Stormvogel The Herbal Barge's Moors up canal side at Grow for a new monthly residency

We’re so happy that we’re partnered with Stormvogel the Herbal Barge and this amazing boat’s captain - the experienced herbalist Melissa Ronaldson for a residency at our Hackney Wick canal side space. After holding a fundraiser with the Heliocentrics back in May, we welcome Stormvogel back once every month or so, this beatiful herbal barge can moor up and open it doors so you can take part in workshops and also meet Melissa at different music and art events we hosting at Grow throughout the week.

On Friday 16 and Saturday 17 August, the Herbal Barge Apothecary shifts into evening party mode with invigorating guarana and chilli party mix and the famous sinus tingling extra-stimulating herbal snuff No. 5. On the Sunday 16 and Tuesday 20 August, Melissa is hosting workshops - see below.

Sunday 16 August - Introduction to skin-cream making
Experienced herbalist, Melissa Ronaldson, guide you though this intimate workshop on the Herbal Barge, looking at the properties of botanical ingredients and preparations that can be used to make nourishing and healing skin creams. Participants will have the opportunity to experiment with ingredients and make their own personalised product to take home. Melissa will also demonstrate the alchemy of making a cream from scratch.
Workshop is £25
Proceeds help to support the work of the Herbal Barge
Can accept cash and card
Limited places, please book by contacting Melissa directly

Tuesday 20 August - Medicine Making
This workshop is a chance to be part of the Herbalists Without Borders Campaign to help support refugees in Northern France. Melissa will guide you and together you will make medicine which will be distributed by the Herbalists Without Borders team when they next visit Calais.
Suggested donation for the workshop is £20
Proceeds help to support the work of Herbalists Without Borders
Can accept cash and card
Book online

About Stormvogel the Herbal Barge
The Herbal Barge is a very special floating Herbal Medicine Clinic, Apothecary and Teaching space. It is run by experienced herbalist Melissa Ronaldson and offers one to one consultations; over the counter and online products; regular courses, workshops and plant walks;and occasional special events.

TEAM GROW raises over £2,000 for Mental Health Charity 'Core Arts' on Hackney Half Marathon day

On Sunday 20 May, the 8 runners of TEAM GROW took on the Hackney Half Marathon.  For most of them it was their first half marathon so they needed inspiration to take on this 13.1 mile challenge... they found it in the amazing work of local mental health charity 'Core Arts'!

With over 24 years experience of promoting positive mental health and wellbeing through creative learning, Core Arts provides quality education, training, employment and social enterprise initiatives that enable people who experience mental health issues to overcome barriers, fulfil their potential and participate fully in their community.

The morning of Sunday 20 May came.  It was a hot day so the runners needed to be mindful of the heat whilst taking on the challenge but they all completed (and enjoyed!) the run, with some remarkable times.  For their effort, their friends and family rewarding them by generously sponsoring them over £1,700 - making them one of the most successful fundraising pages on JustGiving in May (the top 3%!). Wow!  Well done runners and thanks for the generosity of your family and friends.  The fundraising page is still open so there is still time to donate on Grow's JustGiving website.

The after-party, with legendary DJ Dominic Benjamin belting out the party tunes to a canal side full of revellers went on to raise more money, taking the fundraising to over £2150 for Core Arts.  The money raised will go towards the Core Sports Department - which supports external trips and activities, giving Core Art's clients experiences in sports such as white water rafting and bouldering which they might not have access to without this support.

Giuliana Molinari,  Deputy Director Core Arts said:
"Core Arts were delighted to be chosen as the beneficiaries of Grow ’s Hackney Half marathon team for the 2nd year in the row.  Well done to all the runners on the day who were amazing . Plus the excellent post event party, entertainment and food. Thank you all for supporting creativity and mental health. " 

We also want to thank the runners, supporters and people who came down to Grow on the day.  We look forward to next year!

Hackney WickED Open Studios 2017 was full of music, art and a lot heart !

Each year, Grow is proud to be part of Hackney WickED DIY Open Studios and 2017 (28-30 July) was no different. This festival gives us a chance to the celebrate the creativity in the area and showcase what happens at Grow week-in-week-out.

This year, we had a jam-packed programme with local talent and some new collaborations in the form of performance, music, participation and art - often all at the same time!

On Friday night, we were excited to host the launch party with a show-stopping line-up which started at 9pm, after the opening of the Group Show across the canal at Here East. This group show was curated by artist Gavin Turk and Hackney WickED director, Anna Malony, and included over 65 artists, including some from Grow Studios, showcasing the wide-ranging quality of the artistic practices across Hackney Wick and Fish Island.

At Grow, we were treated to a stirring performance by Grow favourite Hotdoggrrrl and the Sesame Buns, followed by the amazing beatboxing talent of artist Reeps One, plus sets by local guest DJs Jessi, Ghost Trap and Steffi Timanti.

The following day we put on the Grow Village Fete which created a spectacle within a Spectacle to free us even for a moment. This Village Fete focused on collaboration. Despite the rain, through interactions, sociality and play we tried to disentangle ourselves from our everyday lives. Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi says if we can disentangle we may imagine other possible futures, already in our present, but which we have yet to uncover.  We had manifestations of ‘splat the rat’, ‘human fruit machine’, ‘sponge stock’, ‘hoopla’, a raffle, Canababe cakes and plants from local nursery Growing Concerns, a memorable live performance from brass band, Das Brass culminating in Mixed Bag Of Nuts DJs taking us into the night.  We also had a host of volunteers who sold cakes and played games, helping to raise awareness and £280 for local mental health and arts charity, Core Arts.

The artist behind the fete is co-founder of Grow, Jordanna Greaves. Her work is a humorous protest at what it is to comply to the power systems around us and asks ‘can we play to become something new?’ She often works in collaboration, and this Village Fete, as do all the events at Grow, relies on the sharing economy of artists and musicians of the surrounding area, and everyone who walks through its doors.

On the Sunday,  'Hackney Wick Floating Museum' pulled up canalside in the form of two 30" narrow boats that, in tandem, displaying on their flat roofs, the sculptures of Californian artist Jay J. Filipowicz.

The sun came out long enough to have our resident jazz quartet play canalside and for this special performance, they were joined by Japanese comtemporary dancer, Misa Koide who improvised to their fresh and energetic jazz repertoire. We were also joined DJs Jazzintime and Komajazzz who played the best jazz vinyl in between two sets.

To finish the weekend long-programme, we were joined by members of the Blackcat Soundsystem of Fish Island giving us live music of strickly roots and culture vibrations with a mostly improvised content and selectors into the evening.

We crammed a lot in, and that was just at Grow! There was so many artists and musicians across Hackney Wick and Fish Island sharing their talents and passions and we thank everyone for joining in and making this annual celebration a reality. For a full round up and pics from across the open studios, have a read of Hackney WickED's roundup.

Thanks to Moe Sekiya, Anna Malone and Hackney WickED CIC for the following photos.

Celebrating 13.1 miles of the Hackney Half Marathon after party at Grow

On Sunday 8 May,  once you’ve crossed the finish line and cheered your loved ones on, you came to Grow to refuel with Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, (who are donating 50p for every sale to charity) coffee or something stronger, relax on the canalside terrace enjoying the tunes and soaked up the good vibes. After 13.1 miles we’ll needed soul, uplifting and funky tunes so Mr Boogie a.k.a The Vinyl Junkie (Soulsa/Shoerditch radio and DJ KomaJazzz  spun vinyls on the decks to melt those achy legs away…. 

A couple of the Grow team also ran the 13.1 miles with you to support amazing charity Lively Minds .