Back to the land

The last few weeks have been a personal celebration for me, the joy of being out on the land after a long 4 months recuperating from an operation. I was a spectator through the window as summer passed. Now I am back! It was a joy to see the plot again, to see the changes that the hard work of my fellow allotmenteers have made. There has been a few work parties of volunteers who have made a huge difference.

This day Janet set to weeding the raised beds, Susan thinned out the strawberry runners. Duncan and Kamil worked on setting up the huge water butt ( there is a technical term for it that escapes me)  This will hugely increase our rainwater harvesting capacity and we can run hose pipes from it.

waterbutt

I got stuck in potting up the abundance of strawberry plants. This variety are very prolific, I can recommend them!

And the harvest

SIT wine perhaps?

Looking forward to the next plot day… this Saturday 13th October.

Part Two … Apple Day

Apple day bag

This is my favourite community event of the year and a real celebration of all things apple. It is organised by Trust Links, a local mental health charity.

They have wonderful theraputic gardening projects and manage St Laurence Orchard which is an ancient orchard in Eastwood. Southend in Transition usually have a stall there to raise some funds.

appleday ron

Our stall had crafts, homemade “free from ” baking, homemade preserves, books and handmade items. We also bought along some strawberry plants and of course there was apple bobbing.

 

The cakes sold out quickly and the bag and wooden apple painting were very popular. The best thing about the day is seeing people enjoying this wonderful ancient orchard and catching up with friends. And the rain held off until packing up time. The next event there will be Wassailing in January.

 

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Harvesting together

Another productive visit from Project 49.

The team managed to cut the grass, rake the orchard plot, cut the comfrey, water plants, fertilize beds with used coffee grounds, weed a raised bed and harvest chard, tomatoes and grapes. You can see a lot of experience picked up from volunteering with Graham in Mendip. Their new film crew arrived a bit later and lots of pictures and footage were taken.
Thanks for all the help and laughs:)

Bosco helped out with the grape vine and prunned the plant to let more air and sunshine touch the grapes and help them mature. There will be plenty of them for snacking, freezing for smoothies, juicing and maybe even some wine:) thank you.

Not made from sugar

14 volunteers from NatWest and our regulars visited the plot last Thursday for some community action! We watched the met office forecast from the beginning of the week and were hoping for some conductive weather. I was worried the rain might put everyone off but Chloe and her team were ready to try anyway.

The day before I got some tarps for the sitting area just in case. Trust Links kindly lent us airpots so we could have plenty of hot drinks.

On the day the team arrived in full attire. Everyone was keen to start the work and we assigned jobs. Thanks to Sarah and Duncan for helping with organising the teams and sorting tools. This was certainly the most busy work wise we have been so far. All the donated tools came in really handy. Thank you!

We started work on clearing the wood from the family plot, clearing orchard area, clearing the new corner we were given, bagging up compost, making a compost sieve and additional poles for the tarp.

We will have lots of compost for the raised beds and the plots look much better now.

The rain got worse over time and we gave out the coats we had. The volunteers did not seem at all slowed in their work and just laughed it off for most of the morning.

2.5 hours into the work day the rain soaked everyone through and we suggested to call it a day with people to grab lunch. You could see that they wanted and would stay more if it wasn’t for people getting soaked and cold by then. We did not feel disapointed though as the progress made has been great and the team was full of characters, we had lots of laughs and exchanged ideas.

Chloe hopes to come back again next year. In the meantime if your group, business or workplace wants a great active day out get in touch with us.

Sunshine after a rainy day Sat 11th Aug ’18

After the recent rain the plants were looking happier but so were the weeds.  August is quiet for visitors on the plot it was just the two of us.

The recent acquisition of our orchard area means there are lots of exciting plans and jobs afoot.  This was helped greatly by last Thursday’s Natwest team building work party who 14 strong set about, despite persistent rain, clearing the orchard overgrowth, dissembling  surplus raised beds and building a large gravity compost sifter.

So today we were blessed with the opportunity to potter,  tying up and cutting back superfluous leaf growth on tomato vines allowing them to concentrate their energy on ripening the fruit.   We took great pleasure in harvesting rhubarb for refreshing rhubarb and ginger wine,  picking blackberries from the wild areas at the edge of the allotment site, ready for jams and pies and more wine, well you have to catch and store energy don’t you? Other jobs include pruning blueberries, weeding out the chard beds, feeding the fish and making a start on creating a dojo or lowdown chill area for meditation or napping.

It’s so great at this time of the year, harvesting the fruits of ours and natures labors, the grapes are just starting to ripen on the vine and it looks like we are blessed with an amazing crop in only it’s third year, a remarkable plant.

If you want a nature fix and a chance to wonder at her abundance, diversity and resilience, take some fresh organic produce home and help grow the project please join us for the next taster day and meanwhile spread the word.

Next official plot taster day is Sunday 26th August 10am-2pm but look out for impromptu days as and when we get the chance.

Thanks for your interest Happy Summer from Duncan and Sarah

Taster Day – Sat 11/08 9-12 Community Allotment

Taster Day – Sat 11/08 9-12 – Change to Time

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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 11/08 9-12

Joys of gardening.

Other events and groups:

Think Global/Drink Local – 29/08 Wed 19:00 Railway Hotel pop in for THE community social meet up, open to all groups and individuals interested in local community and sustainability

Repair Café Pictures Shoebury Hub

Southend 2050 Be part of the conversation

Southend Festival 01/07-15/08

National Permaculture Convergence 20/09

Regular opportunities:

Vacant plots on the main Southend East site available. Contact Dave on 07801355630 Well stocked trade hut.

Amazing World and Life Changing Books Selection – Fundraiser for SiT

TonyWagstaff.uk or 07766727266, park in or around Cluny Sq

Earthangel Allotment School

Mendip Wildlife Gardens

St Laurence Orchard Work Days – Trust Links

Community Tree Nursery

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 and here

Where is it?

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

Past days

Feeding the fruit

A win for England and the bees

Basking in the evening sun

Cool evening visit

Kind Regards

Kamil Pachalko

07411457259

Southend in Transition

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Kamil Pachalko
07411457259

Hug a hoodie when rain makes the plot muddie

The allotment team were shocked by the weather today. It took us 10 min of getting wet before we believed that rain is falling:)

Plants will certainly be happy as some looked sad in the heat. We are waiting a flush of salads but also weeds so help us out!

Fruits of our labours

The fruit trees and soft fruit shrubs have developed well this year.

The veg patch will need more attention but one can always barter and our lovely neighbour gave us some beetroot, potatoes and parsley in exchange for spent coffee grounds.

See you tomorrow.