Wildlife update February 28, 2018

Bird box cleaning

As custodians of this precious green space, close to Birmingham city centre and surrounded by urban sprawl, we take our role in looking after the wildlife who visit here seriously. In recognition of the variety of species who visit, the wildlife area is designated a SLINC (a site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation). Pictured here, our volunteer wildlife surveyors, Andrew Curran and Brian Perry, are running annual checks on our bird boxes— the nesting boxes are cleaned, once they are no longer in use, to reduce the risk of parasites infesting young birds in the nesting season. Thanks to the generosity of a Friend, who has supplied us with a regular delivery of bird seed for a number of years, the birds at Martineau Gardens are fed throughout the year. They enjoy a wild bird seed containing black sunflower, red millet, white millet, canary seed, naked oats, rape seed and wheat.

Find out more about the birds at Martineau Gardens here

 



February -cooking with artichokes February 5, 2018

Fork to Fork – a blog about cooking and gardening inspired by what’s in season at Martineau Gardens.

Written and photographed by one of our volunteers, alias Sam Spade the Digging Detective.

It’s February and I’m in love….with Jerusalem artichokes

 This week we have been digging up and cooking Jerusalem artichokes. No need to peel, just give them a good scrub and away you go.

Recipe :1 Jerusalem Artichoke and Toasted Almond Soup 

Recipe from Abel and Cole : the Veg Box Companion, by Keith Abel  (a marvellous book)

Ingredients: 

1 tbsp of butter and 1tbsp olive oil, 1 large onion or 5 – 6 shallots, 8- 10 largish artichokes scrubbed and thinly sliced, 2 Garlic cloves finely chopped, a splash of sherry, Marsala or Apple juice, 4 tbsp hazelnuts or almonds toasted and roughly ground, A few sprigs of thyme, leaves only, 600ml chicken or veg stock, warmed, A drizzle of cream to serve…recipe says optional..but for the team it was a must

Method:

Pop butter and oil into heavy bottomed pot and place over a medium heat. When the butter foams add onion, sizzle slowly until golden. Add Jerusalem artichokes and garlic. Cover. Turn heat down and sweat until really soft. Stir often. Top tip when I made the soup I sweated the artichokes until they were very broken down, I wonder if that added to the intense flavour. Pour in the liquid…booze or juice add the nuts and let it sizzle. Add the thyme and stock. Blitz. Pass through a sieve for that smooth consistency. Check the seasoning and serve with the cream.

Recipe: 2 Jerusalem Artichokes in Cheese Batter

I came across a recipe whilst researching Artichokes, I haven’t tried it out on the team yet. It is taken from a war time book by Marguerite Patten: We’ll Eat Again, Economical Recipes. Serves four.

Ingredients:

1 lb artichokes, seasoning, 6 oz plain flour, 2 x eggs, ½ pint of milk, 2 – 3 oz grated cheese

Method

Scrub and boil artichokes in salted water until tender. Peel and cut in thick slices.  Make the batter and add the cheese. Oil in the oven until sizzling. Add the batter then the Artichokes and cook for approx. 25 mins.

Recipe: 3 Artichokes with Cracked Wheat

Finally a recipe from our volunteer Hayat Hewitt, a marvellous Lebanese cook with her own way of doing things so no measurements with this one, but give it a go. A little experimenting never hurt anyone.

Ingredients: 

1 x onion, 1 x cup of cracked wheat, stock, cinnamon, seasoning, tomato puree, 4 or 5 artichokes, mushrooms

Method:

Fry the onion until soft, then add the cracked wheat and the chopped mushrooms. Stir until coated with oil. Add tomato puree and stock, simmer until cooked. Roast or boil the artichokes and add them to the cooked cracked wheat, serve with salad and yoghurt.

Note from our Director, these vegetables come with an ‘F’ rating – some people can be affected by them, they can give you a good bit of wind.

Freshly grown artichokes are on sale from the sales area * at Martineau Gardens (£3 per kilo).  (*Subject to availability, please give us a ring first to check supplies on 0121 440 7430 if you’re making a specific journey to buy them.)

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Gifts and festive cards in support of Martineau Gardens November 22, 2017

Buy an unusual gift or a festive card from Martineau Gardens, with the knowledge that your purchase is supporting our charity.

Martineau Gardens gift membership

For the person who has everything … why not buy then a year’s membership to our Friends scheme? They’ll receive our newsletter, quarterly, by post and free entry to Autumn and Spring events. An A5 folded gift-card illustrated with images of Martineau Gardens is included for you to present, there’s an explanation of how the donation is supporting the work of Martineau Gardens and space for you to write your own message. Call 0121 440 7430 to purchase using a credit or debit card, or pop into Reception next time you visit.

£20

Beekeeping Course gift voucher

A place on our one-day introductory course on Beekeeping, choose from Sat 12 or Sat 19 May 2018. You can find out more about the course here.  Call 0121 440 7430 to purchase using a credit or debit card, or pop into Reception next time you visit.

£50

 

Earth Oven Baking Course gift voucher

Perfect gift for a foodie-fan who loves cooking outdoors.  Taught by Lizzy Bean, includes how to cook with fire, plus  mouth watering recipes to try out and eat. Recipient will be able to choose from one of five monthly dates. (Includes a gift-card for you to present.) Call 0121 440 7430 to purchase using a credit or debit card, or pop into Reception next time you visit.

£50

Two designs of the Gardens in winter, priced at £1.20 each or 5 for £5, packaged in cellophane wrappers and includes envelopes. Call into Reception at Martineau Gardens to purchase.

£5 for five, or £1.20 each

 



LoveBrum and our Vegetable Beds November 8, 2017

Have you seen the film about our vegetable beds?  

Vote at LoveBrum for us to receive £2,000 from Monday 20 until midday Friday 24 November 2017.

LoveBrum kindly made a video for us to explain how the £2,000 will be used, watch the film above and see Miranda beside the Vegetable Beds:

The vegetable beds at Martineau Gardens are one of the first things that visitors see on entering the Gardens, looked after by Miranda Kingston (Therapeutic Horticulturalist) and our Garden Volunteers (including young people from special schools)  – they’re a fantastic educational resource for the school children who visit the Gardens regularly, not to mention our visitors who enjoying being able to buy  seasonal produce fresh from the growing site.

It’s time to get the vegetable bed structures replaced.

The current vegetable beds’ boards and pegs are falling apart – the earth is spilling out and they are becoming a trip hazard. It’s becoming more difficult for people with poor mobility to visit and work on this area of our gardens. Help us improve disabled access to the vegetable beds so everyone can enjoy them.

LoveBrum, the charity that supports Birmingham-based projects delivering change, have selected Martineau Gardens as one of three potential ’causes’ to benefit from their monthly grant allocation of £2,000. We could be the beneficiaries, but we need your help!

Save the date and vote for us!

Please save the date:  Monday 20 November  – would you please go to the LoveBrum website here: www.lovebrum.org.uk/vote and vote for us.

You can vote up until midday Friday 24 November.

You’ll need to select Martineau Gardens from the three causes, enter your name and e-mail address to vote as a non-member (look out for a verification email in your email in-box and then click the verification link to confirm your vote).

 

About LoveBrum:

LoveBrum is a Birmingham charity that engages with and supports local people and businesses to build an even better Birmingham. In their own words: “We support local, Birmingham-based projects that are delivering real, tangible change and making our beautiful city even better. It is our members that vote on which projects we support. We celebrate all that is good within Brum, and want to restore some civic pride. Brum, let’s do this!”

Gallery:

Summer days – the vegetable beds and seasonal produce on sale at the Autumn Event:

 



A new chapter begins … a new Director November 6, 2017

2017 has been the year we have celebrated 20 years of Community Gardening, dedicated a building to former patron Mollie Martineau and begun the refurbishment of the Pavilion. This is also the year that we begin the recruitment process for a successor to Caroline Hutton, Director of Martineau Gardens. Caroline is retiring, in Spring 2018.

If this is of interest to you, or somebody you know, you can access the application pack, by clicking here: 

Deadline: Friday 10 November 2017, 5pm



Temporary closure in November – Pavilion Update November 5, 2017

Martineau Gardens will be closed for a week from Monday 20 November, re-opening on Monday 27 November – read on to find out more.

Refurbishing the Pavilion

Creating a bigger space within the Pavilion will improve the welcome for so many of our visitors. There will be warm, dry classroom space for school children on educational visits; a bigger space for the groups who hire the Gardens for training courses and a more welcoming room for people hosting parties.

Check back here regularly for updates on our progress. To find out what we have achieved so far, click here.

Please donate

Please donate to transform this crumbling building into a bigger space that’s warm and dry in winter, light and airy in summer.

Online donations: www. localgiving.org/charity/martineau-gardens 

Telephone: 0121 440 7430 to make a card payment

Post: Post a cheque (made payable to Martineau Gardens) to Martineau Gardens, 27 Priory Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B5 7UG

… or pop into see us with cash. It all counts, and if you’re a UK tax payer, we can claim the Gift Aid making your gift worth a further 25p per £1 you donate.

 



Pavilion Appeal Finale October 12, 2017

Midnight tonight …

Our Pavilion Refurbishment Appeal has just a few hours left to run, at Midnight tonight, on-line donations will close. Since Friday, a further £1,200 has been donated. We’re elated to witness the response. Thank you so much to all who have been sharing our film, the appeal page and donating. It’s worth it.

 Please  share our film and donate page here 

If you haven’t yet, please donate, this building is for you too.

Remember, if you’re a UK tax payer, we can claim the Gift Aid making your gift worth a further 25p per £1 you donate. £10 becomes £12.50, £100 becomes £125

Or you can post a cheque (payable to ‘Martineau Gardens’), telephone the Gardens on 0121 440 7430 to make a card payment or pop into see us with cash.

Like to watch it one more time?



Pavilion Refurbishment Update – final week October 10, 2017

It’s the final push!

We have but 2 days remaining of our month-long crowdfunding appeal to raise funds to refurbish the Martineau Gardens’ Pavilion. Refurbishing this much-loved building means Martineau Gardens can continue to be the place where people, plants and wildlife meet.

We’re tremendously pleased with the response so far, by day 17 we had reached 47% of our target.but we need to ask you if you can continue to share the message so that we can reach even more people. Please share our film and donate page: localgiving.org/appeal/martineaugardenspavilion/

If you haven’t yet donated, would you consider it please?

Buy a Martineau Gardens t-shirt
Or you can post a cheque (payble to ‘Martineau Gardens’), telephone the Gardens on 0121 440 7430 to make a card payment or pop into see us with cash. It all counts. And if you’re a UK tax payer, we can claim the Gift Aid making your gift worth a further 25p per £1 you donate.

What’s happening next?

We’ve already reported on the completion of Phase 1 of the refurbishments; Phase 2 is booked to start in November. We do have enough funds for work to commence, but more donations will enable us to fulfil all that we want to do.  The Gardens will stay open during the renovations, but there may be a little more noise than usual, with access to some areas restricted. We’ll do our best to keep you informed, via the website.

Last chance to donate is midnight, Thurs 12 October.
Let’s transform the Pavilion from a crumbling building into a warm, dry space that can help keep Martineau Gardens free to enter.


What’s On October Half Term and Halloween October 4, 2017

Earth Oven Baking, Wildlife Activities, Day of the Dead and Halloween Storytelling

The nights are drawing in, and  it’s tempting to spend more time indoors but come and enjoy Autumn outdoors at Martineau Gardens this October with a range of activities.

Lizzy Bean (course tutor) stoking the fire

Sat 21 October, Baking in an Earth Oven Course, Martineau Gardens 10am – 3pm   Just in time for the bonfire season, come and learn how to bake outdoors on a wood-fired earth oven, in Martineau Gardens very own outdoor kitchen. Click here for more details and booking info. £40, advance booking essential.

Autumn Half-Term Family Fun, Martineau Gardens, 10am – 12noon on Tues 24 October and Thurs 26 October       Come and have some autumn and Halloween themed fun this October half term. Ideal for finding out more about the wildlife at Martineau Gardens with plenty of fun and play along the way. Click here for more details and booking info, £5 per child, advance booking essential.

A celebratory altar will be created in the glass house

Sat 28 October, Day of the Dead Celebrations, Martineau Gardens

Join us for these special festivities. Members of the Mexican Community in the Midlands are running a ‘Day of the Dead’ activity here at Martineau Gardens to share the tradition with you. Visit the altar that will be set up at Martineau Gardens,  keeping one of Mexico’s most ancient traditions alive. Children’s Sugar Skull 30 min workshops, £3, booking in advance essential. click here for more information  

 


Tues 31 October, Halloween Story Night, Martineau Gardens 6 – 9pm with the Trad Arts Team   A rare opportunity to enjoy Martineau Gardens at night, in the company of storytellers from the Traditional Arts Team. Click here for more details and booking info, £5 per adult, £2 per child, advance booking recommended.

Scarlet Elf Cap credit: A Curran

And of course Martineau Gardens is open everyday (except Sunday), from 10 and until 4pm – entry is free (unless there is a special event on).

Stay in touch with our news and events: Click here to join our News & Events mailing list – we’ll email you once a month with News from the Gardens.
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Pavilion Appeal Reaches Halfway September 29, 2017

Week 3: The Martineau Gardens Pavilion Refurbishment Appeal

In just 17 days, we’ve raised half our target – this is TREMENDOUS! Please keep the momentum going: spread the word, encourage people to view our film and donate here:  martineau-gardens.org.uk/2017/09/pavilion-refurbishment-appeal/

If you haven’t yet donated, you can post a cheque (payble to ‘Martineau Gardens’), telephone the Gardens to make a card payment or pop into see us with cash. It all counts.If you’re a UK tax payer, we can claim the Gift Aid making your gift worth a further25p per £1 you donate.

Media Release: Issued Fri 29 September

In just 17 days, Martineau Gardens, the community garden and charity, in Edgbaston has reached the half-way point in its crowdfunding appeal to refurbish its Pavilion, with £19,518.75 donated to date. The Pavilion refurbishment work will transform a crumbling building into a warm, dry space that can be used by school groups, training courses and people holding celebrations.

Phase one of the refurbishment has already been completed (replacing the roof and external paintwork applied). The funds raised through the current appeal will be spent on knocking through walls to create more space, fitting a kitchen to better serve refreshments, insulating walls with sheep’s wool, fitting secondary glazing and a wood stove.

As well as simply providing a warm, dry roof overhead, the Pavilion refurbished, becomes a  bigger, brighter space where the Gardens can extend its current Education Visits service by teaching more Birmingham children about nature. More businesses and community organisations can hold events and meetings and the public can hire the building for family parties and celebrations. This income will contribute towards keeping Martineau Gardens free to enter.

Caroline Hutton, Director of Martineau Gardens said:

“Care of the environment and the natural world, getting children in touch with nature, promoting positive mental health through gardening and all its pleasures, growing and eating healthy food is at the heart of what we do. Refurbishing the Pavilion will help to create an additional income that will enable Martineau Gardens to continue doing these things.”

The Gardens are inviting would-be supporters to view a one minute film which explains the Appeal and to donate, via this weblink: https://localgiving.org/appeal/martineaugardenspavilion/