A key part of the design process for the Harmony Garden
The Harmony Garden is our beacon Community Garden project.
Since 2021 we have been working in collaboration with B3 Living to transform this neglected, overgrown space from fly-tipped waste ground into an abundant refuge, to grow food and community using pioneering, regenerative practices.
SATURDAY: 10.00 - 14.00
WEDNESDAY: 10.00 - 14.00
Our biggest challenge at the Harmony Garden is the contaminated soil.
Before starting work on planting the Harmony Garden, because of the rubbish that had been dumped here, such as batteries, polystyrene, chemicals etc, we did extensive soil tests.
The tests showed dangerously high levels of lead, and the recommendation was that we should not eat food grown here
We have done extensive research and are working with Soilsmiths to remove the lead from the soil, by using various remediation strategies:
Growing plants that draw up the lead from the soil, eg. sunflowers, amaranth and cabbage
Beneficial micro-organisms can help de-contaminate soil through composting
Mushrooms are the “teeth” of the forest, and will break down polluted plant material into soil
nitrogen-fixing plants and
green manures to add fertility and improve soil health
The Harmony Garden is being designed using the ethics & principles, tools & techniques, of Permaculture.
This has been a gradual and collaborative process, during which we have aimed to make sure that everyone who is engaged and invested in this project is heard.
We have worked with everyone involved to go through the Permaculture Design process.
We have used design surveying tools such as PASTE (Plants, Animals, Structures, Tools, Events) and employed principles like Observe & Interact and Use Small & Slow Solutions.
We held a community visioning exercise to capture everybody's wants and needs, and have drawn up a design in response.
The focus of the design is on a Food Forest, with annual beds and social spaces alongside this in the space.
We have put together a design walkthrough video, which we invite you to watch in order to get a feel for the design.
Community visioning exercise
We have unsafe levels of lead in the soil at the Harmony Garden
View from the front of the Harmony Garden to the North-facing fence
Community visioning exercise
Alongside the gardening, mental wellbeing is one of the pillars of the Harmony Garden.
With a focus on meeting the needs of the wider group, we want the Harmony Garden to be a refuge; a safe space for anyone who needs it.
Gardening itself has countless benefits, but we also aim to provide opportunities for everyone to socialise, enjoy healthy food, and participate in arts and crafts and more.
The Harmony Garden Story
From Neglect to Abundance.
The Harmony Garden has undergone a recent transformation, but we also want to honour the longer history of this area in terms of food growing.
Cheshunt’s glasshouse industry began in 1806, to serve London by way of Covent Garden market, the attraction of the area being that it was within easy horse and cart range of Covent Garden, and that it had an abundant supply of underground water. The main crops were tomatoes and cucumbers, although flowers and house plants were also widely grown. In 1967, a quarter of the country’s glasshouses were in the area.
Bradley is our resident fox.
They are cheeky and can be a pain in the neck, but they are beautiful animals. Although we moan at the digging in our planters, we are always enchanted when we are visited by Bradley.
Here we collect some of the Cultural Capital that we are building in the Harmony Garden
"Cultural capital can only be gathered by a community of people.
Cultural capital describes the shared internal and external processes of a community – the works of art and theater, the songs that every child learns, the ability to come together in celebration of the harvest or for a religious holiday.
Cultural capital cannot be gathered by individuals alone"