Monday 28th June
Rachel and me digging, planting and harvesting today and what a harvest!
Potatoes, broad beans, lettuce, rhubarb and Spring onions. And not forgetting a handful of wild strawberries and a few red currents that hadn't been eaten by the birds.... shame, as they are tasty.
Wednesday 30th July
Wow! there were 10 of us ( Wonder Women) on site.....the weather was good and we were a hive of activity. Clearing paths, digging out the nasty roots, removing staples from reclaimed wood, fence painting and illustrating the wildlife on the compost bin blackboard.
The reward made with our produce: Rachel's spinach and feta pastry bites, new potatoes and of course, a lovely salad mix.
Banjo the fox paid us a visit admiring her portrait by lisa
Monday 21st June
Bit of an Up and Down this week the poppies and sweet peas have started to flower and the broad beans are ready to harvest. We tidied the greenhouse and put the cucumbers, loofah and aubergines in their final places. Standing back its hard to think we only started this part of our journey in January
But we had noticed some of our onions leaves had grown curly and i didn't think much about it, but after seeing an article online about allium leaf miner i had my suspicions about them and after digging the worst one up found some pupas confirming the worst. if we want to grow any alliums now we'll have to net them with enviromesh as the flies are tiny (for more info on leaf miners go to https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=643) but the space created by the taking out some of the onions meant we could plant out the celerica so thats all good.
Wednesday 23rd June
four legged friends. I could tell you all about the creative things we did (painting the fence) or the Gardening (planting out more pumpkins and some other bits and pieces) or the food we had (broad bean dip) but the whole session was stolen by a visit from Dino the dog and at the end by our resident fox after she tried to steal my gloves Dino didn't notice he was flaked out after a busy time sniffing everything and having a lot of fuss off everyone
Friday 25th June it rained and we eat lunch and chatted with Marg (who had come for a visit) in the allotment hut we didnt take a photo so here's one of the flower boarder instead
Monday came and after we had been on a bit of a jolly to order soil and compost from the lovely guys at Acres Green in Caverswall(Its arriving on Friday!) we installed a bit more fencing, kindly donated by our next door neighbour, Mike. We built the 4th side of the compost heap so it is removable to enable us easily to move the compost from one stall to another. We transferred the rotting compost from stall one to stall two and the aim is to move it and therefore turn it over every two weeks which should speed up the rotting process. We need lots of compost! Bit more weeding (always) and of course watering.
Another beautiful Wednesday for Wonder Women at Plot 33. Lots of weeding in the flower bed. An old water tank has sat, full of weeds and other delights, challenging us to do something with it. We finally bit the bullet and cleared it out. It will make a great planter for a pumpkin and maybe some herbs. We harvested a lovely salad of leaves, herbs and a sprinkle of marigold petals (lemony tasting) to go with the delicious crustless quiche Rachel had made.
,A half ton bag of topsoil and a half ton bag of compost were delivered on Friday to the allotment gates. We had to move it all the hundred metres from the gates onto the allotment straightaway. Firstly because it was blocking the gates but also if left, it could become a free for all! So armed with 2 wheelbarrows and 2 spades we set to work. It took some effort but it was very satisfying and it's great to know when we need it, it's there. We immediately filled the water tank (after filling partially with some rotting wood), and added some more soil/compost mix to the no dig bed. Then we sat and recovered with well earned cuppas.
Monday 7th June
After much umming and ahhing and consulting with some No-Dig experts via the interweb, we made the hard decision that if we wanted to grow anything other than weeds in bed 3 we were going to have to do a bit of digging. so monday we set about with rakes and trowels, rescuing the not quite dead Kale and pulling out grass roots by the bucket full (it was very satisfying)
Wednesday 9th June the wonder women came to plot 33 and we had a lovely relaxed day sowing seeds, pricking out seedlings and potting on plants as well as scoffing some delicious lemon balm oat cookies made by Anne, with our own lemon balm. Todays difficult decision was to have one cookie or two and what type of salad to pick!
friday 11th June i made a list of jobs i thought we should at least attempt and we did pretty well with it thanks to some help from Annes sister who came for a visit. we planted the courgettes, and 2 pumpkins in bed 3, weeded beds 2 (rhubarb) and 4 (onions and carrots) and a bit of work on the compost bins. The plot looks a lot tidier and you can see the carrots hopefully the companion planting of parsley, marigolds and onions will work and hide the sent from the dreaded carrot fly!
Along to Plot 33 in the midday sun... glorious. The Greenhouse was so hot ...the tomatoes are doing really well and enjoyed a good soaking and a bit more 'pinching out' (hark at me with my gardening terms!). The smaller plants were beginning to suffer with the heat so we moved outside and watered thoroughly, in hope they will all survive.
We started to tackle making a fence panel from part of the demolished shed, to denote our boundary with the community orchard. Lots of weilding a saw, a sledge hammer and a drill and eventually we have the first panel.... not perfect by a long shot...but it's standing quite sturdily. We also installed a trellis for the pumpkin to grow up. After all that effort in the heat of the day we need to sit and enjoy our plot and thoroughly water ourselves followed by everything growing ..... the water buts are now empty!
Wednesday, Wonder Women Day. Another hot day .. bit of a contrast to last Wednesday when we were all wrapping our hands around cups of tea to keep warm. We set ourselves up on the grass so we didn't have to move too much and slow painted the bench, another wheelbarrow to plant up, the pumpkin trellis and the base boards for our Greening Festival Stoke and Plot 33 signs. Now we need to install them. There was some slow hoeing between rows of potatoes, carrots, onions etc and slow watering before retreating to find shade. Rachel made up gorgeous bags of salad leaves, small but perfect carrots, spring onions and herbs to take home. Lovely day together "we'll remember this as one of those special days....."
Friday. We have been out and about doing other things today so only short time on the allotment planting peas with wigwam's to grow up followed by watering, watering and more watering.
Greening Stoke is a project run in partnership between Festival Stoke and Letting in the Light. We are based in Stoke-on-Trent.
We are started this adventure in January 2021 in the middle of a national lockdown. Gradually, as things begin to open up, close down and then open up again, Rachel and Anne abided by all the Covid-19 Government guidance, worked in a socially distanced way, to prepare and maintain Plot 33 so that they were eventually able to invite the community to work with them.
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