Ploughing the wheat field at Ruskin Park

ploughing - operation centaur

The Friends of Ruskin Park, together with FoWG and Brockwell Bake Association, are set to grow heritage wheat and crops again in Ruskin Park this year. It brings alive the life cycle of natural and traditional food production, and we are keen to have local schools and people joining in this unique project.

On Friday 7 February at 10am, Nobby and Heath, two huge shire horses descended from the medieval war horse, will plough the patch of land designated for growing heritage wheat grains, close to Ferndene Road. Schools have been invited to watch, and everyone is welcome to come and get a taste for food-growing!

The horses will return on Saturday 17 February at 10am to harrow the soil, when volunteers will be sowing the seeds. There will be refreshments and a chance to meet more of the key people to find out more about our wheat growing and the horses.

The horses come from Operation Centaur, a charity based in Richmond Park protecting now rare traditional working horses and equine-assisted therapy, to improve the health and wellbeing of communities.

Using horses instead of machinery through traditional land management practices is a sustainable way to cultivate parkland, offering lower noise disturbance to wildlife and lower soil compaction. The Historic Royal Palaces and the Royal Parks have worked with these horses for 25 years on various conservation projects.

In August there will be a big volunteer day to harvest, thresh and winnow the wheat grain, followed by a celebratory harvest festival in the park in September 2018. All dates are subject to weather conditions.

If you are interested in helping with this project email and put “Wheat” in the subject line..

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