Mulberry Tree Community Garden
Tottenham Quaker Meeting have created a community garden in their meeting house grounds, bringing people together from across the community and sharing the vegetables.
A group of us have been meeting in the garden at the Quaker meeting house in Tottenham for about a year now. We've called this project the Mulberry Tree Community Garden, named after the famous mulberry tree in the burial ground here.
A mixture of people
We are a mixture of people from all walks of life, and all of the volunteers have precarious living situations in one way or another.
We come together to spend time outside and grow a few vegetables. There's a couple from Kosovo that come every week, they used to live pretty much entirely off the land before they came here, and being able to garden makes them feel closer to that way of life.
Last year we got a 'Bags of Help' grant from Tesco, which I've used to buy raised beds, seeds and pay the bus fares for the volunteers. There are lots of herbs in the garden now, and spinach and root vegetables. We've just planted tomatoes and beans, which I hope will do well in our little greenhouse.
Opportunities for new friendships
The immigration system in the UK is pretty hostile and dehumanising. Many of the people I come into contact with struggle with accessing basic necessities such as food and housing. Some of them now live with me at Martha House in Tottenham, which offers accommodation for destitute migrants. Others are able to take vegetables from the garden here at Tottenham Meeting. This also gives people something to do, and creates opportunities for forming new friendships.I used to study a lot, and although I quite enjoyed it, it was much less satisfying than this. Now I get to hang out with people who have had very different lives from me all the time, and that keeps things interesting.