Author: SEAG

Summer at Shipley Woodside Community Garden

Our first attempt at a Cut Flower Bed. All the plants were grown from seed by our volunteers. We were a bit late in the season to decide to do this bed but the results have still been great and seeing all that colour and beautiful flowers can’t help but put a smile on your face. Volunteers have been able to enjoy making up their own bouquets and visitors for a small donation.

Water is a valuable resource and we continue to work on being as sustainable as possible by collecting and storing as much water as we can. Volunteers have been busy fitting guttering to Shedquarters which leads to an IBC ,ultimately there will be a series of these to collect a larger volume of water.

A large hole has been dug for an IBC to sit in the ground near the Polytunnel. Drainage was put in place at the side of the Polyunnel and this IBC will be able to collect rainwater from the cover. So we now have a dedicated IBC for the Polytunnel. No water will go to waste in this garden!

Lots of free rocks have been sourced to form the edge of the Wildlife Pond. Over time many more marginal plants will be added and the back of the bank planted with taller plants, which will create a densely planted, undisturbed area for wildlife, whilst also providing some privacy from the road.

We have been amazed at the wildlife the Pond has already attracted just with a few very young plants, but with the wider habitat around the Pond, it has been teeming with Damselflies, Dragonflies, Water Soldiers, Beetles plus much more and we even had a visiting Goose who seemed quite happy resting there all day!

Last Summer, Bridgford Drone Photography volunteered their time and expertise and took some footage of the Garden for us. One year on they returned and the changes are just incredible. Last year we were blown away by the images and how much had been achieved and this year even more so.

Summer at Shipley Woodside Community Garden - SEAG - Shipley Eco-Action Group

We now have our new colony of Honey Bees established, they are super calm and are doing exactly what they should be!

Our Beekeeper Keith Stevenson will periodically be giving talks on Beekeeping, with the next one coming up on the 18th September. You can find out more here if you are interested in coming along.

There is something about Honey Bees that just get to you, they really are fascinating creatures and his talks always prove very popular.

We had a brilliant social night for the volunteers making pizzas in the pizza ovens with some produce grown in the Garden. We are looking forward to many more of these socials!

Volunteers led by Tim Bennett of the Elka Project have started work on a Keyhole Compost Bed. This is a round raised bed with a pie-slice cutout for access to a composting basket in the center. The bed is filled with rocks, garden waste, decomposable plant material, and a thick layer of soil/compost on the top for planting. The center basket collects kitchen waste and other biodegradables. Watering into the basket disperses moisture and nutrients throughout the keyhole. These were originally designed for growing food in Southern Africa where droughts and poor soil conditions challenge farmers. This is because of its easy to reach design and it produces amazes results, allowing gardeners to build soil nutrition and reduce watering.

We harvested some Willow from the garden but were fortunate that a neighbour donated two large pots of established Willow which meant we had just enough to weave for the frame, which will ultimately be the wattle and daub walls. The next phase is to get very messy with the clay we are harvesting from the garden to finish the wattle and daub.

Jim Steele, Derbyshire Butterfly Conversation Officer updates on the progress of the Wildflower Meadow:

“The Wildflower Meadow has responded to treatment and there has been a significant step forward in its evolution this Summer. A sowing of supplemental, perennial, wildflower seeds last Autumn, and a good amount of Yellow or Hay Rattle, together with an additional, more modest extra amount in the Spring, seems to have done the trick and good variety of plants grew and flowered. These included Ox-eye Daisy, which usually dominates in the early years of a new meadow, as it did this year with the covering of white blooms in July, and Lesser Knapweed, Wild Carrot, Self-heal, and the various Fescue grasses. It is hoped the Yellow Rattle will ‘do its job’ and semi-parasitise the roots of adjacent grasses in an effort to control their vigour, allowing a more diverse range of wild plants to flourish within the meadow; the Rattle was patchy but took fairly well, and it has gone to seed which is hopefully good news for next year as the plant is an annual.

An increasing number of invertebrates have enjoyed the new habitat, including good numbers of Soldier Beetles, whilst I spotted at least four varieties of Bumble Bee and the Honey Bees from the adjacent hives have been helping themselves to the very local source of pollen and nectar! Butterflies have been a little scarce this Summer, but of note have been Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Large and Small Skipper, Large, Small and Green-veined White, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and my favourite, the diminutive Small Copper, all of which have been seen feeding from the meadow’s floral blooms.

The meadow needs to be cut before long and the cuttings or risings removed after the seeds and ‘creepy crawlies’ have settled, with the cuttings piled up off the meadow – such a grass pile is a valuable habitat in itself, sometimes even for the Grass Snake, a species that is present in the area. This cutting and rising removal is important in that gradually removes some of the nutrients absorbed from the soil by the growing plants, giving an opportunity for a broader range or variety of meadow plants to establish themselves, rather than the sward becoming dominated by the faster-growing, more robust species that are able to take advantage of a nutrient-rich soil – complementing the intended effect of the Yellow Rattle.

It can take some years for a wildflower meadow to become fully established and stable, and you don’t always get quite what you planned – we await next year’s growth with interest!”

And last but not least we say a special thanks to Derby Lodge Tea Rooms in Shipley Park for the their continued support and recent generous donation of a recycled plastic picnic bench.

There is plenty of work to be done in the Garden over the next couple of months and new volunteers are always welcomed. No need to commit to volunteering every week, just as and when you want to!

Categories: Newsletters

Summer Raw Vegetable Buddha Bowl

Summer Vegetable Buddha Bowl

Summer Raw Vegetable Buddha Bowl

A tasty and colourful salad for Summer
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 2


  • 2 Large tomatoes, quartered Beefstake or Plum
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and sliced lengthways
  • 1 Small beetroot, cooked and thinly sliced
  • 1 Spring onion, finely diced
  • 1 Red pepper, sliced lengthways Add yellow, green, orange peppers if you wish
  • 2 Radish, thinly sliced
  • 1 handful Red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 handful Spinach
  • 1 handful Small Broccoli florets
  • 1 Avocado, quartered (optional)
  • 1 handful Basil or Coriander for garnish (your choice)


  • Simply prepare the vegetables and arrange on the plate.
  • Add any dressing of your liking.
Keyword Plant based
Categories: Recipes

Beetroot Burger

Beetroot burger

Beetroot burger

Easy healthy plant based burger recipe
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 8 patties


  • Food processor
  • Large frying pan
  • large bowl


  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 250 g Silken Tofu
  • 100 g Fresh Beetroot (cooked)
  • 400 g Black Beans
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 100 g Plain White Flour
  • 2 tbsp Flaxseed
  • 250 g Brown Rice (cooked)
  • 200 g Chestnut Mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil


  • Finely chop the onion and garlic.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the large frying pan, add the onion and fry for 10 minutes until soft.
  • Add the garlic and fry for 1 more minute. Add the mixture to a large bowl.
  • Put the mushrooms in the food processor and pulse until they also resemble rice. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add the mushrooms and fry for 10-15 mins, until any liquid that’s released has evaporated and the mushrooms are tender. Tip into the bowl with the onions.
  • Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add the mushrooms and fry on low heat for 10 minutes, until any liquid has evaporated. Then add to the bowl with the onions and garlic.
  • Put the tofu, beetroot, beans, tomato purée, flour and flaxseed in the food processor with and blitz until smooth. Scrape into the bowl.
  • Add the rice to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add to the bowl.
  • Now the fun bit, use your hands to shape the mixture into patties roughly the same size as your burger buns. 
  • Place the patties in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and brush both sides of the patties with a little oil. Cook for 5-8 mins on each side, turning once after a crust has formed and hot through to the centre.
  • Build your burger with your favourite sauce and toppings.


Don’t miss out the step of putting the patties in the fridge, they will be much softer than your traditional ‘meat’ burger and the chilling process will help them bind together.
These can be frozen and simply defrosted before reheating. 
Keyword Plant based
Categories: Recipes

Green Bean Salad

Green Beans salad recipe

Green Bean Salad

Summer salad with fresh green beans
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish
Servings 4 as a side dish


  • Large Saucepan or pressure cooker


  • 800 g Fresh green beans
  • 6 tbsp Olive oil
  • 4 Large Tomatoes i.e Plum, Beefsteak
  • 1 White onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar


  • Wash and trim the Green Beans
  • Finely dice the onion and add to pan
  • Chop tomatoes into small cubes and add to pan
  • Cut Green Beans in half and then lengthways and add to pan
  • Add salt, sugar, garlic and olive oil to the pan
  • Give pan a gentle shake, do not stir and cook for 20 – 30 minutes until Green Beans are soft.
  • Allow to cool and serve


The idea with this recipe is that you layer the ingredients in the pan, so no need to stir.  
The moisture released as the ingredients cook should be adequate but add a small amount of water if needed.
This will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for a couple of days. 
Keyword Plant based
Categories: Recipes

Spring 2021 at Shipley Woodside Community Garden

Spring has seen a flurry of activity at the Community Garden, sowing seeds, potting on plants, dividing perennials, painting wooden structures, turning the compost, mulching and making preparations for our first event ‘Greenfolk Festival’, which took place on the 29th May.

The Garden has changed dramatically visually with the completion of the Shedquarters build and the large Wildlife Pond.

Thanks to grants from Shipley Parish Council, Seven Trent Community Fund, Councillor Richard Iliffe and the generosity of Long Eaton Sheds Ltd we now have our ‘Shedquarters’ where we will be able to host talks, workshops and provide a shelter for a cuppa on those rainy volunteering days!

The Honeybees woke up from their winter slumber and got straight to work! They also now have their own beautiful little pond so they have a water source right next to the hive. Resident beekeeper, Keith has pretty much single handedly created the beautiful area for the bees and his knowledge and passion for beekeeping is infectious. If anyone is interested in learning about beekeeping be sure to pop in on a Saturday and have a chat to Keith.

Plans are underway to enable visitors to don a bee suit and enter the apiary with Keith to learn and experience hands on beekeeping.

Volunteers have been busy sowing vegetable seeds in the Raised Beds, native cowslips have been sown in the Wildflower Meadow, a cut flower bed has been started and planted with Sweet Peas, Zinnias, Dahlias, Cosmos, Lupins, Antirrhinum all grown by volunteers plus much more on the way! The Polytunnel is now full of vegetables and strawberries and a newly planted grapevine, which seems to love its new home. We have even had our first harvest of radishes!

The remaining raised beds have been adopted as have some donated tyres and all planted with a variety of vegetables and herbs.

Great examples of companion planting shown in the pictures below with the ‘three sisters’ in the tractor tyre and tomatoes and basil in the polytunnel. Companion planting is an organic way of protecting crops from pests and / or improving pollination of crops.

The three sisters guild is corn, beans and squash and is one of the oldest known methods of companion planting, utilised by the Native Americans over 3000 years ago. The corn offers the beans support, the beans pull nitrogen from the air and bring it to the soil to benefit all three crops and the large leaves of the squash protect the threesome by providing shade to the soil, keeping it cool and moist and preventing weeds.

Basil repels insects, enhances flavour and improves the growth of tomatoes.

Thanks to funding from Severn Trent Water Community Fund we now have a huge wildlife pond!

Spring 2021 at Shipley Woodside Community Garden - SEAG - Shipley Eco-Action Group

Some very kind men working in Ilkeston, far away from home, visited the garden, loved it and offered to come and dig the pond for us with the digger. Aren’t people just lovely! Volunteers were very grateful as just working on the finishing touches to make the different depths and shelves was challenging enough, especially in the wet sticky clay!

Over a couple of sessions, we completed the shelves, underlay and liner was laid down, the edging completed, pebbles and stones added to the beach area, landscaping and planting of the pond edging and banks, which included shifting some huge rocks donated by Waystone working on the Shipley Lakeside housing development. Lots of tall grasses have been planted in the bank and many more plants are to follow. The vision is to create a beautiful wildlife friendly habitat both in and around the pond.

Thanks to funding from Wash Arts CIC an arts organisation working to improve access to arts in Erewash and surrounding areas, we have carefully selected and sourced native pond plants to encourage a wide variety of wildlife. These will soon be ready for collection and planting.

Look out for our news with dates for summer pond-dipping.

The children’s natural play area took shape, with the completion of the mud kitchen, musical stand and the whole area mulched. There is more work to do on this but already, this proved a big hit with the kids at the Greenfolk Festival on the 29th May.

It is entirely down to volunteer Mick’s design and hard work that the Garden now has a fabulous firepit area, complete with seating and a wood store.

SEAG have teamed up with The Elka Project, a community archaeology based project inviting people to join in the excavations of some newly discovered ancient sites in Ilkeston. We have offered some land at the Garden to experiment with the clay extracted from the ground. This will then be put through a number of processes to achieve different qualities of malleable clay and from that, we can put it to the test by making Adobe kilns, Roman kilns, Bloom furnaces, Bread ovens, Pottery/Ceramics and Wattle and Daub, all done in the ancient ways and using the clay we have on site with no need for electricity or gas.

Tim Bennett heads up The Elka Project and has already got started on the first experiment by making an Adobe kiln, which is used for pottery and used the the clay extracted from the pond dig. We look forward to seeing how this experiment goes and trying out other techniques, the ultimate goal has to be a bread oven, mmmm!

The 29th May 2021 was a milestone for the Community Garden and a special day for all the volunteers as we held our first event. This was a long time in the planning having not been able to hold any events before now due to you know what! The sun came out for us, all the volunteers, musicians and stalls were on form, we had a fantastic turn out and really positive feedback. We honestly couldn’t have hoped for a better day. Seeing the garden being used and enjoyed by the community was heart warming and made all that planning and hard work worthwhile.

We also managed to raise an unbelievable £1,850.00 towards our next project for the garden, the barn workshop. Thank you so much to all those that attended, those that made a contribution to this figure and to all those volunteers and supporters of the garden that contributed and helped make the event happen, including the musicians Sensible Shoes and Blue Kettle Ceilidh Band, Derby Lodge Tea Rooms in Shipley Country Park, Shipley WI, Weleda, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Derby Kids Camp.

We look forward to seeing you all again and meeting new faces at our next event on the 20th June 2021.

Finally, a lovely Spring Poem to conclude our Newsletter.

Winter at Shipley Woodside Community Garden

Winter at Shipley Woodside Community Garden - SEAG - Shipley Eco-Action Group

The polytunnel has proven to be a real asset this winter at the Garden. Volunteers have made raised beds, potting benches and staging ready for the growing season as well as providing shelter for donated furniture and soggy gardeners!

The bee project is buzzing into action with willow screen planting and a shed base being prepared to receive the storage shed.

Volunteers have been busy creating more raised beds. Thanks to funding from the People’s Postcode Trust we now have 3 more wheelchair height raised beds.

The tractor tyres proved such a growing success last year, we have turned two more into growing beds.

We used the Hugelkultur method for the beds last year and we couldn’t have been more chuffed with the way they turned out. Everything grew really well, with very little watering required. We have used the same method for the new beds, using up the piles of branches and logs, cardboard, newspaper and organic material we have been collecting.

This time, we remembered to take pictures of the process and have put together a specific page with information about Hugelkultur and guide you can download here.

Ideas for the children’s natural play area are coming together with the build of the mud kitchen started. Logs have been put in place in the Food Forest as seating for what will be a firepit.

Thanks to Kev Whitehead, neighbour to the Garden, we now have an amazing owl box. Not only did Kev design and build this beautiful box, he spent the best part of the afternoon hanging from the pole fitting it! Kev was helped by a amazing team of volunteers in the late February sunshine. Now we just have to wait and see what we get in the box!

March is a very exciting month as the wildlife pond will be created. We have taken delivery of the butyl liner and underlay. Rockery stone has been collected ready for use and native pond plants have been researched ready for purchase.  The pond will be a fantastic addition to the garden and will have different levels and plants to make it as wildlife friendly as possible.

After much discussion and negotiations Shed Quarters PHASE 1 has been purchased and March will see the arrival of our most ambitious project yet. Following the hard work of successful grants, donations and fund raising, our Shed Quarters is a summerhouse 30 x 14 ft, complete with double glazed opening windows, pitched roof with plans to insulate and clad the inside including a log burning stove.

Finally, volunteers are hard at work organising and planning for our first Greenman Festival following COVID-19 restrictions being eased. We will share more details very soon.

Vegetable Korma

plant based vegan recipe korma

Vegetable Korma

A lightly spiced dish using vegetables and coconut milk. Ideal for cooking with seasonal vegetables – you select which to include.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people


  • Large saucepan


  • 500 grams mixed prepared vegetables cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cm root ginger, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli
  • `1 lemon
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • cashew nuts
  • 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 400g tin coconut milk or cream
  • 2 tablespoon sultanas
  • salt and pepper


  • Fry the onion, garlic and ginger gently until soft
  • Add the spices and fry for 2 minutes, stirring
  • Stir in the vegetables and chopped tomatoes
  • Add a teaspoon of lemon rind and lemon juice and crumble vegetable stock cube
  • Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are just tender; add water if needed
  • Stir in half a tin of coconut milk, and add more if desired
  • Stir in the cashew nuts and season with salt and pepper
  • Top with sultanas


If using reduced fat coconut milk, recommend using half a tin if you wish to keep a thicker sauce consistency.
Keyword Plant based
Categories: Recipes

Shepherdess Pie

plant based vegan recipe shepherdess pie

Shepherdess Pie

A vegetable and lentil base topped with potato and parsnip
Prep Time 5 hrs
Cook Time 1 hr
Soaking lentils 4 hrs
Course Main Course


  • 2 saucepans
  • Frying pan
  • shallow ovenproof dish


  • 700 grams potatoes or a combination of potato and parsnip
  • 100 grams continental lentils (green or red can be used) soaked for over 4 hours or used tinned lentils
  • vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 large carrot cleaned and diced
  • 100 grams mushrooms chopped
  • other ingredients of your choice eg peas or celery
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbs such as thyme and marjoram
  • 300 mls vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 700 grams potato or a combination of potato and parsnip
  • plant based margarine/spread


  • Simmer the soaked lentils in water until tender and drain off the liquid. If using tinned lentils, follow instructions on tin
  • Peel the potatoes, cut into pieces and boil until cooked
  • Fry the onion and garlic until soft
  • Add the carrots and fry for 2 minutes then add other vegetables
  • Stir in the lentils, tomato puree, herbs and seasoning
  • Add sufficient vegetable stock for the mixture to be moist but not too wet
  • Set oven to 200C/fan oven 180C/gas mark 6
  • Mash the potato (and parsnip if using) with plant based margarine; season to taste
  • Spoon the lentil and vegetable mixture into a shallow ovenproof dish
  • Cover with the mashed potato/potato and parsnip
  • Bake in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown at 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6


For a creamier mash topping, add a splash of plant-based cream or milk alternative. 
Keyword Plant based
Categories: Recipes

Vegan Chickpea Curry

Vegan Chickpea Curry - SEAG - Shipley Eco-Action Group

Chickpea curry

Quick crowd pleaser and excellent for freezing
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 4


  • Large saucepan


  • 1 Red onion Diced
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 Red pepper
  • 150 g Cauliflower Cut into small florets
  • 140 g Peas
  • 2 400g Cans of chickpeas Drained and rinsed
  • 1 400g Can of coconut milk Use full fat for a creamier taste
  • 1 400g Can of chopped tomatoes
  • 100 ml Water
  • 4 tbsp Tikka masala paste
  • Fresh coriander leaves For garnish
  • Salt and pepper For seasoning
  • 280 g Rice Any rice of your choosing
  • 4 tbsp Vegan yoghurt or whipped coconut cream Optional for topping
  • 1 Avocado, sliced Optional for topping


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan
  • Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, until softened
  • Cook rice according to packet instructions
  • Add the peppers and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 2 minutes
  • Add the cauliflower and tikka masala paste, stir and cook for a further minute
  • Add the chickpeas, tomatoes and peas, stir well and add the water and half the can of coconut milk
  • Stir well, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer or 15 minutes
  • Pour in the remaining coconut milk and cook for a further 5 minutes
  • Serve and top with fresh coriander, avocado and yogurt (if using) and serve with rice


If using reduced fat coconut milk, try not adding the water at step 6 if you want a thicker sauce. 
Keyword Plant based
Categories: Recipes

Plant-based Mushroom Risotto

Plant-based Mushroom Risotto - SEAG - Shipley Eco-Action Group

Mushroom Risotto

Simple and delicious risotto
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • Large saucepan
  • Measuring jug


  • 150g Chestnut mushrooms Thickly sliced
  • 200g Any other type of mushroom Thickly sliced
  • 1 Small onion Finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves Finely chopped
  • 350 g Arborio risotto rice
  • 1 litre Vegetable stock
  • 200 ml Vegan white wine
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 20 g Vegan butter or margarine
  • 1 tbsp Dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp Parsley leaves Finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning


  • Heat oil in a large saucepan
  • Add the onion, cook for 5 minutes until softened
  • Add the garlic and thyme, cook for a further 2 minutes
  • Add all the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper, cook for a further 2 minutes
  • Add the rice, then pour in the wine and give it a good stir
  • Let the wine evaporate and then add a quarter of the stock, stirring frequently until liquid absorbed
  • Repeat until stock all gone
  • You know it is cooked when it has a creamy texture
  • Now add the nutritional yeast and butter/margarine and give it a good stir
  • Top with fresh parsley and serve immediately
Keyword Plant based
Categories: Recipes
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