Thank you

Container emptied, ready to make a tool-rack

Container emptied, ready to make a tool-rack

A big thank you to David from plot holders and volunteers at Marlpit Community Garden for sorting out a system for hanging up the gardening tools!

David, measuring-up

David, measuring-up

We have been struggling to move in the container, let alone to find the tools we need.
These photos, taken on Tuesday, 22nd March, show the transformation he has made, using a couple of trestle tables as a makeshift work bench.

David, fixing hooks for hanging tools

David, fixing hooks for hanging tools

What a great job!The completed tool-rack

The completed tool-rack

The completed tool-rack

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N-ewesletter Number 1


Audrey and Urban

I would like to introduce you all to Madam Audrey Meadows and Sir Urban Acres. They are two Ryeland Sheep and are very cute and friendly once they get to know you. Yesterday (Thursday) their friend, Lady Angelica Lambsbury arrived at Marlpit Community Garden. She is a Bluefaced Leicester-cross sheep, and quite a character.
Lora has raised Angelica from a lamb, having been brought to her work as an orphan. But of course she needed a flock to live with as Lora needed to move her closer to home, which is where Audrey and Urban come in.



We love the idea of them grazing locally on land that was farm land for so many years, especially on a chemical-free field.
Both Angelica and Audrey are one-year old Shearlings (young females) and Urban is a two-year old wether (castrated male), so no plans for any lambs this year.
It is our hope that they will be useful members of the community by providing a natural lawn-mowing service for the Marlpit Community Garden, as well as a beautiful addition to the scenery for passers-by.
We both have years of animal care experience, Lora’s background is in Farming and Krista is currently studying Animal Science and Welfare at the UEA.

There are a few do’s and don’ts in regards to these sheep which we ask that people kindly adhere to:
Please Do

  • Approach them and enjoy them, they are friendly and, Angelica especially, will come and say hello.
  • Wash your hands after touching them, especially before eating or drinking.
  • Keep an eye out for any obvious injuries with the animals or issues with their pen/security.

Please Don’t

  • Feed them, they have fresh grass in abundance and we provide the correct fresh hay, fresh straw, fresh water and treats for them daily.
  • Climb in to, lean on or remove any part of their pen

Any concerns or queries you may have regarding the sheep you can contact us at or come and talk to us.
In an emergency please contact 07827 921344 or 07473 110903


Lora, Urban and Audrey

Lora, Urban and Audrey

Urban and Audrey

Audrey and Urban

Lora and Audrey

Lora and Audrey

Mark meeting Audrey

Mark meeting Audrey

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As a member of SLI, you are eligible to benefit by buying ethically sourced, organic, fair-trade food, Suma websitedrinks and cleaning products from SUMA. Normally, we make one order every month and our order is delivered to a single address – at the moment our office.

To know more about SUMA and the range of products available, please follow this picture-link. →

If you are interested in joining the group or would like more information, please contact me. Any products you buy through our group are 30% cheaper than the retail price.

Mahesh Pant

SLI membership card - obverseSustainable Living Initiative
Marlpit Community Centre
Hellesdon Road
Norwich NR6 5EG.
Tel: 01603 920570
Mob: 07969996646
Registered Charity Number 1154190

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Newsletter Number 12 – 11th March 2016

Upcoming events

THIS WEEKEND – Saturday/Sunday 12th/13th March One Planet event at Norwich Forum
Saturday 19th March Learning at Marlpit Community Garden
Growing in March and news from the Seeds and Plants Team at Bluebell

Recent events

Sunday 6th March Tools and Sheds Day and Food-Share Sunday at Bluebell
Sunday 28th February Skill-sharing at Bluebell
Saturday 27th February Marlpit Community Centre Indian Cookery


One Planet – Norwich – 12/13 March 2016

One Planet Norwich held an event at The Atrium from 10am-4pm on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 March.

We were there talking to people about GO2 and Sustainable Living Initiative‘s projects at Bluebell South and Marlpit Community Garden. Several of us took shifts on both days and were kept busy answering enquiries about2016-03-13 15.11.16 plots and training courses.

Click here to see photos forum-norwich

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Growing Information for March

General Tasks

Continue digging, cover bare grounds with compost or cardboard.
Mulch around the base soft-fruit using compost or dried materials.
Cover all brassicas and spinach plants with suitable netting (to protect from wood-pigeons)


Broadbeans, Beetroot, Onion Sets, Parsnips, Pea, Radish, Turnip, Spinach, Oriental Salad, Raspberries, Strawberries and First Early Potato (after mid-March depending on weather)


Chard, Kale, parsnips, leek, Brussels sprouts, purple sprouting broccoli, spring greens.

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News from the Seeds and Plants Team at Bluebell South.

As the weather continues to be wintry the soil temperature is still too cold for sowing any seeds as they are unlikely to germinate.
Later in the month when hopefully the weather is more spring-like, the soil temperature should be warm enough to start sowing hardy vegetables like Beetroot, Broad Beans, Parsnips, late Garlic, Radish and Turnips. The seeds will be made available at the back of the Green Shed.
It is still a good time to plant soft fruit bushes – Gooseberries, red and black currants and autumn-fruiting Raspberries – see our Encyclopedia.


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19th March – Training at Marlpit

Morning session – Soil preparation with Jon and Mahesh – this was cancelled and will be combined with the April session.DSC01378
Afternoon session with Alex – Herbs at Our Feet – Dandelion, Dock, Plantain, Yarrow, Red clover, Couch grass, Self-heal, Shepherd’s Purse, Horsetail, teas, poultices and more.

Six people attended – here’s how it went.

Click below to book next month’s training.Training-at-MCG-April-2016

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Forest Garden Trees

DSCN0273tree planting 2015 2Volunteers from GO2 Bluebell and Marlpit planted the first trees and shrubs of the forest garden at Marlpit Community Garden on 15th February 2015 with more being planted in February 2016. Most of the original trees did well although we lost a few, some to muntjac deer.
In this series I will include photos and information about some of the trees and plants and their place in the forest garden.

Italian Alder (Alnus cordata)

Italian alder treeThe main reason for introducing this tree is that it fixes nitrogen which is then available for other plants in the garden. Unlike other alders, the Italian Alder will grow in the dry conditions we have in Norfolk so we planted our four trees in the western, drier, side of the site. This graceful tree can grow to 20m high. As it is a conical shape it does not cast too much shade. Secondary uses are for its edible sap and its branches which can be used for firewood or for growing mushrooms.
Italian alder labelledItalian alder twigItalian alder catkinsOur trees produced their first catkins this year as shown in these photos taken in February.


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Birds of Marlpit Community Garden March 2016

We have had a truly spectacular sighting on the Marlpit Community Garden in February, with a red kite spotted flying over on 21st . These birds nearly became extinct in Britain last century, with only a few pairs remaining in Wales, but the population has now recovered and since 1989 birds from Europe have been reintroduced at various sites in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There are now 1600 pairs in the UK, including some breeding in west Norfolk. It is slightly larger than a buzzard, from which it is easily distinguished by its long, forked tail.
It nests in a deciduous tree, and often decorates the nest with things such as rags and plastic bags (even underwear!).

The lake at the bottom of the site continues to attract interesting birds, with a pair of Egyptian Geese being present in February. These birds were originally from South Africa, and kept as ornamental waterfowl, but some escaped and established a population in Norfolk in the 1960s. They are now spreading west across the rest of the UK, but Norfolk remains their stronghold.

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A heron has also been seen by the lake. It is unlikely to have found any fish as there is no connection to the river, but Continue reading

Sunday 6th March, 10:00-12:30

Great Big Tools ‘n’ Sheds Day

All welcome to help and meet The Team

Spring is just around the corner and time to get all the tools ready for the coming season.

  • Cleaning the shed
  • Checking for repairs
  • Sharpening cutting tools
  • Inventory and re-distribution of tools
  • Colour coding the tools

11.00am Coffee Break
Finish 12.00-12.30 followed by …

Food Share Lunch

Hope weather is good and we look forward to seeing everyone.

Jane Graham
tool-rack in shedTea n coffee