MUSLIM WOMEN'S COLLECTIVE
Supporting and empowering the women's voice in Tower Hamlets...
Since 2012 the Muslim Women’s Collective has been running a gardening project which has taken place at the allotment site on the Berner Estate, the Linc Community Centre garden in Bow, and most recently in collaboration with Stepney City Farm.
The project is funded by Tower Hamlets Mainstream Grant, the Muslim Women’s Collective and a film that traced some of our activities in 2013 was funded by the Canary Wharf Group plc.
Our aim with the garden project has been to encourage women and their families to socialise, improve their self-esteem and build confidence through gardening and shared activities, and to encourage women and their children to work together on managing their allotment sites and gardens.
In 2013 together with volunteers from Deutsche Bank and the support of Tower Hamlets Homes, we cleared some of the more overgrown allotment sites. Some of the existing beds were raised to make access to the ground easier for some of the older residents and a communal area was cleared. This area was dug over; plenty of manure worked in and planted with ornamental plants and flowers which two of the estate’s younger residents then maintained through regular watering.
We also held a composting masterclass in which Joanna Morris of Veolia Environmental Services introduced the 35-strong audience to the delights of wormeries, and a hanging basket making masterclass with the finished baskets being displayed on the pergola in the communal area.
Nine local women have been attending regular sessions at Stepney City Farm learning techniques and new skills, such as sowing seeds, planting out, planning a garden space, making compost and in September they will be learning about crop rotation and companion planting.