Nut Tree Planting, Apple Press and building momentum

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It’s taken a little while to get around to writing this post, but I thought we should have something on the site to say that the first phase of the Palmer Park edible planting took place on Saturday 3rd March with a number of Sweet Chestnut and Walnut trees beingplanted around the stadium by TTR members and some very friendly locals with a little help from the BTCV.

We’d been in talks with the Reading Borough Council parks department about carrying out edible planting projects for a while, so it was great to see tangible results.

The planting was “crowdfunded” by donations from TTR members and from local groups wanting to promote local food and community in the area, such as the Newtown Globe. Many thanks to everyone who donated their time and money to make it possible, and to Alan Stevens and Charlotte Selvey from the BTCV who lead the planting on the day and covered us in the warm glow of their insurance (not to mention providing much needed tea and biscuits). Thanks also go to Oonagh Kelleher for help with planning and risk assessment.

The planting got us a little publicity in Get Reading…..

Edible planting project brings trees to Palmer Park

….which has allowed us to raise our profile a bit and generated a little interest in TTR in the community.

As per the Get Reading story, the council have awarded TTR the funds to buy a community apple press and scratter for us to use at events and which we will lend out to local groups and residents. As well as allowing local people to make use of local food resources, the press and scratter can be a good publicity tool, and should provide a trickle of income to help fund our projects in the future.

I think that TTR will get more membership and be more effective in fostering sustainable communities if we can build and maintain momentum with our activities and publicity (be it through local media or word of mouth). Tree planting projects and the apple press can allow TTR to start building up a calendar of events that we can operate over the year to maintain that momentum.

The apple press will get most use in the Autumn when apples are being harvested.

Tree Planting is largely a Winter activity.

Spring lends itself to activities around growing annual vegetables.

Summer is the time where most of the outdoor events and festivals happen, so can be a chance for us to reach out to people and publicise events from the other 3 seasons, and focus on activities which aren’t so restricted by the seasons (e.g. craft & recycling, energy, insulation).

I think the challenge for TTR is to work together to organise and run those year-round activities and events without burning ourselves out.

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