COMMUNITY FOREST GARDEN
Rockaway’s Community Forest Garden is an ongoing project which is a manifestation of our vision to create a magical forest garden built on permaculture principles, that's accessible to all. Not only does it provide a beautiful space for visitors to enjoy, it also acts as an educational resource and wealth of biodiversity that will ultimately benefit the community and environment as a whole.
Seasonal vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers, grown to organic principals, are all ingredients in the Rockaway Cafe's ever-changing menu. Thanks to the amazing Poppie, our volunteer co-ordinator, and the fantastic team of gardeners who volunteer, we're able to provide fresh vegan, organic and
delicious zero miles produce all year round!
Anyone is welcome to wander the different pathways and check out what's going on, or sit on the gorgeous hand-carved bench halfway up the public footpath to admire the views, or get involved by volunteering time or expertise to help us grow - the physical and mental health benefits are many!
Rockaway Garden Documentaries
How it all began...(Stage 1)
For the story of how it all began, plus an update on the garden''s progression, have a look at these two documentaries on our YouTube channel.
Garden Progress Video Update, June 2022
This short garden progress video features an update from Josh, who was our amazing
Head Gardener until August 2022. It shows how the donations we've received are put to great use, as well as success stories with new paths, new steps, beds, crops; plus the beginnings of a native perennial wildflower meadow and improving accessibility.
Rockaway Garden Progress (Stage 2)
Further video updates will be added here as more of our plans manifest in 2023.
So, watch this space...
The Rockaway Community Forest Garden Blog
For garden updates, progress with ideas and projects, plus other interesting snippets, here's our garden blog with Poppie.
Volunteering to help in the Garden
Meet Poppie, who loves the Community Forest Garden, and who does a brilliant job co-ordinating our garden volunteer programme. Poppie started working in the garden as a volunteer herself and is collaborating with the other lovely people who help tend the garden, to come up with new ideas for its continuing development.
Our garden volunteer scheme runs on SATURDAYS and anyone who wants to get stuck in with a wide variety of tasks is welcome to join us! If you would like to volunteer or sign up to a regular volunteer’s email, then please click below. Our volunteers are given a free delicious lunch from the Vegan Cafe as a thank you for all their hard work.
Help Us Grow
To help us grow the forest garden we have a fundraiser and welcome all donations – not just money, but plants, trees, seeds, garden tools or any materials that can be repurposed and reused. We have lots of plans now that we're in Stage 2 of the project which will include:
Creating additional terraced beds to encourage a wider range of pollinators.
Creating 2 ponds for spawning toads to help the local population thrive.
Extending the water irrigation system to the lower part of the garden, using rainwater collected from the Rockaway yard.
Creating more wheelchair-accessible pathways.
Creating and surfacing a level entrance and parking area for visitors with mobility issues to increase accessibility.
Creating community compost bins and a community plant/seed exchange.
Creating an art trail for visitors and school/community groups consisting of sculptures, soundscapes, living works and interactive areas, like chamomile seating in a new herb garden (see more details on this aspect below.)
The first stage of this exciting project has been a fantastic success, thanks to the many wonderful people who donated seeds, plants, trees, tools and money, as well as our fantastic garden volunteers who lovingly care for the garden. Thanks so much to each and every one of you - we really appreciate your help in manifesting this idea into a reality that already brings pleasure to a lot of people.
With this second stage, we aim to engage with even more people beyond our local community and entice more visitors into the garden with increased accessibility, an increase in biodiversity and an expansion of activities and sights that highlights the symbiosis between art and nature.
If you would like to donate any seeds, plants, trees, tools or materials, hit the CONTACT button below. If you'd like to contribute with a bit of money, please head to our GoFundMe page via the DONATE button, where you'll find all the details, including our rewards scheme.
Thank you for helping us grow - we truly appreciate everything people give us, from the smallest seed to the largest tree.
(Reclaim, Recycle, Repurpose to Evolve)
We can't wait to get started on this project to create an arts trail in the Community Forest Garden. As soon as we have some funds through our GoFundMe page, we'll get cracking!
The idea is for artists to create pieces of art to form the trail, based on the theme R-Evolve - the evolution of materials and objects being reclaimed, recycled, repurposed or ethically sourced to create a beautiful sensory experience for people to enjoy. The project theme is based on Rockaway's guiding principles - Creative, Ethical, Sustainable and Inclusive. So, we'll be looking for artists to create work based on their interpretation of our ethos. Once established, future artists can add their work, ensuring the art trail continues to evolve and grow for years to come.
Rockaway Garden Gallery
"Would those who say it can't be done, please stand clear of those doing it"