Windy but sunny

Wow, despite the gusts of wind out faithful group got on with the work on the plot. The temperature felt at moments warm and then cold so was hard to decide which layer to keep on.

Fiona worked on the greenhouse sowing seeds, we joked it was the best job on a day like this. Penny visited for a good chat and cup of tea, Mia and Billy planted potatoes and watered them with water from the fish pond and I emptied some horse manure onto one of the compost mounds and then started clearing the side of the composer. We can than create another bay and at the back build the long awaited deluxe storage.

We had some simple lunch with home made bread, salad and cheese, cake and jelly.

The bees continue to take a lot of water from our watercress tray. Richard advised that their honey crystallized so they use it to dissolve it. There was a humongous bumble bee drying out in the sun- sorry for splashing you!

The water storage at the bag of the shed works great Duncan and will cut down on our use of the mains.

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Spring, buds and flowers

Some great weather* and company allowed us to get lots of work done. Shed being set up which will keep us dry during wet times and which we hope to make into a nature museum with curiosities such as skins shed by snakes, dried out beetles and plants to give kids a chance to be a little allotment scientist.

The long awaited clear out of the raspberry/strawberry bed took place and Bethany and Susan did not shy away from the hard labour. The children fed the plants and enjoyed the obstacle course.  Thank you Tilly, Mia and Steven, Duncan, Fiona, new visitor and the photographer Alistair who took the photos for the Echo.

*our happiness about it is dampened by the fact these weather anomalies are due to human induced climate change so we continue to take practical and political action to address the causes while benefiting the allotment’s health creation effect to keep ourselves well.

The Sun is back in town! 17th Feb ’19

It’s warmer, the cut grass aroma overwhelms the senses and the increase in activity on the allotment site all culminate in the clarion call ‘Spring is here!’

My agenda today was to build the shed we were donated late last summer.  Shed number 4 (shhh don’t tell Charlie, he already believes we are trying to build an eco-village!)

Fiona had a mission to prepare seed bomb materials for The South Essex Seed potato day next Saturday,  a double whammy as our seed stores have been getting out of hand.  Fi’s deft hands brought order to the seeds and potted up dozens of Strawberry plants for the stall to boot.

Volunteer Mark helped me with clearing new shed site of tuffty grass before laying slabs on leveled and compacted soil ready for the super 7 feet by 10 feet shed.  This is going to be a wildlife museum, where you can learn about all the creatures that frequent the plot.

It was good to been joined by Kathy who keen as mustard worked her way through the weeds in the raised beds with forensic accuracy.

With the warm sun, little in the way of wind and just the sounds of the birds and the insects for company, time seemed to drift away and lunch was well overdue by the time we sat down to lentil soup, bread rolls and some naughty sticky flapjack.  Great food, nice conversation and fresh air, absolutely lovely.

Looking forward to the growing season ahead, we will be getting some broad beans, onions, on the go and peppers and cabbage underglass.

 

 

Thanks for your interest and hope to see you down on the community allotment for the next taster day Saturday 4th March.

The great rhubarb move

Great day on the plot, bright, dry, no wind, not too cold and a bed full of overgrown rhubarb plants needing thinning. The physical activity was welcome after the Xmas food abundance:)

The plants were competing with each other and dried out in summer so we wanted to leave only three in the bed.

We were joined by Steve who got on with clearing the bed. The soil was nice as attested by the many worms thanks to mulching over the years. We had some compost left over and wanted it incorporated as well.

I have dropped of a supply of manure onto our compost heap. The middle one has sunk around a half meter already thanks to the rains washing down loads of nitrogen and minerals in the clay, manure and coffee grounds.

Duncan won’t be too pleased as the fox ate the tube from the solar fountain, again… We will need to upgrade to kevlar tubing:)

There was time for a coffee and pancakes break, hot water bottles placed strategically kepy us comfy.

Then we planted some rhubarb in containers to share with the community. We planted our rhubarb crowns in the new compost in the bed. Steve took some crowns for his gardening project.

Before we went we had a moment to admire the bed finished last week by Charlie with the horseradish leaves sticking out waiting for summer.

Thanks for all the help and have a great New Year.

Saying goodbye to 2018

You could say it was all about the horseradish today.

We had some great sunshine accompanying us while we were clearing the corner bed to fill it with our compost.

Charlie joined us before he takes up a position at an independent school and got to dig up the horseradish. He likes it grated in vinegar, I will make a sauce and add some to cooked and grated beetroots. Delicious. The roots take care of themselves so it is one of my favourite plants.

I covered our new bay of compost in the making with some coffee grounds and animal bedding. The heap was mostly carbon so far. The addition of nitrogen will help start the decompositiom process but we nees plenty more of the greens and other sources of N.

The vine looks very modest after Duncan’s prunning and will be ready to explode with leaves and fruit next year.

We had a hearty lunch and chatted about different psychological and community processes we are interested in.

Charlie stayed on to finish with the bed.

Thanks for the help in 2018, I hope you enjoyed our adventurea and see you next year peeps.

Last days of 2018

We braved it and there we were ready to tackle the sprawling grapevine which blessed us with kilograms of sweets fruit and the triangle bed which was home to the broad beans and some strawberries which sneaked their way in.

Duncan did a quick online course on pruning and there he was bringing order. I used our homemade compost to enrich the bed and planted Just add Cream strawberry saplings. Oh what a feast this will be.

Join us in 2019.

Sat 10th Novem ’18 Notice no Berrhh in November ;-)

A bonus warm and bright day just perfect for late season pottering and preparing the plot for the winter weather, which must be arriving at some stage?

Fiona and I arrived on the plot and were greeted with the burst of autumnal colour  and begun with a bit of mooching to got a feel for what the plot seemed to need.

We decided to hold off on the grape vine pruning until the leaves had fully dropped.

Fiona set about cutting back the lavender bushes which sit at the start of the raised beds and really need transplanting so they can grow free.  Fiona took the opportunity to attempt to bring some cuttings on.  Lavender hedges are not only fragrantly beautiful but useful too.  Meanwhile I set about connecting the sheds guttering up to our mega butt.

Meanwhile regular volunteers Susan and linda immersed themselves in some titivating of the raised beds while chit chatting and soaking up the rays.

After a satisfying mornings session we were more than ready for one of Fiona’s nutritious bean stews, mopped up with french loafs donated by the Co-op’s surplus food programme.

We will leave you with a few more photos and look forward to welcoming you to join us for next community allotment installment where you could learn how to prune a grape vine correctly for great yields, talk compost or just enjoy a cup of tea in the fresh air.  Next plot day  Sunday 25th Nov 10-2pm.

Thanks for your interest Duncan and the team.:-)