Tangmere’s community garden produces bumper crops

PEOPLE involved in the Tangmere Community Garden project are hoping for some bumper crops this year after one of the area’s companies offered to fund a polytunnel.

The 36-strong group, led by cookery writer and Tangmere resident Rosemary Moon, have been offered the tunnel by Fontwell-based company Fordingbridge Engineering.

Mrs Moon said it was a ‘wonderful gift’ which would enable the community gardeners to grow a wider range of soft fruits and more exotic produce.

Launched last February on part of the old airfield, the garden is aimed at people of all ages who cannot necessarily commit to their own allotment but still want a slice of the Good Life.

As well as plants and crops, the garden runs a popular pig co-op, where people can share some pigs, while members have also planted an orchard.

Since putting spade to soil, the garden has gone from strength to strength and has been very successful in creating a community spirit.

“There have been two real aims, to grow vegetables and to grow community,” said Mrs Moon.

“Lots of people who didn’t know anybody in the village have been able to meet people.”

An open day was held in October where between 50 and 60 people enjoyed tea and cake and a tour of the site, but unfortunately before Christmas two electrifiers – used to keep the pigs fenced in – were stolen.

Despite the setback, community spirit prevailed. A cookery demonstration event was swiftly organised at Tangmere House with the whole community raising enough money to replace them.

“Even people who don’t come and wield a spade are wishing us well and supporting us in other ways,” said Mrs Moon.

“We were given a wonderful collection of old tools and things and during the winter to keep things going we had a supper club which was good because we got to know each other better.”

She said many people were already looking forward to getting involved this year.

The garden runs three core work times, one weekday morning, one weekday evening and a Saturday morning.

Garden members have just applied to Chichester District Council for planning permission for the polytunnel, and over the next two weeks members will also be planting a number of trees and plants to create an ‘edible hedge’.

Anyone interested in being a member can email rosemary@moonbites.info