Category Archives: Biodiversity

Invitation to the 26/03 Taster Day and Seed Swap

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


Sun 26/03 10-14

Gardening and the big paint job to prepare the sheds for a new season and…Seed Swap! Buy, sell, swap and donate seeds. Your regular varieties and some surprises.

Great seed swap

Sat 15/04 10-14

Enjoy some gardening and Easter Egg Hunt!! Bring the kiddies for 10:00AM


Other events by Southend in Transition

Transition Drinks – 30/03 Thur 19:00 Olde Trout Taver

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 us?

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

 

Social action hours put in by the volunteers and Trustees into running SiT, events and the plot since Sept 2016: 120 hrs. Thank you all.

Kind Regards

Kamil Pachalko
07411457259

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Supplies for the plot

The warm growing season is coming to an end and we are picking the last of summer produce.

The family plot is getting on thanks to the help of Jim and Helen and generosity of Michael at http://www.Ollu.co.UK who donated the scaffolding boards. We dropped off some surplus topsoil mixed with coffee grounds onto the pile ready for when the raised beds are up.

This was a short visit and we enjoyed the low sun. As a bonus nature provided Alicja with materials for a beautiful bouquet.

See you on Sunday 23rd Oct

Taster Day 06/08/16 and Tamalpa Life Art Process

We arrived on the plot with a busy schedule in mind.

Duncan and Fiona were hard at work keeping the weeds under control who seem to be encroaching from each side of our remote plot. Oh yes, community allotment is not only glamour you see:). We had a discussion with Duncan on the pros and cons of a grass path vs a mulched path. Not sure we got that settled. What’s your preference and why?

Soon enough two visitors arrived and put themselves to the task of gathering black berries – free food forever!. W have not put one ounce of work towards the brambles and they still produced lots of lovely berries for us.

Even more visitors arrived and after a short chat and tea threw themselves into planting our two  apples trees. They will need plenty of watering in the coming weeks but we could not wait anymore as the pots were more likely to dry out then if we put them in the soil.

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Then came the turn for some composting – we filled the bins with garden green waste, covered with some used coffee grounds and watered them. Last Taster Day’s bins seem to be doing well with the materials slowly moving slower. I’d like to start up making somecomfrey tea to fertilize the beds but also as I found that the remaining sludge is a great compost activator so we could use it in the bins.

We took part in the http://www.bigbutterflycount.org/ and spent 15 min walking the allotments spotting butterflies. Some of us went old school and had print outs and some downloaded the app for the phone. No one felt an expert in recognizing butterflies but the materials were quite self explanatory and soon we were marking off first findings. In all honesty I don’t have much appreciation for the white butterflies especially after they found a hole in our brassica bed netting and their offspring devoured the plants but thinking of them as performing an important pollinator function helped me appreciate that nature is about relationships and that sometimes we get and sometimes we give. All in all we counted 26 butterflies and around 5-6 varieties (ie. large and small white, gatekeeper) as some of them were not willing to perch down for us to allow more accurate inspection.

Following a scrumptious lunch we set off on to the green for the Tamalpa workshop with Donna who kindly offered it to us prior to her trip to the states.

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We walked, we moved and swayed and sat and drew about our experiences. It felt great to connect in this way with our bodyscape in nature and hear from everyone about their experiences. It reminded me of the different ways of observing activity I tried during the Permaculture Design Course and how it helped me and others see our surroundings with new eyes and get fresh insights.

That’s it for now and see you on the 27/08 for the next Taster Day.

 

Upcoming Taster Days at the SiT community allotment

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Sun 10/07 10-14 – regular day with good company, food and learning new skills, bring your drill:). Lunch time planning for a network to start up projects helping communities unite in these unsettling times. FB event, please share.

Sun 24/07 10-14 Poetry on the Plot – featuring spoken word as we liked it a lot the last time around. FB event, please share.

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

How you can help us grow:

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

  • donate seed

  • donate your time

How to find our little plot MAP

And a write up of one of the days at the plot.

Gardening and conversing on the 11/06

This is the best time of year to be in the garden. Warmth from the sun, gentle breeze, plants largely look after themselves. This seasons changing weather makes the weeds happy as well and we get a regular work out on the weeds.

We had a good go at the tool storage and like the way it is going to keep them organised plus Fiona will be very pleased with the upcoming potting table next to it.

 

Sara has brought us a tool from Spain made from copper which is said to keep away slugs and a cross between a 3-pronged cultivator and a hoe and helped our brassicas by cutting down the tops of the German Alpine Spinach to make it more bushy and not to crowd out the other saplings and applied some used ground coffee around the plants to feed them.

Jason visited us for the first time and cracked on with cutting the grass which enjoys the rain and sun and needs to be seen to each time we are there. The plot looks more presentable thanks to the teams persistence.

It was great to observe the interactions on the plot, in a space 15m by 9m people can find a quiet space for themselves tending to the plants and can also join together in work and conversations flow.

A perk of the day was meeting Dan from Essex Bees tending to his cuties. He was generous and we tried fresh honey and wax straight from the comb. Delicious.

We finished off with a lunch with a rise salad followed by fruit and so the day came to an end.

Feedback from Jason:

I am quite nervous and feel a little uncomfortable when meeting new people, but everyone one was very nice and friendly which helped a lot. It was also nice to get my hands into the soil, and see a modest result for my efforts. The tool room looked great, and the food was very nice too. Looking forward to doing it again soon. Thanks

Next plot day will be on the 26/06 Sunday 10-14 and looking forward to seeing you for a cup of tea or a dig depending on what you feel you need.

Kamil

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