Do you have a Passion for Produce?
Following on from the popularity of Melbourne Festival’s “For the Love of Lettuce” Exhibition in March John and Laura Jackson of Swarkestone Nursery have invited the Festival team to bring the Exhibition to their Garden Centre at Swarkestone for two weeks from 9th April. The venue seems very apt as their family business Samuel Jackson Growers was one of Melbourne biggest Market Gardeners in the late 20th century.
For over a century Melbourne was renowned for the high quality produce grown in the parish and at its peak there were over 150 Market Gardens. The exhibition showcases over 500 old photographs, alongside memories of many of the old Melbourne market gardening families, collected by the Melbourne Festival team as part of their Heritage Lottery Funded project in 2017 – 18. John Jackson along with members of the team from Samuel Jackson Growers were interviewed as part of the project and the photograph attached shows three generations of the Jackson family – John, his mother Doris and daughter Laura. Although they are no longer market gardeners they now use the knowledge collected over generations to grow the vegetables, fruit and flowering plants sold at Swarkestone Nursery.
As well as collecting memories from the past the Melbourne Festival team has worked very closely with photographer Christopher Mear who has made regular visits to Heaths of Melbourne, F Jackson & Son and W Sharp & Sons to photograph Melbourne last three Market Gardens and their produce. A selection of these images looking to the present and the future of Melbourne’s Market Gardens will also be on show. Melbourne Festival’s Sharon Brown says the exhibition takes us full circle showing the past and the present and visitors can always eat vegetables from Sharps one of the remaining Market Gardens are always used in the Restaurant at the Swarkestone Nursery”.
For more information or if you would like to contribute more information to the project please contact Sharon Brown firstname.lastname@example.org 07765 819428.