Futerra’s Green Refurb II: The FuterracePosted by cathy in blog March 15, 2012
Futerra is lucky enough to have its own roof terrace at No.4 – the Futerrace. Following our Space Plan from my post Futerra’s Green Refurb I, we know this is an important area for Futerrans. In this post, I’ll be talking about our Futerrace garden, last year’s successes and what the year ahead holds.
We had a good start to our rooftop garden last year. With spring coming on, it’s the perfect time to think about where we want to go next (as well as plant the new season crops!). This weekend there is a London-wide project called the Capital Growth Big Dig. The Futerrace is a Capital Growth Space and, seeing as it’s also Climate Week, this is the perfect opportunity to get our hands dirty – starting tomorrow with an hour’s seed planting on the roof.
The Futerrace has limited space available but we make the best of what we’ve got by growing everything in containers. Last year we started our garden off by creating planters out of old pallets from the local market. Having picked up some broken ones off the street (much to the amusement of the marketeers) and after an afternoon of DIY, we soon had a couple of handy (if rather rustic) planters to house the oncoming season’s veg.
Of course there are plenty of options when looking for containers. In fact, you can pretty much grow something in anything that will hold a bit of soil. Old packing crates, wine barrels and scaffold boards all work well, even welly boots or rowing boats. Whatever you can get your hands on!
This spring we’re looking up and will be expanding on our growth space by attempting a vertical pallet garden.
Last year we sourced the bulk of our compost from Freightliners Farm. It’s a City farm in Islington and is almost as local as we could get for sourcing compost. Freightliners Farm is also a charity and does some great work, providing training and recreation facilities for the local community.
This year however, we are going even more local for our compost. In fact, we’re trying to keep things in house by making use of Futerra’s own waste management system: a green composter and a worm farm.
Our composphere takes all the woody and green bits from last season’s plants, while the worm farm takes care of our kitchen scraps and provides us with compost, nutrient rich worm cast and worm tea for watering. This means we have no need to buy in any external fertilisers.
At the moment, we rely on water from the house to irrigate our plants, but ideally we’d make better use of rain. We’re looking into the most efficient methods of harvesting rain water and, in turn, reducing our reliance on London supply. Currently we are looking into waterbutts (not literally), so watch this space for more information.
It really is a lot easier than you think to get growing, regardless of what space you have available- even a windowsill will do. You could also get involved with your local community and grow together. Why not start today by volunteering this weekend for the Big Dig?
If you have any thoughts about what’s next for the Futerrace, whether you’re a Futerran or from further afield, please share them in the comments. And if you are a Futerran, I look forward to seeing you on the roof at 1pm sharpish tomorrow!
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March 15, 2012
Those gentlemen look like they know as much about gardening as I do about crochet…
March 15, 2012
I love the Futerrace & look forward to us eventually having one in the New York office too!