Lyneham Commons is officially open! On Saturday 22 August we planted the first trees and celebrated the beginnings of the transformation of a disused and neglected space into a place where people can grow, learn and share food and knowledge. This marks culmination of two years of planning and negotiation, and many hours of hard work undertaken by volunteers. It was a very proud day.
Commoner Anne-Marie Delahunt kicked off proceedings by speaking briefly about the principles Lyneham Commons is built on and the vision for the future of the food forest. You can read her speech here. We then heard from Minister Shane Rattenbury, to whom we are very grateful for his help in getting this project off the ground. He then joined Lyneham Commons founder Alison Stewart to plant the very first tree for the food forest: a white mulberry! This was under the guidance of tree guru extraordinaire Matt Kilby. Matt gave us all a tutorial in tree care, which you can watch along with Anne-Marie and Shane’s speeches, and more events of the day, in the video below. You can also learn more about tree care on Matt’s webpage www.globallandrepair.com.au.
After the opening speeches we enjoyed a brief morning tea before getting started on the work for the day. Students from the three local schools helped plant more trees.
Others made seed bombs- a gorgeous mix of seeds, compost and soil bundled up in a clay shell. These can then be thrown into a bare patch of land (or buried, as we did on site), where the seeds will germinate. Our seed bombs will grow nitrogen fixing plants which will help improve the soil around the trees where they are planted.
A dedicated group of volunteers got to work finishing off the mulching in the lower corner of the site.
We shared a delightful picnic lunch.
All in all it was a wonderful day and we are all proud as punch to see Lyneham Commons open!