Launch of the Courtyard Garden July 2, 2018

 

Photocredit: www.bytombird.com

Tuesday 26 June 2018 saw the official opening of The Courtyard Garden created by Martineau Gardens Volunteers and supported by Jo Malone London. We were joined by Andy Street (CBE Mayor of the West Midlands) who along with Caroline Hutton (Retiring Director)  and Charlotte Nicholson (Jo Malone London) gave speeches before cutting the ribbon.

Guests included Martineau Gardens Volunteers, the Jo Malone London Team and press and influencers who enjoyed afternoon tea by Stones Events, a Jo Malone London pampering Hand & Arm Massage and tours around the new Courtyard Garden.

The Courtyard Garden is the seventh therapeutic garden Jo Malone London has supported across the UK, shining a light on mental health. The gardens are created by individuals suffering from mental health problem and use plants and gardening to improve mental wellbeing.

Find out more about the Courtyard Garden here.



We’re on TV tonight June 29, 2018


We’re delighted to announce that we will be on TV.

Tune in to BBC Gardeners’ World this evening, Friday 29 June, at 8pm, to find out more about their recent visit to Martineau Gardens. The programme will be on I-Player, a link to the episode will be published on our website on Monday.



Closing early Tues 26 June June 25, 2018

Welcome to the Gardens … but please note, on Tues 26 June, we’re closing at 2.30pm for a Private Event.

Apologies for any disappointment, please come and see us again – back open on Wednesday, 10am.



Reusing pots June 25, 2018

As an organisation which values recycling – we’ve been enjoying re-purposing items and saving them from the tip. Stewart (Therapeutic Horticulturist) and the Garden Volunteers have been planting up this week: there’s a cement mixer, a washing machine inner and a dustbin here.



Volunteering Opportunities at Martineau Gardens May 30, 2018

Please come and find out about volunteering opportunities at Martineau Gardens at  the BVSC Volunteer Fair, at Digbeth on Monday 4 June 2018.

We’d especially like to recruit more Visitor Welcome Team volunteers (VWT) to join our current team. Our VWT volunteers get involved with all aspects of welcoming visitors to the Gardens. From making hot drinks and selling plants, to helping out at events – there’s an enormous range of activities you could find yourself doing. We have vacancies for weekday slots and weekend slots – come and talk to us at the Fair about what you’d like to do.

Looking ahead, we’re looking to develop the catering opportunities available at Martineau Gardens – if you have catering experience, please come and talk to us.

Thinking of volunteering but not sure what you want to do, or what opportunities are available? Come along to this event and meet around 40 local charities, all currently looking for volunteers to help them in their work. There’s something for everyone – whether you’re looking to share your current skills and expertise, or whether you want to do something completely different!

An event not to be missed!  How else will you meet more than 40 local charities all in one place?

When and where:

Mon 4 June, 4.30-7.30 pm

BVSC, 138 Digbeth, B5 6DR

No need to book – just pop in.

Find out more.

 



Half-term fun at Martineau Gardens May 29, 2018

Tues 20 May to Fri 1 June 2018

This half-term bring the family to Martineau Gardens – try your hand at PizzaCraft, learn how to cook pizzas outdoors in our Earth Oven, foraging for herbs within the our beautiful community garden. Or, why not find out more about the wildlife that makes its home in the woodland here, with Family Habitat Explorers.

Advance booking essential, click on the links below for ticket information – or call Martineau Gardens on 0121 440 7430 to check latest availability on tickets.

Pizza Craft     Tues 29 May 2pm – 4pm   or Wed 30 May 2pm – 4pm

Family Habitat Explorers    Thurs 31 May 10am, or Thurs 31 May 1.30pm,  or Fri 1 June 10am or Fri 1 June 1.30pm

 



Director announcement May 16, 2018

Pictured here, staff of Martineau Gardens at the entrance of the woodland. Gill Milburn, receiving the keys from Caroline Hutton.

In our twenty-first year as a community garden, we bid farewell to Caroline Hutton (Director at Martineau Gardens for 17 years) and welcome Gill Milburn. Gill joined Martineau Gardens and became our Director in April 2018.

At the end of her first month, Gill said: “I’ve been in post just a month, I’ve been  getting to know staff, volunteers and Friends through various activities from planting perennials around the new pond to minor engineering around the washbasins, with plenty of meetings, conferences and conversations in between.  My introduction to this organisation has shown to me the warmth and affection people hold for Martineau Gardens.  I’m looking forward to contributing to the sustainability and enjoyment of the Gardens.”

Gill got to know Birmingham  through her job as a Gambling Commissioner, and moved to the city in 2009. During her eight year term on the audit committee  and the remuneration committee, Gill was involved with overseeing implementing the Gambling Act, corporate governance, regulatory compliance and enforcement and stakeholder management. For the last eight years, Gill has worked in the charity sector for mental health and with older people.

Caroline is retiring; she is working on special projects until the end of June 2018. Caroline says: “After 17 years, I’m stepping down. Thanks to all the tremendous support I received from volunteers, trustees and colleagues.”



Closed 16 and 17 May for resurfacing works May 14, 2018

Martineau Gardens (including the children’s play area) will be closed on Wed 16 and Thursday 17 May for resurfacing works. For plant sales and compost, call back on Friday!

Apologies for any disapointment – but come back and visit us at the Spring Event this weekend, Sunday 20 May 2018 (11am – 3pm) – click here for more details

Find out more about the progress on our new Courtyard Garden here.

 



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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