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  • Finsbury Park Shul

The Secret Garden...Sssh!

I clearly remember announcing at kiddush "we are going to build a garden!" After the minute silence and the confused looks from the congregation (knowing that we have a small building and no use of a garden), I decided to keep the location of the garden a secret from that moment.

“We will be planting bee friendly plants, growing our own fruit and vegetables” I continued to say and I knew what everyone was thinking – Where? A few may have thought I had too much Kiddush wine that Shabbat.

In February we purchased seed propagating trays, grow lights and a mixture of seeds. We had seeds growing in our small hall. Every Shabbat, people will have a look to see if any of the seeds had germinated but they still were not aware where the garden was going to be.

Cut offs and seeds from vegetables used for our kiddushim salads, were used to propagate – nothing went to waste!

After the seeds germinated and the purchase of some established plants were bought into the shul, we had to open a couple tables and place everything outside in our Sukkah. I then explained that we will creating a vertical garden inside our modest size Sukkah.

We organized a “secret garden” event on March the 13th. This is what we did:

1. We made a Succulent living wall picture frame using cut offs from the Sukkah and wire mesh

2. We planted plants in hanging pots (and the germinated seeds we grew)

3. We created a herb wall

4. We planted Potatoes, Beetroot, garlic, Spring onion, tomatoes, Lettuce, Peppers, Runner beans and strawberries in buckets and in grow bags

5. Pallet wall garden

6. Built an "AirBee'N'Bee for bees using bamboo

We are hoping to harvest the fruit and vegetables and give them to members and to use for kiddushim!

The event was a great success and the vertical garden looks spectacular! We hope in the next few weeks most of the plants will start blooming and we welcome the butterflies and bees to do their thing!

To find out more information about United Synagogue's DOROT project, please click here

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