Monthly Archives: March 2016

Easter Eggcitement

 

No rain forecast and a good flag flying breeze for the Easter weekend SIT plot meet up.

Which lucky gatherer will discover this sweet treasure?

 

Next on the itinerary, the seed bomb making.

Not a bad batch for our first seed bomb cook up.  Now dry in warmish place (greenhouse) for a couple of days for  super-crispy-explode on impact bombs.

Now we have almost depleted most of the seed stocks making bombs we had better get on with the seed swap.  Thankfully Danielle an avid grower who runs a small farm in Rochford and her apprentice seedsmith daughter brought a veritable selection to help restock. Good to see old favourites, beans, peas, carrots, but also many unusual varieties ;like Cucumelon striped beetroot and one I am looking forward to to giving a go – multicoloured sweetcorn!

After all this hard work, hmm hard play on this occasion, the call of lunch was a welcome one.But first, a toast to our acquisition of a second, half plot in, front of ours.Adam’s superb Hadleigh castle blackberry wine went down exceedingly well. A nice picnic of Tasty hummus or cheese sandwiches tortillas, a few of Danielles wonderful gluten free cup cakes, is there no end to this ladies talents? And to me Gluten free = taste-full, all washed down with teas, coffees or cocoa. Now  we are proudly stewarding one whole plot, with the  second half we will be creating a child orientated play and learn area.
Sitcommas 2016 is of to a flying start.  See you on the plot Saturday 9th 10-1400..

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Saturday 12 March at a glance…

Our second official visit to the plot of 2016 saw us enjoying the first hints of Spring with the glow of warming sunshine accompanied by bird song – what a great start to the year!  The warmth enabled some to shed a layer of triple winter clothing as recycled wood was moved to the site ready for plans to create a performing stage in the near future and the addition of the first few bags of a large batch of shingles to the site ready for a team effort to transport the rest in the next week or so.

 

Totals from the day:

Present 6 adults and 4 children of which 1 new adults and 2 new children

Social action hours – prep 2, garden 13,

Produce – approx. 0.3kg of 1 variety

Calories burnt 2600 cal:)

The theme of the day was to test the pH balance of the soil so that we can gain a better understanding of its changes over time and gauge its current levels.  Our youngest plot supporter, Nella, was on hand to help oversee everyone and make sure that the soil testing was going to plan ;0)

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We used a pH testing prong as well as took soil samples in jars from various areas and combined these with water ready for testing.  The children were extremely helpful in gathering these samples and labelling them accordingly, but were also specialist in discovering the woodlouse kingdom lurking beneath a slab.  Well done guys!

 

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Duncan also tested his drone in order to get some aerial shots of the plot, although the batteries failed us on this occasion but show that we can blend tradition with modern technology!

 

 

The first seeds of the season (basil and rocket) were planted in the greenhouse and accompany the bed planted horseradish, all of which were generously watered by the younger helpers.  A spot of weeding and tidying around the plot saw the days work nearing to an end, with the children enjoying a game of swingball before sitting down to enjoy a nice cuppa and the delicious food brought along by attendees to share which included buckwheat and roasted veg salad (Alicja’s masterpiece) and fruit and nut cake (Duncan’s delight).

 

 

Our friends at the the Allotment Society trading hut would also like to share some of their fine produce with you, as pictured below.

 

 

Our next session at the plot is Saturday 26th of March 10:00 – 14:00. Exciting things planned

10:30 Easter Egg Hunt

11:00 Seed Swap

12:45 lunch

13:15 Seed Bomb Making

We look forward to seeing you there.

 

Taster Day 28/2/16

A great start to the 2016 series of community allotment open days. We had a good number of people who cracked on with the weeding, cutting grass, sieving compost, identifying bugs.

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The morning was cold initially but when the sun came out and the greens light up everyone was lifted. I could see there were a lot of conversations over the busy trowels and spades.

Mark came down to take pictures for his series on Southend Soup former winners while Sherry and Gloria told us about the Connecting Communities project in Bournes Green.

We had a break for lunch with an original frittata and finished off with banana load and apple cake. Not sure how many calories were burned that day but I’d hope we came out at least on zero balance:)

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Although early in the year everyone took some chard, onion greens and onions home. Sweet fruits of our human and natures collaboration.

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We got a lot done – at this pace the plot will be ready for planting in no time. As we don’t like to twiddle our fingers we got permission to take on another plot which will be specially designed for families with smaller children. Having a toddler myself I know looking after them it can feel like herding cats so the plot will be designed to be secure and safe whilst allowing the care giver to sit down for a moment and have a cup of tea while their little one explores the site. See low grow beds, edible flowers, willow structures, strawberry plants, bug hotels, potting area so they can take seeds home etc. We need your ideas and designs, ways to get involved to follow soon but certainly we will need a lot of muscle power to get through the first and last digging of the plot.

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Totals from the day:

Present 10 adults and 2 children of which 5 new adults and 2 new children

Social action hours – prep 5, garden 32,

Produce – approx. 2 kg and 3 varieties

Calories burnt 6400 cal:)

See you next time Sat 12/03 where the topic will be Soil preparation – Soil testing – Soil improvement

How  you can help:

  • donate tools (even if broken as we might be able to fix them)
  • donate seed
  • donate your time