run courses building Hugh Piggott wind turbines since 2007. The turbine is a robust design that can be easily repaired, maintained and serviced and is an excellent example of appropriate technology. It is used in rural electrification and development projects across the world. The course costs £225. Booking is through V3 Power, or call 07969 783353.

Learn how to find unwanted fruit and how to turn it into juice! Thursdays and Fridays into the Autumn

Every autumn Organiclea are invited into local back gardens to collect unwanted fruit from trees, and to scrump uncollected fruit from street trees. Join this small group of scrumping enthusiasts to harvest fruit from around the borough and to learn how to turn all this delicious unwanted fruit into juice. The scrumping project will run Friday 11th September to Friday 16th October. Fruit picking will take plant on Thursdays and Fridays, with juicing at Hawkwood on Fridays. Volunteers can join for a regular weekly slot or the occasional fruit picking session. Contact Jo to join the scrumping volunteer team, or 0208 524 4994

Yoga and Gong: Saturday 5 September, 10am-2pm

Connect with nature and connect with yourself on this one day workshop led by Organiclea vineyard trainee Ashley and yoga teacher Ali. The workshop offers a unique way of exploring the natural elements of the Hawkwood site and is a fundraiser to help buy a new press for the increasing harvest of grapes. Contribution: £35 early bird, £40 thereafter. Includes tea and lunch. For booking/ payment contact Ali on or 07855402837 Full information about the day at

And to finish… follow this scent:

Certainly won’t be finding basil in our August-September plants for sale for your winter’s garden; but you can whiff its fragrance in the latest musing from Ru, growing at the Hawkwood site. Enjoy at AND here’s just a sniff:

” … Basil’s cultivation may be as old as culture itself. Native to India and the Middle East, it continues to be considered holy in Hindu, Buddhist and Greek Orthodox traditions. Our packing warehouse doesn’t resemble a temple, but there is something transcendental about the incense of basil that pervades the air there on summer harvest days. High on herbs and hope: Paradise on Earth.”

For directions to our Hawkwood site see: Clare Joy ORGANICLEA COMMUNITY GROWERS

Support local food production, get skilled and receive food growing advice,  training and project support

  1. Hawkwood volunteering days Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays  11am-1pm & 2pm-4pm

  2. Hawkwood open day last Sunday of the month   12pm-4pm

Hawkwood Plant Nursery, Chingford E4 7UH Tel: 020 8524 4994

The Hornbeam, 458 Hoe Street, Walthamstow E17 9AH Tel: 020 8558 6880

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