Everything is in the seed…

Rocky Park Grow-to-sell Project – Day 1

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Rocky ParkTeesdale & Hollybush Tenants and Residents Association (Teesdale & Hollybush TRA) is a several times awarded community group. They have transformed their social and physical environment by creating food growing spaces for their residents and beautifully taking care of their gardens and open green spaces. These achievements have also been recognised by the visits paid by Barbara Windsor and Mayor Boris Johnson, Samantha Cameron, and Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla Parker Bowles.

About a month ago Teesdale & Hollybush TRA asked Salvador (Summerwell’s managing director) to volunteer with them in the design of an urban farming project for one of their sites, Rocky Park.

The aim of Rocky Park “Grow-to-sell” project is to supply local residents with an affordable organic vegetables delivery scheme, from which all profits will be reinvested back into the Tenants and Residents Association.


Picture 1. View from entry point to site

Picture 1. View from entry point to site

Picture 1. View from end point of the site.

Picture 1. View from end point of the site.

The site includes around 40 meters of wall of nearly 2 meters high, with a front growing area of 3 and 1,80 meters wide (Picture 1). The design maximizes growing space by combining vertical and traditional (horizontal) growing methods, with a self-irrigated and self-regulated watering system that requires no electricity.  

Picture 2

Picture 2

The growing methods will combine vertical methods such as hanging baskets (Picture 2), plastic bottle columns (Picture 3), and rain gutters (Picture 4), with traditional methods such as raise beds. The self irrigated system will include the already rain gutters (multi level), dripping (bottle columns and hanging baskets) and an adaptation of La Olla. The watering self-regulation is achieved by installing aquarium water valves at every level.  All being said, none of these ideas were created by Summerwell, this is just the work of researching on-line the work of other resourceful individuals who have made their work freely available on-line. Our only achievement is to understand the potential of all these techniques and combine them in a successful way.

Picture 3

Picture 3

Picture 4

Picture 4

The project is being carried in multiple phases. The first phase took place on Friday, June 28th. A group of 70 volunteers from the financial firm J.P.Morgan joined us in our project. Their support was invaluable, 60 of them help us building 14 raise beds, and the wooden poles that will hold the hanging baskets frame. The other 10 volunteers were also very helpful at another site within Teesdale & Hollybush by caring for the public gardens.

1.The guys built the beds in groups. They had such motivation that they even skipped tea time.

1.The guys built the beds in groups. They had such motivation that they even skipped tea time.

2. We had some light showers but nobody seemed to notice.<br /> All raise beds were set on time.

2. We had some light showers but nobody seemed to notice.
All raise beds were set on time.

3. Everybody had a go with the heavy duty hammer—that was fun!

3. Everybody had a go with the heavy duty hammer—that was fun!

4.The area starts to take the expected shape.

4.The area starts to take the expected shape.

5. To erect the wooden poles became hard work.

5. To erect the wooden poles became hard work.

6. Abracadabra! Thank you very much to all J.P. Morgan volunteers. We could not have done it without you.

6. Abracadabra! Thank you very much to all J.P. Morgan volunteers. We could not have done it without you.

If you would like to know more about

the technical details of each part of the project

don’t hesitate to contact us at home@summerwell.org 😉

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