The flax project is progressing. We have two schools, two children’s centres, a park, several housing estates and community spaces and individuals growing. It’s now getting pretty late to sow but last week I went to Daubeney Fields in east Hackney to sow a strip with Gerry Tissier, who’s involved with the park users’ group. I roped Cristina Consuega, who’s doing research into urban agriculture, in to help and Gerry asked a couple of people along too. I also texted Ben, who lives on a boat and who we’d met when we looked at the site a few weeks ago. We were lucky with the weather – bright and warm – and the site next to the River Lea which was alive with wildlife, boats – and people. The place was bursting with blossom and new leaf. A perfect May day. What I didn’t expect was the meeting of all the different people using the space – river dwellers, land lubbers, dog walkers, loiterers and some small children. Through our common purpose – of clearing and sowing a strip of land – we met and chatted and talked about common (and some uncommon) issues, and made plans to talk more about other projects meetings and plans. One child buried about half a packet of seeds in a hole he dug (that will be an interesting patch), A dog scraped at the newly-sown seeds and then lay down on them. We ran out of steam at the end so there’s a very weedy stretch and the dog put her nose into the cake I made. So several things went wrong but it didn’t matter a jot as we all had a great time. So good that I didn’t realise my watch had stopped for an hour and a half. The power of flax.