Weekly Reports for March 2020

25 March 2020

A team of established volunteers and recent recruits committed to sustaining the community garden has come together. We feared that the stringent regime required for keeping people apart would challenge our project. From the experience of the last few days, it seems that we will survive and thrive. Using a mix of Whats App messaging, emails and phone calls, we’re more connected than before.  We’re close socially online whilst observing strict guidelines on physical distance and disinfection to protect ourselves and others. The work rate on site is phenomenal. This may even be a model to continue when better times come. Our chief growers have set up their home and garden as a satellite centre. Others in self isolation are growing on plants at home ready for transfer when better times come.

18 March 2020

We focused on making arrangements to sustain growing in the imminent lockdown. Our last day of normal opening was remarkably productive in the challenging circumstances. We cropped salad, watered plants under glass and swept pathways and steps. The garden is in good heart.

      *          *          *          Corona Virus – Covid 19           *          *          *

JOHN BOARDMAN’S WORKING NOTES

11 March 2020

Excitement as the components of a generously donated greenhouse arrived. Space was cleared, the base has been positioned and fixed and we will shortly be starting the assembly stage.  A lot of tidying and cleaning, of tools, pots and the site has been going on and weed suppressing membrane has been lifted and moved to storage. The comfrey is appearing, beans and leeks have been sown and the large pile of wood chip has been spread across the pathways and the polytunnel floors. A pair of robins have started exploring the holes in the wall of one of the old buildings. Various signs are gradually being updated to reflect our amended name – Serpentine Community Garden. No more disappointed children hoping to find a Farm with sheep and cows!

4 March 2020

The ash tree overlooking the greenhouse was showing early signs of dieback so it was agreed it should come down while it was still safe to tackle it. This happened this week, so we have a stack of logs looking for ideas and we also received a large pile of wood chip. Our industrious team has now spread the majority over paths and in the tunnels and everywhere is looking much refreshed. A variety of fruit bushes has been planted in the newest raised bed and we have started giving away free packets of seeds to visitors and passers-by as well, of course, to our volunteers. All being well, serious sowing will start next week (don’t tell the mice!). Heritage Seed Library asked us to adopt a couple of additional varieties to grow to replenish their seed stocks (they are known as ‘orphans’). We received our two varieties this week – Dwarf French Bean “Soldier” and Tomato “Veepro Paste” which sounds very hardy.  As well as picking salad, we have our first purple broccoli ready – very cheering.

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