Portsmouth Life

Eldon Mini Farm

I’ve recently become involved with a really exciting project at Uni which I’ve been meaning to write about for quite a while!

It’s called the Eldon Mini Farm. Based out of – you guessed it – Eldon building! It all started back in September at probably the only Green Society meeting I have ever been able to attend. A third year suggested setting up a ‘mini farm’ on the roof as a way to produce healthy, cheap food and benefit the inner city eco-system.

Six months later, after a lot of health and safety quibbles and a few location compromises, we are now officially set up in the courtyard. Well, there are at least two tonnes of soil there now, so I’d like to see someone try and move us on again!

It’s been a long but fun process of tearing apart old wooden pallets and building new planters. Something worth mentioning is that it is NOT as easy as it looks. Any romantic ideas you might have of building a shed or an ‘ideal space’ out of discarded or broken pallets will soon disintegrate when you try and pull one of the buggers apart. They are built to last. But after a lot of combined body weight and splinters, we finally have four planters!

Which people painted for us at a little market we held before Easter to get more people involved. As well as painting, there was lots of free cake, people could make their own smoothies with a bicycle powered blender, and also – most importantly – plant seeds!

About a month later and most of those seeds are now proper little plants! When you add them to all the chickpea plants I’ve mentioned before, about 100 tomato plants, some budding potatoes and much more, it seems we have quite the little farm going on!

The market we held was funded by the NUS and covered by a whole host of media outlets including Solent News and the University itself. Including a cheeky shout-out to my chickpea seedling which way back then were our only actual green things.

Everything has grown so much already!

Screenshot 2017-04-26 17.31.02 (3)Screenshot 2017-04-26 17.30.47 (3)Watch this space for further updates or go to the garden’s blog: https://izzieclay.wixsite.com/eldonminifarm/home

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