• Greetings all!

Being a baby-boomer I don't do social media - no Facebook, What'sApp, Twitter…

So it's a bit strange starting my first blog, but we thought it would be a good way of keeping BIGgies (those of you interested in BIG) up to speed about what's going at in the Aisha Masjid gardens and also give you ideas on how to do your bit to grow a more sustainable planet.

It's difficult to believe that it is just over a year since we presented a plan to the Committee for the development of the gardens around the mosque into a food-growing community garden. Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic the transformation is incredible and the vision is slowly taking shape:

  • scrubby overgrown beds strangled by ivy and infested with alkanet have been replaced by oak raised beds to grow veg
  • a variety of fruiting climbers (blackberry, grapes, Tayberry, Boysenberry) and fruit trees have been planted along the new fenceline
  • a forest garden has also been planted with a wide variety of useful plants: from climbing kiwis to medlar (makes a great chutney), sweet cicely (gives an aniseed flavour to stewed apple) and quince (beautiful poached with a bit of cardamon).

We want this blog will bring the garden alive by showing you the wonder of plants: the stories they tell, how they underly the whole of human history and feed all our senses and spirits.


Dave Richards

Dave studied geography and social science at Uni and then trained as a teacher. He has been involved in community growing projects since the late 70s - initially with city farms in Bristol and for the past 20 years at Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC). He has been inspired by the RISC roof garden as it has matured into an oasis of edible calm in the town centre and was the inspiration for RISC's Food4families project that has created over 25 school and community gardens all over Reading.

Written on Friday 16 April 2021

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