The Natural Kitchen… an update


We’re a month on from the first blog post and our Natural Kitchen project has had mixed fortunes.

In preparation for the first construction workshop, our Lead Volunteer Andy constructed the main frame and work surfaces for the kitchen from a combination of old scaffold boards, some off-cuts of wood, and some new gravel boards. He even included a little window so the children can look out on Brockwell Park.

Frustratingly, an old tree stump with large roots was obstructing the corner where the kitchen units will be placed, and the ground was frozen for quite a number of days, so the garden volunteers had to wait for it to thaw before digging out the stump and roots and levelling the ground, ready for the kitchen units to be installed.

Although the construction workshop itself was not well attended (probably due to the extremely cold weather), it was very productive and we managed to do most of the tasks we had set ourselves for the day, which were to:

construct the oven

saw and paint hob rings and knobs for oven and sand and varnish cabinet

sand and varnish the chopping board











cut and hang curtains


In addition, we managed to

  • Cut and paint hands for the clock
  • Cut and paint pegs for the cabinet




Andy with the partially constructed kitchen

Unfortunately, Andy then became ill and is still recovering, so we had to cancel our second workshop and we have decided to continue with the project under our own steam, as and when time permits.

Excitingly, Cat, our Community Gardener, is planning to create a wigwam, screening and an entrance arch for the area, all from living willow. Willow is a fantastically versatile tree that lends itself to being woven and bent into different shaped living structures. It is also a very thirsty tree so we are hoping it will absorb just enough water to transform the lower end of the space from standing water to more of a muddy corner.

On the bank next to the willow wigwam, we are planning to plant up some children’s welly boots with different varieties of mint and other sensory plants that will add colour, scents and textures to the space and encourage the children to touch, smell and ‘cook’ with these plants. Have you ever smelled chocolate mint?

So, although there is not much yet to show on the ground, we have made some physical progress and, importantly, we have ideas and plans for developing this exciting project in the near future.

Watch this space!

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