Vegetable garden
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Vegetable Garden Report

On the grounds of Stannard Hall, Mace’s largest residency, the residents decided 7 years ago under the initiative of Alan Watson to put the grounds to good use by growing vegetables. Gradually over the years this project has been developing to the point it has become a successful and impressive achievement.

Mace held on the Seventh of September of this year an event to celebrate the formal opening of the garden and to appreciate the achievements and spread the news of the vegetable growers.

The event began at round about 4pm and by then at least 50 people had gathered. Some were members of the coop whilst others were from the public.

We had the former Mayor of Lambeth, Saleha Jaffer, officially opening the gardens. She was very pleased with the transformation of the property and the community spirit behind the vegetable garden. She promised to sell the success story of Mace to her colleagues in Lambeth Council.

Two other members of the Greater London Authority Assembly that attended were:

Sian Berry and Florence Eshalomi.

Sian Berry is Chair of the Housing Committee of the Greater London Authority. She is also a councillor in Camden. She promised to assist Mace in promoting its works in the Greater London Authority and in Camden. She believes that Mace has a lot to offer to other co-ops, and thus is throwing her support to our activities.

Florence Eshalomi is a member of the Transport Committee of the Greater London Authority. Although she was on maternity leave, she honoured Mace’s invitation by attending with her young baby in a pram. She claimed to be a local girl who grew up in Lambeth and participated in community building activities, including promoting the virtues of co-operative housing. She thought that Co-ops were a dying breed until she attended the Vegetable Garden Event. Her perception about the Co-ops has changed and she will work with Mace for greater things for the community.

After the opening ceremony, Mr Dennis Fanfair, the vegetable grower team leader, with his assistants gave us a tour of the gardens and we were shown the wide range of vegetables grown. It was impressive: cabbages, tomatoes, chillies, cucumbers, broccoli,  maize corn, aubergines you name it and you would find them there. Furthermore, there were some whose names I had never even heard of before. Not only was the range impressive but also the fact that all the vegetables were grown from seed. Initially they had been in a green house and as the weather improved they had been moved to the Stannard Hall gardens. Growing from seed is an extremely demanding task and therefore their achievements are worth of merit.

We then spent sometime socialising whilst having a buffet.

At the end of the event, all the invited quests went away with bags full of different types of organically grown vegetables produced by Mace members at Stannard Hall.

A warm thanks to MACE staff for making such event such a memorable occasion.