Welcome to the Boot Up! Project

Welcome to Boot Up! Outdoor Learning with Falmouth Forest School

Friday, 18 December 2009

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

A few moments of exploring

3 of us there today. A new friend (making a fantastic composter)
Discussion about changing winters in Finland, polar bears, distance from nature, community, and a collaborative profound belief in this project.

2 try to decide what to do today. Do we do or make or be?
Decided to explore. Time to feel the place. See what's happening, what else is there, how do we fit in? Or are we in already? Working together...
The manicured versus the wild
The structured versus the freedom of nature.

The edges of our land- no man's land in a way: occupied by rabbits, robins, insects, so many plants, so much other.
But it is not really 'other'; it is us too. Rabbit droppings in the strimmed grass. Robins in poly tunnels, wasp buzzing about looking to hibernate. Them and us? watching each other? or is it just us watching them? Do they have a sense of otherness? Or is that just us?

Time to explore becomes as equally productive as pruning.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

digging companion

I'm digging the far end of the polytunnel starting at the edge that runs alongside 'windfall' path on the outside discovering brambles that have crept in and rooted themselves deeply into the rich, moist soil. I've spotted a robin spotting me. Sure enough, as soon as I'm taking a break he is in and recovering worms that I've unearthed. Now he's perched on the sprinkler pipe, singing.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Amusing time lapse

This is a short time lapse taken on Sunday at Tall Trees allotment! If anyone would like to see the high res version of it and all of the pics of November please get in touch (hannahatkinsonphotography@hotmail.co.uk) for a look. In the meantime, enjoy this...it makes me smile!!

All images and moving images are copyright to Hannah Atkinson of Boot Up!

Sketch from a stormy day (a while ago)

Ley line

Allotment Plotting

A day of our own ley-line lying in the late autumnal sun and showers.
Relating my boot measurement to yours...
How many paces make a plot?
The plotting looks different on paper, in measurement to when marked out in reality. A reminder that the place always leads the action there and how we work with/in it. That is at the heart of this project.

A beautiful calm and silly much needed day.Thanks team x

Friday, 20 November 2009

Very Berry

best of autumn colour

Tall Trees

20th November and after a week of storms and high winds, peace, warmth and calm descends on the garden. The warm autumn sun makes the place sing. Over at the Tall Trees Allotment site things are really coming on. The first strim has been done and reduced the waist high grass to a manageable level and the first signs of a series of compost bins are appearing. And we have at least another allotment pitch now the brambles have gone from 'Brambly Corner' - which isn't any more! 

Above the traffic noise you can here the birds singing in the trees. A bird of prey circles ahead spying his supper, he dives. Robin comes and sits on the fence keeping company. Worms for supper. 

Never Alone

It's amazing how even though you think you are alone at the garden you never really are. Today a bright colourful moth fluttered down and rested near me. Basking in the autumn sunshine he was beautiful and a true companion.

Going Potty!

Obsessive. That's what it is! retrieving and sorting flower pots into stacks. 
Up at 'Flowerpots' am keen to get all the unused pots out from under the brambles so that we can get on with moving the damaged polytunnel and digging the new allotments. 

This has led to obsessive behaviour, sorting them into sizes, styles, colours, shapes, which ones fit inside other ones and make a neat stack...........
Started thinking about flower pots.... how are they graded? capacity, size, pint, litre???? Remember it is by inches (or centimeters) Can still hear Percy Thrower's voice on Gardeners' World saying ' pot it up in a 4" pot'! Keep thinking about what kind of plants grow in what kind of pot? The tall black ones, climbing plants-clematis, creepers...the short dumpy ones, heathers and perennials - I wonder what ever grows in the bright orange ones?? There are blue ones and red ones, green ones and a yellow one, black ones and grey ones, terracotta colour but no real clay ones....thousands of the things!

These ones  - there are literally thousands - from tiny ones (one seed) to massive ones ( huge trees) backbreaking work. They are buried in tall brambles as deep and as high as the ones on Rapunzel's tower. Arms are scratched and gloves are torn. 

Cup of tea?

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


Colour in the garden. The Raspberry is our first and only fruit! (apart from apples galore that is). In the pouring rain of a November day seeing this jewel shining in the magnifying raindrops made me stop and think about colour. How important it is. The bright red pierced the green of the surrounding garden, the red symbolising the colours of autumn and the lost days of summer. These late autumn fruiting plants are such a welcome sight. It tasted of sunshine and rain, of sweet and sour, of success and failure. Can one single fruit really be all these things? 

bigger plan

small trees, groundplan and tortoise gardening?

So far weather is good so I've paced out allotment spaces and drawn up a roughly-to-scale plan. One notable point is that mid-morning this time of year the upper plots are in full shade and the lower plots are in full sun.

just been cutting back brambles at entrance to 'tunnel', found a self-seeded baby apple tree and also liberated its parent. Thinking whilst working about the pace of my pruning and remembering the story of 'the hare and the tortoise' as well as gardeners of old who knew nothing of power tools...

kettles boiled and just discovered Earl grey leaf tea and strainer for making it - thank you whoever brought it. I will reciprocate with ground coffee and filters.

... back to musings about 'tortoise gardening' and our project's non-competitive ethos. My feeling is that this attitude will be equally significant as the physical environment itself for the young people coming here.

I brought a baby oak tree from my garden at home and planted it in a pot of earth that seemed to be waiting for it in the polytunnel HQ, feel free to re-plant wherever. Also, spotted this self-sown miniature garden in a grow bag.

I've positioned dustbin outside by pump-house to harvest rainwater that is due later this week. Tempted to dig inside polytunnel but decided this is a task for during Friday's storm.

1.30pm and the sun/shade situation is as it was at 11am in allotment areas. I wonder how different it will be in summer?

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Rain and rain again

Thursday. wet and stormy November day. Sat in the polytunnel HQ having a few cuppas and a good ol' chat. Lots of plans made and sensible discussions about what is going where and how. All very exciting, making plans. The torrential rain hammering on the polytunnel roof made talking almost impossible. It reminded us NOT to build a tin roof on our education building when we make it!

Weather worsened, left alone in the garden it felt strangely calm despite the wind howling through the trees. Tall Trees creaked and groaned and the boughs squeaked together eerily in the high winds. The sound of dripping water coursing down the edges of the tunnel, the noise of winer rain.

Thinking time, time to revise exactly where we are with the project and how we should proceed. Much work needs to be done, when do we decide when the site is safe enough for young people to start working there? When do we start planting things? Could we start with a few young people and then work upwards from there after christmas? Too many work based thoughts!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

can the garden be the artist?

As someone who has moved on from traditional art processes and into dialogical participatory process I am surprising myself with thoughts I'm having about the materials we are uncovering here. For instance, these squares of mesh could be used by a group of kids to make woven objects and this tray is perfect for felt-making. Perhaps what's happening is that the site itself is offering suggestions for art?

returned from whence it came

I delivered two jars of chutney to out landlord and his mate on my way to the garden today. Paperwork strewn around the polytunnel this morning is evidence of today's windy weather. Now I have an empty basket and having spent some time sorting plant pots I'm going to see what else I can find to make into winter supplies. I did spot a mushroom in our 'favourite place' but I'm not confident about edible fungi so left it.

windfall to chutney

Collected windfalls on Monday and by bedtime they were transformed into chutney.

still catching up first visit

first visit photo catch-up

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Misty beauty

Beautiful. The late afternoon sun skimmed the top of the trees sending the browning leaves into a golden shimmer across the garden. As we cleared the area in front of Poly1, the sun began to get lower and lower in the sky. The garden grew cooler, and more tranquil. 

Silence, the noise of the outside world stopped for just a minute. A light mist began to form on the Bonfire field next door, blanketing the Earth. It began to creep across the field encompassing everything that it touched, including us. The mist danced slowly, entering the Boot Up! Garden through the holly archway, as we slowly moved around replacing tools and equipment to their rightful homes. The mist made its way all through the garden, into tall trees, admiral, favourite space, and finally Boot Up! HQ. It was time for us to leave, darkness, cold and mist had all set in. I shall never forget the calmness within the garden on that evening, just so lovely and beautiful.
Here are a few images I captured... enjoy...

Winter sky
Le Vin!
Vine leaf
Intwined vine
Browning oak
Green oak
Mist setting in
Under the Holly Arch

...& again
Lovely reflections on the greenhouse
Favourite place
Golden trees over the back of the garden

All images are copyright of Hannah Atkinson of Boot Up!