8. Grow Your Own
Sustainable communities, grow your own vegetables and plants, foraging, live a healthy lifestyle.
We invited you to make a mandala from local produce or things you have grown yourself. Plant seeds for the future and share your dreams for a world that is changing. We can make it better.
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Grow Your Own Mandala, Purfleet-on-Thames
The final installation of this year’s T100 Calling festival, Purfleet-on-Thames’ Grow Your Own! This brilliant, large-scale mandala was made from locally grown produce to create a beautiful masterpiece, focusing on the theme of food sustainability within communities.
Heavenly Greens Fruit and Veg and local community groups worked hard to bring this installation together, not forgetting our partnership with developers, PCRL .
Thank you to artists Sofie Layton, Winnie Nyamu, Gemma White.
Zyle Mills from Heavenly Fruit and Veg talks about his participation in the T100 Calling Festival and the ‘Grow Your Own’ Mandala created at High House Production Park in Purfleet-on-Thames.
Zyle Mills, from Heavenly Fruit and Veg, and local MP Jackie Doyle-Price chat about the Grow Your Own Mandala at the finale of T100 Calling at High House Production Park in Purfleet-on-Thames.
Film and photos by Mike Johnston
Aerial photography thanks to Unique Imaging
Grow Your Own Mandala by Therese Muskus
This colourful Grow Your Own Mandala was made in Scotland by Therese Muskus. Glad to see that the travel restrictions that prevented Therese from attending T100 Calling as a visiting artist didn’t stop creativity!
Grow Your Own Mandala by Marion Robertson
Therese has inspired and encouraged me in making Mandalas. Here is the one I made myself for my birthday
Grow Your Own Mandala by Winnie Nyamu
Created from different types of seeds to reflecting the onset of the planting season.
Grow Your Own Mandalas by Alexandra Godfree Flemmings
Whilst making this mandala I was thinking about the challenges, joys, responsibilities and rewards of growth. That sometimes the things we plant grow quickly and profusely. Some take a long time to develop, but are worth the wait. Others don’t develop at all, but that’s all part of the process of life. Sometimes we need to be quite proactive as gardeners, at other times all we need to do is ensure the conditions are there for plants to flourish.
It made me think about what ‘seeds’ I’m planting when raising my children, and what I can help to cultivate in my community, both in the short and longer term.
Jamaican food mandala. Plantain, sweet potato, yam and okra. Sourced locally, even if not grown in Thurrock!
Grow Your Own Mandala by Melvin Ndebele
Our plants are still young However, we tried to use all of the plants we have growing in our back garden and in the allotment. By September they will have grown. Are there any gardening opportunities in Thurrock? Maybe we should focus on schools that grow in Purfleet?
Grow Your Own Mandala by Margaret Hall
Some seed heads from my garden. This mandala includes seed heads from nicandra, sometimes known as shoo-fly. It pops up in my garden from time to time and can grow to an impressive size in a short space of time. I view it as a ‘free gift’ and have passed the seeds on to friends.
It made me think about the way in which one opportunity can be passed on and shared so that others can benefit from it. Generally I think that gardeners are a generous lot and like to share what they have with others.
Grow Your Own Mandala by Sally Chinea
I have never been much of a gardener, never really had the time and have probably taken it for granted in the past, but now being alone in lockdown and a need to be busy, has given me the push to sort out a few areas I had planned for some time ! This begun with sorting and disposing of the contents of 3 sheds, lots of contents put out for others to take!
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Eventually I had a cleared space, and this area destined to be my dye garden, and grow my own area. I purchased seeds online and whilst waiting with anticipation, I planted slices of tomatoes!! And they grew!! Eventually new seeds arrived and I beginning a whole a new journey.
My seeds became my nurture project, daily monitoring and feeding and watching them grow- I was amazed! I had so many new plants, I could share with others! The corner is full again, but more positive with peas, beans, raspberries, strawberries etc. as well as woad, madder, indigo – for the next adventures.
I have even started a compost area. All has been a real learning curve, but empowering and exciting
Grow Your Own Mandala by Gemmer Ager
I have grown up watching my Dad grow his own vegetables. He’s always been very proud, I’d often moan at dinner time- each time we sat down to eat our dinner my Dad would have to list all the vegetables, from our plate, that he had grown himself. We couldn’t start until he’d done this. When I moved in to my own house, many years later, my dad suggested that I dedicate a part of my garden to a vegetable patch. So under his supervision I have grown more and more vegetables each year.
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The first few years just consisted of potatoes and tomatoes. Like my dad I loved sharing the things I’d grown, each year I have tried new vegetables. This year has been my best yet, with my father- in – law shielding for the pandemic, he has planted a whole range of vegetables in his green houses. Once these seeds started to sprout he donated a lot to me and my daughters for our vegetable patch. 2 different varieties of tomatoes, runner bean, strawberries, mange tout, cucumbers, courgettes, jalapeno peppers and aubergines.
My little girls also love helping themselves to the gooseberries and black currants- even if they are too sharp at the moment, they will still give them a try. I know now why my dad took so much pride in watching his children enjoy the fruit of his labour. I’m hoping for a bumper crop this year, like I’ve had in previous years, which means that I can share what I grow with the neighbours in my cul- de- sac and also deliver fresh vegetables to the friends I know appreciate them.
I love the gardening aspect of growing your own vegetables, the digging and weeding keeps me fit and gets me out in the fresh air. We’ve been so lucky with the sunshine through March, April and May this year. I also love how my children understand the science behind vegetables and can watch their garden produce organic foods for them to try, hopefully giving them a healthy relationship with food too!
Grow Your Own Mandala by Judith Winter
I chose to represent grow your own because I wanted to try something new in lockdown, I haven’t really tried growing anything before, so wanted to try sunflowers. I really love the brightness of sunflowers – they make me feel happy and positive, and I felt like I needed that in lockdown.
I was thinking about how natural world is resilient, hardy and beautiful. There is so much hope in the natural world and that is something that I think needs to be replicated in our world. I am going to try and continue to keep the sunflowers growing, and use the seeds from this years flowers to grow more next year, as a reminder.
Grow Your Own Mandalas by Hazel Huber
I always grow tomatoes, usually from my own dried seeds. This year in lockdown I read about planting tomato slices 👍👍it worked! Covered with compost & placed in a warm window. As the seedlings came through I pricked them out into paper cups. The plants are now in my garden, flowers showing.
I put boxes of tomato plants on my drive for people to help themselves .. they did. All my immediate neighbours are growing tomatoes this year … encouraged to grow your own by you know who! Therese.
Grow your own – broad beans! My father’s favourite vegetable & mine too! Last year’s beans. I soaked them overnight & planted them out. Early April, the weather was great for being outside. All the uncertainty & shocking news coming out of Italy re this virus. I felt very fortunate to have my garden & seasonal jobs to get on with.
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I thought forward to May & enjoyed making the seed mandala. All shops closed but I had sufficient cups & recycled containers to pot on the young seedling. I have planted some in & around the garden & some in my new raised beds made from pallets collected from the local streets!
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Thurrock 100 would like to extend a huge thank you to its funders and delivery partners.