Harvest supper 2014


Our 2014 harvest basket

Last night, we celebrated our fourthharvest supper. It was a very, very wet night. It had been raining all day. The station garden was drenched and sodden like a sponge when I went over to collect lettuce and the last of the chard.

This year, we actually started harvesting in a surprisingly hot July. We then had very dry soil, a cold August and a very warm (and dry) September. October has been completely unpredictable: sometimes warm, sometimes wet, sometimes stormy, sometimes cold, sometimes sunny. We didn’t have much to harvest by mid-October; it had all been and gone

2014 Harvest 1.7 (1)

Our harvest at the beginning of July 2014 – mustard leaves, courgette, onions, strawberries

It’s not been a great year for fruit. We had virtually nothing on our apples and pears, and our raspberries didn’t like the dry spells. We did, however, get our first harvest of plums from ‘Marjorie’s seedling’ planted in a dustbin – we ate them back in August: they were delicious. Our chard suffered from a leaf miner, and our cavalo nero were invested with caterpillars. We cleared many of the plants back in mid-September. Luckily, the chard and cavalo in my garden had made a come-back by the end of September.

2014 Harvest end Sept

Our harvest mid September – tomatoes, basil, parsley, courgette, runner beans

Our courgettes were fairly good this year, but again didn’t appreciate the dry soil. We took them out at the beginning of September. Runner beans were good until a few weeks ago. We harvested our onions back in July and they have been hanging to dry ever since. What has come to harvest these last couple of weeks has been the tomatoes and our pretty lettuce bed from a sowing in late August. Also from a second sowing, we had beetroot. This year, basil also did well in the greenhouse.

So our menu for last night:

  • Simon and Diane’s borscht (our beetroot).
  • Chris’ wholemeal cheddar and (our) basil bread
  • Insalata tricolore (our lettuce, tomatoes, basil but not our mozzarella)
  • Madeleine’s vegetarian pasties, using our onions
  • Elspeth’s leaf gratin (our chard, onions, cavalo nero in layers with potato, goats cheese and parmesan)
  • Sue’s lemon and raspberry tart (would have used our raspberries)
  • Verbena water ice (our verbena leaves)
  • Selection of cheeses with homemade bread

It was a great evening with wonderful food and company – so good that I completely forgot to take photos. Three and a half years on, the garden is still a lovely focus for friendship and neighbourliness.

2014 Harvest Good produce

This year’s successes – tomatoes, basil and different kinds of lettuce!

Lettuce bed 2014

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Celebrating the mosaic – the tea party

20140822_120130 20140822_114639Watch the video

It’s over a month ago now, but what a fantastic event it was. To celebrate the completion of the underpass mosaic, the ‘A-team’ National Citizen Service volunteers and members of LRSP organised a tea party at London Road Station.

One group of 16 year-olds made cakes – as always with a fruit and vegetable theme -, another group completed the wooden surround for the tree pits, having learned from Chris how to use an electric drill, while another group put finishing touches to the mosaic.

IMG_0768By 3pm we had a perfect café set up in the station building and the mosaic looked impressive. The cakes – raspberry, blackberry and chocolate brownies, lavender shortbread biscuits, orange, carrot and courgette cake, beetroot and chocolate cake and spiced apple cake – all turned out well, despite the apple cake partially exploding in the oven and the beetroot and chocolate cake refusing to emerge from its tin.

Over 30 people turned up for the party: neighbours, friends and parents. Our ward councillor, Mike Jones, was there and talked afterwards about the ‘inspirational and enjoyable event’. He was, he said, ‘delighted’ by the mosaic which was so unexpected. So many people have commented similarly, and we’re told that some station users now deliberately use the underpass.

We really enjoyed hosting the A-team. Some learned to use an electric drill, others used a food processor for the first time, still others learned old fashioned vocabulary from us such as ‘hoe’ and ‘urn’. But most importantly, everybody saw how a creative vision – ambitious but uncertain at the start – could actually be achieved. On the Tuesday, they didn’t think they could bring it off: by the Friday, the mosaic – all 7.5 x 2 metres – was complete. We love it – thank you!

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Press reports on the mosaic

Albion in the Community project 27814 001 (2)Thrilled to see that the Evening Argus has reported on the lovely mosaic project completed by a young volunteer group as part of National Citizen Service run by Albion in the Community.Albion in the Community project 27814 001 (2)

Other partners have also reported on this great project.

Albion in the Community’ s article

Sussex Community Rail Partnership



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Volunteering at LRSP: Day 3

Wednesday was a day filled with hard work and laughter. The mosaic is now incredibly close to completion, and we’re all starting to feel the build up to the event on Friday. The work on the new boarders for the flower beds has begun, and posters for Friday have been produced and laminated.

I’ll be updating again later, with some photos, but for now, enjoy the weather while it lasts and I’ll get back to work!


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Volunteering at LRSP: Day 2

It’s safe to say that even though this is only our second day working at the station, it already feels like a second home (and the tea and coffee kindly provided by Elspeth certainly doesn’t break that illusion!)

Today called for an early start, so we met at the station at 9, and began work almost immediately; yes, today was MOSAIC DAY! As ‘communications officer’ I quickly laminated some posters that I made yesterday, and put them up around the station to inform station-goers of the work that we were doing, and by the time that I arrived in the subway, the mosaic was already well under way.

Someone even decided to comment ON one of our posters

Someone even decided to comment ON one of our posters

With the subway closed, and music softly playing, the morning whirred past in a blur or adhesive, tile cutters and notched trowels, and by the time we staggered our lunch breaks, we had produced better work than, honestly, I thought was possible in the time we had.

WP_20140819_005[1]WP_20140819_013[1] WP_20140819_021[1] 

(To be clear, in the first picture I asked Izzy to pull a silly face)

After lunch, we carried on with the mosaic, altering the design slightly due to the change in the amount of space that we had to cover. However, I think that the block colours at each end of the mural, twisting and fading into the waves of rainbow stripes that we had originally designed give a more pleasing aesthetic, and allow the mosaic seagulls that we’d worked all morning on to really shine.


It’s been a fantastic day, and I can’t wait to continue (and finish!) the mosaic tomorrow!

If you want to keep updated about the work that we’re doing with LRSP and Albion in the Community, keep watching this blog, and you can follow us on twiiter @a_team_7. Thanks for reading- Orla


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Volunteering at LRSP: Day 1

So I’m new to writing for the London Road Station Partnership blog- I guess that’s because this time last week I didn’t really know about the partnership. My name is Orla Byrne, and I’m one of the 12 young volunteers currently working at the station for the duration of this week as part of a summer course that we’ve been participating in- the National Citizen Service- and in partnership with Albion in the Community.

When we got the chance to look at different projects in and around Brighton, and were asked to consider which one we most felt we could contribute to and make successful, the opportunity to paint a mural and revamp the station seemed to jump out of the page. The brief suggested an opportunity for creativity and a real sense of community, and having only been here for a day so far, we’ve not been let down.

Our plan for the week is to create a mosaic mural in the subway at the station, and we feel that this will not only bring vibrancy to the previously drab area of the station, but also that the mural that we have designed will show the strong partnership which has been forged by the two organisations that made this opportunity possible for us- LRSP and Albion in the Community. The design, shown below, ties in the idea of seagulls and the logo of Brighton Albion with imagery of flowers and nature, now found around the station thanks to the work of LRSP, and the multi coloured wave background not only gives a bright and cheerful tone to the piece, but the waves echo an image often associated with Brighton as a city.

Mosaic Design

We arrived at the station today at midday, and set to work, all kitted up in our immensely trendy hi-visibility jackets. Our creative team- Izzy, Alice and Mairead- set to work with our team leader Amie to start transferring the outline of the mural onto the board that had been mounted in the subway, whilst the rest of the group grabbed our hoes and trowels and set to work weeding the station platforms and the area at the front of the station.

The time seemed to fly by, but as we finished our work and were able to admire a clearer and more aesthetically pleasing environment the design had been transferred onto the wall, and we came together to discuss our plans for the Big Mosaic Day- tomorrow!

;;;All set with our volunteer jackets Marie weeding the front Emily weeding the front Matt weeding the platform Jack with a hoe

As well as writing this blog daily for the duration of the project, as part of the external communication role in my team, we’ve set up a twitter account! We’re hoping that this will spread word of the work we are doing, so the local and wider community can be fully aware of what (and why) we are doing, and fully benefit from our project. This also means that people who are invested in our project being a success can watch our work as it progresses and I document it in real time.


is the place to be for updates and pictures of our project as it grows throughout the week, and also if you want to ask the team questions about our project.

So, thanks for reading, and I hope that you follow this project throughout the week, both on twitter and here on the LRSP blog as I write about the work we are doing, as we do it!

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More happening … NCS volunteers make a start

NCS weeding 2A great group of National Citizens Service volunteers started today at London Road Station. The ceramic mural will gradually take shape in the underpass, but today was mostly a day for clearing around the station and getting to grips with hoes (a few giggles here), the large broom, trowels and dustpan and brush. The group are going to write a guest blog for every day of their work here at London Road Station.

NCS with broom 1

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