Update - Lewes Priory Community Medieval Kitchen Garden Project

Lewes Priory's Community Medieval Garden project is forging ahead. We are excited and really encouraged by the level of interest and enthusiasm for the project. Below is some information on what we have done so far, what we are doing now and what is planned in the coming months. 

What we have done: 

The project is, at heart, a community one and volunteers have been already been responsible for shaping the initial idea,  planning, preparing the site and building the raised beds. The beds are now filled and turf laid around the site.

What we are doing now:

  • We are currently busy planning what to grow in the beds. Seeds have been bought, some are germinating, and others are waiting to be planted. If you are knowledgeable about seed growing or are willing to take a few seeds and have a go at germinating them that would be really helpful. You can email the Project Coordinator [email protected]  if you are interested. 
  • We are developing our knowledge of medieval foodstuffs, diet and gardening. If you have a particular interest in medieval plants, herbs, food or history please get in touch. If you are a teacher or educator and are interested in seed growing in schools or in your institution then we would love to hear from you. 
  • We are trying to spread the word about our garden throughout the community. If you work with community groups who you think would be interested in coming to work in our garden please let us know.  
  • Kate Hickmott and Helen Chiasson are developing educational resources specifically related to the kitchen garden that will be used by schools and community groups for sessions both on and off site. They offer bespoke learning resources tailored to the particular requirements of individual schools so do contact the Project Co-ordinator at [email protected]  you would like to know more. There is some funding from the project for this so there would be no cost to the school. 

What is planned for the future:

In March the wattle fencing and gates will be constructed by Dominic Parrette of Sussex Willow and the site will be enclosed.  

At the end of March. St Pancras School will be on site planting peas they have been growing from seed with Kate and Helen. 

Saturday 22nd April 2017 10.30-13.00 approx 

This will be the first community gardening session. PLEASE DO COME ALONG  This is for everyone interested in working in the garden, either occasionally on a regular basis and for anyone who is interested in finding out more. 

Workshops, talks and activities planned for the morning:

  • Setting out the ethos of the garden through  principles of organic gardening
  • Discussion of  planting plans for the raised beds and the creation of a list of ideas and suggestions
  • A run-through through guidelines to keep us safe and healthy whilst working on site 
  • A talk and possible workshop on composting in our garden.
  • Planting out seedlings and veg from pots
  • Sowing seeds directly on site
  • Constructing a medieval turf bench. 
  • Planting seeds workshop with Vivienne Macey

Saturday 24th June 2017 10am-4pm

This is our official launch day and a celebration and thank you to all those who have helped to make the project happen. It will be a community event

Planned workshops and activities for the day: 

  • Wattle making workshops with Dominic Parrette.
  • Medieval food and cookery workshop with Kate Hickmott and Helen Chiasson
  • Making compostable garden pots out of newspaper with Kate Hickmott and Helen Chiasson
  • Havesting herbs, making ointments and infused oils with Julia Behrens - Medical Herbalist
  • Using plants for dyeing textiles with Martin Pett
  • Community gardening talk by Sally Stratton from Strawberry Hill
  • Others to be arranged.

Regular gardening sessions are initially planned to take place on Thursday afternoons from 2-4pm from 27th April. The number and timings of community sessions will depend on interest and availability of the volunteers.

Thank you for your interest. It's so exciting to have so much support and we can't wait to get gardening on site. 

Tracy Anderson

Project co-ordinator

Lewes Priory Medieval Kitchen Garden Project.