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The first practical project by the South of the Tyne Transition Town took place last Sunday – in my front garden. Half a dozen wonderful people came along with gifts of plants and their labour and together we transformed my normal suburban (if rather untidy and weedy) front garden – see photo below

Garden before conversion to food production


We removed the large ornamental shrub in the middle of the small lawn and replaced it with a raised bed (constructed from bits of left over timber from replacing our old fence after it blew down in high winds a while back). We filled it with a mix of home made compost from our very own compost bin and soil from the back garden, which had been moved from one area to another when we had widened the path to the shed and so was kind of raised anyway and could be spared.

We planted some greens that my wonderful veg box delivery man, Chris Malcolm, had brought – he had asked the farm in N Yorkshire where the boxes come from if they could spare some plants and I was expecting small seedlings. Instead I got fully grown brussel sprout, cabbage and red russian kale. Diane who has an allotment brought some onion sets and some potatoes she’d sprouted already, plus a strawberry plant someone had given her. Anna brought a mint plant which we planted in a container as mint can go mad in open ground.

I provided some warming lentil soup (full of lovely veg from my veg box of course), to keep everyone going, though actually we had a lovely mild, sunny day – perfect…

Garden after construction of first raised bed


Of course this is just the start, both for my garden and for the transition town. I want to plant fruit bushes and make another raised bed, and provide more shelter from the wind which whistles up Mowbray Road from the sea – probably with willow fencing combined with live willow that you plant. Small really will be beautiful.

And Diane and Phil are getting a website up and running, more news soon.

Watch this space…..

More info on our transition town from Anna Heyman: her email is


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