Weekly Reports for December 2020

20 December 2020

The Tuesday group made the most of a lovely sunny morning preparing for our mushroom trials which some volunteers will take forward at home. A half dug soakaway was completed and a delivery of pots was washed and sorted; the wormeries were fed.

Anne Wood cried foul on Wednesday as this is the day of the week you can guarantee to get wet. The remainder of the pots were washed, Keith gave the tools a clean and Langley dropped by with new and rejigged plant labels. Nothing else was possible as the heavens opened so they called it a day.

There was a gap until the Sunday crew clocked in. Some umphin’ and groaning took place as newly delivered office surplus furniture was moved into place. Patty had brought some delicious cherry brandy chocolates which we chomped as we debated the outcome of ‘Strictly’ and bade each other a happy albeit lockdowned Christmas.

The site is now closed for Christmas until Tuesday 29 December. Several things are continuing off site though apart from the mushroom cultivation. Seeds are still going into packets ready for planting next year and sharing with the community. The questionnaire that Martha has sent out to volunteers is being looked at and she has already had a number of them back. If Martha has sent you a questionnaire she would really like to hear from you.

After Christmas the various volunteer groups will essentially be organised in separate ‘pods’ with people only attending one session per week and not mingling with other groups. We are doing this to ensure that we only lose the volunteer time of one group in the event of people needing to isolate.

13 December 2020

Well it has been a wet, rather cold week when the days didn’t seem to get light. Ton bags have been sitting on the wall beside poly 2 for some time ready for attention but challenging weather didn’t deter the Tuesday group from putting in an impressive effort. The ton bags now sit filled and supported proudly upright and ready to go.

In her first week as Garden Manager Martha started talking to the day groups about what volunteers think is going well at the Garden and where we can improve. She is circulating questionnaires online too to get more information and will collate results in a report.

Initial ideas include laminated growing plans on the raised beds to help ensure that we plant the right things in the right place. Martha aims to achieve an approach with SCG volunteers having increasing information and knowledge. An idea to help achieve this is for notes being left next to individual plants to explain what is there and what is planned for it. This should help avoid mistakes such as the inappropriate attention to plants or accidental removal. Martha’s report should be interesting. Watch this space.

Gil and John  have donated copies of ‘Home Growing‘ and ‘Grow Your Own Vegetables‘ which offer good references to help understand the needs of plants as we put them in.

On Wednesday Keith was busy with his toolkit fixing the cloches.

Today the heavy rain really put paid to much apart from a good distanced chat and some weeding. Margaret went home to carry on plaiting the thread which will divide up the square plots for members’ growing experiments. Alyson and I did likewise to packet up more seeds. A reminder that Sunday 20 December will be our final session before Christmas and we will reopen on Tuesday 29 December.

6 December 2020

We are happy to report that Martha Everett has been appointed as our part time Garden Manager, until into April with time spent both on and off site. She will pull together various strands of work that either need co-ordination or energy to get a number of desired developments moving that would otherwise be stuck. Coordination is a particular challenge as volunteer groups work on different days. There is plenty of volunteers’ communication though via WhatsApp with this week’s hot topics including manure, leaf mould and fungus. You can just sense the passion when you read it!  Anyway good luck to Martha.

The Wednesday group awoke to a clear proper, clear frosty morning with a bright low sun. People were out in all directions – working on the old depot area, topping up the members’ raised bed and tailoring indoor plants. The members’ bed will in spring once more be divided into foot squares and with half a dozen each will experiment with (and demonstrate) what can be grown in limited spaces.

Thursday produced one of those familiar heavy grey skies and it was wet. Pelargoniums and succulents were potted up and should be good to give away in the spring. The Thursday group is definitely up to something with a bubble wrap experiment. Fleece also seems to be involved as well as a plan B. I will delve further into the mysterious goings on each Thursday and will keep you informed!

Sunday’s volunteers were greeted with snow on the ground. They tried to keep warm mainly by clearing leaves and filling ton bags ready for fruit trees. They found themselves entertained by bluetits and great tits giving a lovely display around the flower garden area. The cold finally won and there was an early closing owing to cold fingers and toes. Roll on July.


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