From agriculture to culture culture

Tour of Grizedale Arts/Lawson Park Farm and gardens

2009/10/24 10:00

including Grizedale as an organisation, the Farm building, Gardens and Honesty Box with Adam Sutherland, Alistair Hudson and Karen Guthrie.

Lawson Park is a hillside farm above Lake Coniston. By car you take a right onto a forest road where it says « logs £1.50 » and drive two miles up into the woods until you reach the farm.

It's a grey and rainy morning.

Alistair welcomes the group in the just recently developed main building, which holds four guest rooms, a Library, a meeting/seminar room, open kitchen and dining area and a garden kitchen.

The farm is now mangaged by Grizedale Arts (GA)(on lease from the Forestry Commission) including several gardens, the GA office, the residency building and a residential cottage. GA runs a broad commissioning and residency programme from the site, and Alistair explains the history of GA from a pioneering commissionner for site specific sculpture for a sculpture trail in Grizedale Forest, to the less site, but more context specific programme of GA now.

Adam and Karen show the group around the gardens, starting with the Paddie Fields.

Adam explains that this terrace garden on a former unfertile mountain is developed with guests from the Japanese villageToge. Different vegetables grow there now and we harvest them later for our soup. The flower gardens around the house are introduced by Karen - she explains the design and set up of the walls which were made by James ... a local wall-maker.

Adam introduces the Honesty Stall and Wapke Feenstra took her 2 months summer residency at Grizedale as an opportunity to rebuild the stall. How it functioned and its recent transformations were told to an meanwhile wet and cold audience. Due to the wetter the kitchen garden was not reached that tour. Later that day Wapke Feenstra did a small tour and Graig ... learned the group to eat flowers.

Wapke is explaining the Honesty Stall and its recent transformations. She has been designing it and building it over the summer, into a small protected shed area where the products can be displayed and be available, as well as a table. She chose a location which is very exposed to the passage of people, emphasising the need for the stall to be as public as possible, and therefore visible, and accessible. A large wooden table provides, in the summer, also a metting place, for people to stop and spend some time there. This was very successful during the summer months.

GA is asking all visitors to contribute with one hour work in the garden per day.

It s too rainy that day, and the group splits in those who get veg from the garden and those to make a soup from it.

Later that day some of the guests are doing weeding in the front garden. Graig tells Antje that some of the weed is good for salad. So we do not throw it all away, we eat some weed.


Lawson Park

Lawson Park
Lawson Park, East of Lake, Coniston,, 
Cumbria., LA21 8AD, United Kingdom
54.346826984483904, -3.0520058

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