What goes in stays in sometimes
The Merchant City Festival began on Thursday. For around four days, the square mile or so of Glasgow between George Square and Glasgow Cross is filled with markets, street theatre, music and art.
This Saturday, we enjoyed what must be one of the best days of my life. Part of the festival was the official opening of Sew and Grew Everywhere’s Greyfriars Garden. Just a tiny hop north of Ingram Street, the garden is flanked by building sites, derelict and semi derelict buildings, office blocks, Universities and modern housing developments.
Local residents, with SAGE’s support, have transformed this little corner of city into an oasis of home grown fruit, vegetables and calm. Recycled whisky butts hold gallons of rainwater, and around thirty raised beds of varying size support strawberries, peas, blackcurrants, onions, tatties, a lot of cabbage. Inside greenhouses, courgettes and peppers thrive on the amplified summer sun.
We arrived quite late in the event, and were given three boxes of lettuce to barter with. However everyone was packing up, and we didn’t manage to get rid of them, but did augment them with tatties, a most impressive courgette and mushrooms the like of which I haven’t tasted since I brought massive, flat wild ones home in the summer in Yell.
Greyfriars Garden is the latest of five projects SAGE has supported offering community development and making good use of compromised land. Plans are underway for a project in Partick. Cross your fingers.
Afterwards, we made for the Merchant Square, and caught a brilliant co-production by Dancehouse and the Helensburgh Orchestral Society. We’d only really dipped our toe in the water of a compact but spectacular festival.
Back at the ranch, the spoils were chopped and fried, peeled and boiled and enjoyed. A perfect end to a perfect day, which set us up for yesterday. More of which soon….