So catching up… I have actually managed to establish a growing meadow but have had little time to catch up with this blog. It always seems to be the way with me and blogs.

Installation day was Wednesday 25th July, just over 3 weeks ago. I was away for a week and a half just after installing but was around long enough to see seeds germinate!

It was a fantastic day. Lots of people came and helped, including kids. I ran the day in the format of a volunteer day for a community growing project, ordered the soil and got all the materials and tools ready, put out a call out for volunteers and bought cake!

We had a lot of fun. 2 tonnes of loose top soil turned up and looked like it was going to cover a small corner of the room, so I panicked and ordered another 4 tonnes. We used about 4.5 tonnes in the end.

Here’s some pic’s from the installation day, I have made a slide show but I am not sure how to embed video into this blog so here is link to the video on Instagram:

This project is as much about the process as it is about the outcome. The room full of soil made such an impact it almost doesn’t matter to me how much the meadow establishes, it won’t be massively established by mid September but just having all that soil which is full of life already and potential is really quite something to see in a big sterile white cube.

The installation process also felt like it had an impact on the space, all that walking backwards and forwards, wheeling barrows, raking, sowing, it felt quite important.

A fellow artist documented much of the process for me with photos and videos so I hope to include some of that in the final outcome.

The idea behind this project is largely about connection and community, the process of bringing people together to handle that much soil and create a space for cultivation has felt as important as sowing the seeds and watching them germinate.

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Thanks to Chimney Sheep, a company in the Lake district, I have managed to get this beautiful felt made from 100% wool felted onto jute. The wool is from traditional breeds of local hill farmed sheep, probably far too lovely to be throwing 4 tonnes of soil on top of.

I really appreciate that this company states this felt is biodegradable and lots of thought has been put into the origins of the material and the overall sustainability of the product. I feel with this project sustainability has to be embedded throughout. I need to budget carefully and getting locally sourced mixed wool felt would have been easier and cheaper. It was difficult to find felt matting on this scale that states it is biodegradable and this will guarantee I am not burying a load of plastic in the soil when I eventually establish it outdoors.