Kids dig potatoes

Another much anticipated plot day and the weather smiled upon us and the lovely spuds Little Nella worked so diligently to unearth overseen by Sarah.  Just perfect to cure of the lovely potatoes before storing in clamps or potato sacks to see through winter.

With a quiet turn out, nucleus SIT members were not short of choice of jobs to keep us entertained.  Fiona harvested lots of pectin rich crab apples for jam making.  Duncan Kamil and Sarah took to green keeping duties with push mowers and hand sheers and a cheery song ” Mow Mow Mow your lawn, gently on your back, if you see a tough old weed don’t forget to hack”.  Kamil continued battling back bramble bushes on the adjacent plot, which we have adopted and hope to create a heritage orchard, using weed suppressing membrane,  Sarah helped harvested some pumpkin, blackberries and vine leaves, the latter to make stuffed vine leaves.  So resourceful.

The dinner bell couldn’t come soon enough and when we got there we discovered that Duncans sun dried tomato and onion Focaccia had already been half devoured by hungry munchkins.  Alicja the queen of fermented foods brought along some superbly healthy and tasty dishes that she’d prepared for us, we all got to ask questions about how to make her fabulous beetroot relish

Next plot day is planned for Saturday 26th August so we shall see how our hugelkultur beds have rotted down and hopefully get planting some perennial herbs ready for next year, we also have an 5ft rescue umbrella willow to plant on the children’s plot (willow weaving experts please come forward). Its all very exciting at the plot as we develop into the place that the original members envisioned. Our guests are increasing in numbers and becoming inspired to return and become involved with all our community activities. As we start to see new sustainable food culture developing in Southend we feel grateful to be part of the movement.

SiT Community Allotment Taster Days Sat 12/08/2017 10-14 presented by Southend in Transition

Southend in Transition Community Allotment
(entrance to allotments off Hamstel Road – Garon’s end – opposite fish and chips Plaice to Be)

Where you can learn how to grow food, look after your garden, take fresh produce home, meet new people over a shared meal and exchange ideas on how to help the community thrive.

Taster Days – Volunteers and public welcome

Sat 12/08 10-14
You guessed it, gardening and tea and cake but what other special things can we do? Would you like poetry, painting or … are you a secret ukelele master and want to teach us a few basic grips?

Sun 27/08 10-14
Gardening and a bit more of citizen science – the Big Bug Hunt – spot them and record them


Other events locally:

Transition Drinks – 31/08 Thur 19:00 Olde Trout Tavern

Estuary Fringe Festival 4-13th of August

Southend Soup 11/08

Southend Community Play by Capataro 12 and 13th of Aug

SEEOG visit to walled garden at Riffhams Saturday 12 August, 10:00

Westcliff Land Cultivation Society’s Summer Show at Springfield Drive Allotments, Westcliff-on-Sea 20/08 14:00

Learning opportunities

Compost making

Wise watering

Soil fertility

Weeding

DIY:

water catchment and storage

Tool shed

Potting table

Materials storage

Starting new plot – digging

Visit us to plant, catch the sun, grow, water, sit, enjoy, drink tea or just chat.

How you can help?

  • donate tools (even if broken as we might be able to fix them)
  • donate seed
  • donate your time – volunteer occasionally or on a regular basis
  • leave us a review here (thank you Louise) and here

Where is it?

Click to find our little plot off Hamstel Road. Link to MAP

Past days

Quick Delivery


The Good Rot… and other stuff

Kind Regards

Kamil Pachalko
07411457259

Email UNSUBSCRIBE to stop receiving updates for the plot.

Quick delivery

We popped over to the plot to feed the compost bins.

We do love compost. To get to compost though we need some help from our local gardening community. A few local gardeners are dropping off their green “waste” to us which we can use to feed the hungry compost bins. It makes life easier for them, cuts down on waste and builds our soil.

Lasagna composting – a layer of twigs or wood chip, some greens like grass cuttings or some food waste from a my local bistro Conscious Kitchen  topped with some Waitrose coffee grounds and a flush of water. Repeat and in a few months time we will be sieving through nice and crumbly compost.

If you have ideas for mutually beneficial relationships between the plot and its community and the neighborhoods, its residents and businesses call us or visit the plot for a cup of tea.

 

 

The Good Rot… and other stuff

 
Sunday’s allotment day was all about the amazing raised beds that are being built on the new family plot. They are intended to act as a fence to keep to children in and also be easy for them to reach so they can enjoy the experience of growing stuff.
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We have got new battery pack tools from a grant and donated scaffold boards .We are very grateful to Inez and Alex and friends for their hard work. It is only thanks to all those who volunteer time and energy that we can achieveas much as we have.
SIT Inez
A keen crowd assembled to get stuck in, the usual tasks ..weeding and more weeding awaited.
weeds
The tomatoes are growing well and need further staking. The various pumpkins and squashes have loved the recent rain. I was excited to see some gem squash appearing ( a South African favourite). Our grape vine is going to give us a bumper harvest this year.
Sit grapevine
The raised beds project is going to use the idea of Hugelculture. Thanks to Tree Fella for your donations This involves layering large pieces of wood, logs etc, then smaller branches and twigs, then greenwaste..leaves, weeds and grass cuttings . Add some other organic waste… we are using spent mushroom compost from The Urban Farmers and coffee grounds from various establishments around town. And then top it of with a layerof topsoil compost mix.
First Duncan lined the beds with plastic and old builders bags to protect the sides and improve water retension. Then the bottom was covered with cardboard to suppress weeds, this will eventually rot down.

 

Mark and his family are new plot visitors and we soon had them hard at work, here they are filling up with the first wood layer

HU3

Then the other layers go on and its all watered down very well….

 

Can you see the Good Rot getting started??

hu7

 

All ready for planting. We are planning a sensory herb, vegtable and flower garden in this section.

hu9

We had a number of new visitors to the site… Linda and Lizzie from community group “piertalk” https://www.piertalk.com/wp/they came along to discuss ways our two groups might help each other. Norman and Sylvie, local residents to chat about the community gardens in their sheltered scheme and to exchange ideas about composting and Mark and his family to talk about professional chefs and restaurants getting linked up with local gardeners and growers.

With all that hard word we still make time for lunch and a chat and laugh under the shade of our new gazebo.

 

And all to soon the rain clouds rolled in and it was time to leave the plot to the plants and the bugs and the worms and the good rot.

 

sunflower

SiT Community Allotment Taster Days Sun 23/07/2017 10-14 presented by Southend in Transition

Southend in Transition Community Allotment
(entrance to allotments off Hamstel Road – Garon’s end – opposite fish and chips Plaice to Be)

Where you can learn how to grow food, look after your garden, take fresh produce home, meet new people over a shared meal and exchange ideas on how to help the community thrive.

Taster Days – Volunteers and public welcome

Sun 23/07 10-14

Gardening and a bit more of citizen science – the Big Bug Hunt – spot them and record them and Earthworm Watch – lets find out the health of our soil and its inhabitants.

Sat 12/08 10-14
You guessed it, gardening and tea and cake but what other special things can we do? Would you like poetry, painting or … are you a secret ukelele master and want to teach us a few basic grips?


Other events locally:

Transition Drinks – 27/07 Thur 19:00 Olde Trout Tavern

Handmade and Happy Skills Festival 30/12 Growing Together Westcliff. Get your tickets now. Surplus money will be donated to Little Free Pantry Southend and your very own Southend in Transition

Hadleigh Folk Picnic 22/07

Estuary Fringe Festival 4-13th of August

Learning opportunities

Compost making

Wise watering

Soil fertility

Weeding

DIY:

water catchment and storage

Tool shed

Potting table

Materials storage

Starting new plot – digging

Visit us to plant, catch the sun, grow, water, sit, enjoy, drink tea or just chat.

How you can help?

  • donate tools (even if broken as we might be able to fix them)
  • donate seed
  • donate your time – volunteer occasionally or on a regular basis
  • leave us a review here (thank you Louise) and here

Where is it?

Click to find our little plot off Hamstel Road. Link to MAP and picture attached.

Past days

Lunch and cheers from the plot

So, so many of us

Kind Regards

Kamil Pachalko
07411457259

Email UNSUBSCRIBE to stop receiving updates for the plot.

So, so many of us

Great weather, plot of land and plenty of helpers made for a splendid open day. People were pouring in and finding ways to get themselves involved. It is nice when newcomers build confidence and over time feel like they can and want to help out on the plot. It is not a requirement as we enjoy having people for just company but the place is at its most therapeutic when one gets lost in as simple an activity as weeding, watering, thinning or compost making.

The kids played in the shade, on the water table and explored the allotments but I think they will remember the water balloons most:) and so will everyone who got splashed.

The gazebo was again blessing us with its shade and it is certainly hard to miss us from a distance now.

Me and Duncan went back to my base to pick up the scaffolding boards we had been kindly donated by LAB Scaffolding 01702535265. By the time came back the hungry folk were stuck in lunch and enjoyed the potato salad and everything else that was brought in.

Ines and Alex signed their souls away…ahem… signed the health and safety note and were going to use their advanced woodworking skills to get the work started on the raised beds on the family plot. We were thinking and dreaming of that plot and its design for months now so to see it actually happening is very satisfying. The tools we bought from the Essex Foundation grant will help us accomplish the work quickly and give man and women a level playing field in working with the scaffolding boards.

See you Sunday the 23rd 10-14 for another open day. Bring yourself, friends for a jolly time. If you want make or bring some food for sharing but most important just give yourself the permission to feel better about the place and community you live in and look after the body given to you by nature.

 

There was so much going on…

The last Taster Day felt like the community allotment is coming of age. There was lots to do, lots of generous helping hands to do it and plenty of chatter and food.

We had Freya and Tom help us with the grass mowing and the team cleared the prolific broad beans to give the gooseberry some breathing space. It will make lovely compost in months to come.

People kept on streaming in and the weather was becoming hotter and hotter so we decided to set up the compact gazebo and fold-able table which we purchased from the Essex Community Foundation grant. Great thanks to Tilly and her family for help with setting it up – good to have someone who knows what they are doing. The gazebo is of professional standard and will last us for a long time. Built in Britain so it will be easy to source parts if needed. We got it for exactly for this purpose – to protect us from the elements on the plot and events. The gazebo sheltered us from the scorching sun and wind this time but in Autumn when it rains intermittently it will be nice to have a dry spot to wait the worst out with a cup of tea.

Ines and Alex visited and told us more about the community theater workshops and the people’s choir. We will be working together to make use of the plot and maybe stage a play! I would love for us to have a play there, maybe in the evening with some candles and lampoons hanged on the trees and plenty of burning herbs to drive the mosquitoes away. To find out more about the work of the theater company see www.capataro.com.

Thanks to the grant we were also able to purchase some battery powered tools and Duncan was able to crack on with the fencing for the family plot and in no time erected a many of the required posts. The quality tools will enable us to speed up some of the DIY efforts and involve a greater number of people to learn how to use them and build confidence. Alex and Ines came forward to help with the wood work on the plot so we might see some construction work going on soon.

We had more visitors streaming in with Piotr and his family who brought tasty smoothies and cookies. The latter ones must have been very popular as they disappeared in no time. The kids played with the water and in between the beds and then we enjoyed the beautiful lunch.

Following lunch we explored the wilderness next to our patch. Some revelers from other plots must have cleared paths in the thick jungle and we went for a walk about. The ivy covered wild cheery trunks shooting straight up to the sky give an impression of tropic wilderness. There were deep holes dug up by foxes and birds enjoyed the thicket. It’s going to be a few more weeks and we will be able to gather the juicy black berries. At the moment we have to carefully navigate their branches growing in all directions and reaching out for us like greedy fingers.

We returned to the tasks and some of us chatted about life, community and projects.

See the pictures and come see us in two weeks time.