The garden is so full of life you can almost hear the plants growing in the polytunnel.
The seasons have overlapped and seeds were reluctant to germinate until the temperature rose. Even now we shiver in the cold winds and feel bad about putting anything fragile outside. Its a matter of space though and some are having to brace themselves and toughen up, these peas are getting a little help each one enclosed in it’s own little greenhouse with a sharp frill to deter the snail invaders.
We had some fun sowing the new Meadow recently – inspired by something seen on Countryfile we gathered families together on a Sunday morning, sowed the seed then did the Hokey Kokey to tread them all into the ground.
The children all went home with balloons inflated with some wildflower seed inside then strung onto little bamboo poles. We told them to find a place where they would like to see flowers grow and pop their balloon there. Fingers crossed some flowers grow and they make the connection!
We are struggling with the opening hours. People coming in off the street all ask “When is the garden open?” We have posted new opening times but still tell them the garden needs regular volunteers to commit to be in the garden every week at specific times in order to guarantee that the garden will be open. They nod. It doesn’t seem to be what people want to hear and we spend hours in meetings talking about how best to encourage local people to come in and feel a part of the growing and sharing.
The other question we are constantly asked is “Who get’s the produce – is it for sale?” “Not for sale but to share” we respond, then explain the idea that everyone who works in the garden is entitled to share the produce. They nod. This doesn’t really seem to be what people want to hear either. It’s too vague and do-goody and you can see them wondering what the catch is. At this stage in the growing season its all pretty academic anyway because we only have herbs and a couple of broad beans to share, so perhaps when we have actual vegetables to share it will make more sense.
One early adopter of community garden life is Hassif a Sudanese gentleman who happily sows seed, nurtures his plants and has volunteered to take charge of the Sunday afternoon shift from the end of May. He knows a lot about African plants and nutrition and is always happy to talk and share. He planted a Baobab tree seed in the garden – watch that space!
Sadly, Abby has come to the end of her contract with us and everyone agrees she has done a brilliant job. We all feel more informed and organised veg-wise now and her Saturday morning workshops were a delight. We are looking for ways of funding more of these and Abby will still be coming to the garden when her busy schedule allows. Big Thanks!!!
There will be an exciting food event in the garden this Friday 17th May from 4pm to 7pm when Maresa from Moose’s Kitchen the ‘opening shortly’ local Vegan Cafe, will be doing a joint event for Food Revolution Day – come along to try some tasty vegan food – and bring something vegan to share too.
All for now…..