History of the Community Garden

The Ruskin Park Community Garden was started in May 2010 by founding members Therese Stowell and Mark Hegarty. At the launch party people were invited to plant a seed to take home, listen to vegetable songs by Jane Ruby, eat scrummy cupcakes made by SE5 Forum, and learn about local groups. June 2010 saw the first harvest – spinach, chard, rocket and green beans! We still grow these today along with apples, onions, courgettes, raspberries, edible chrysanthemum, herbs, beans, tomatoes, beets, and potatoes and so much more.

Here are some of our original volunteers building the first of the raised beds – we now have 15 (including wheelchair height containers), a polytunnel, a greenhouse, compost bins, a wildlife area, composting bays, picnic tables, a wormery and even an apiary, home to bees producing delicious Ruskin Park honey.

Much of this has been possible due to our volunteers fundraising efforts – bake sales, grant applications, even raffling off the services of the community gardeners to tidy up the winner’s garden!

The garden has been a great success over the years and as well as the hard work done developing the garden, we have also:

  • regularly contributed a stall to the Ruskin Park Summer Fete.
  • hosted Harvest Feasts at the end of summer – researching recipes and cooking veg from the garden
  • had many a well-deserved picnic on warmer days, and trips to the pub to discuss all things gardening related
  • arranged educational sessions on everything from permaculture to crop rotation and how to build bug hotels.