Weekly Updates for December 2021

19 December

The excellent ‘Give Peas a Chance’ project has kept running right up to the Christmas break and well done to all involved for making this possible. On Saturday the GPAC children put their winter lettuce into individual pots to take home and nurture over the holiday. They also cut up willow to make stars as Christmas decorations. Pete visited for a lovely Japanese Haiku session and they read nature-related poems. Pete sent the children off exploring the garden for inspiration to come up with words for their own Haiku. They then enjoyed creating these, reading them out and listening to each other’s. The children will be back for the last sessions on 15th and 22nd Jan.

On site the salads in p2 have contended with temperatures from 12.5c to minus 2.7c. P2 is looking like quite a hive of activity with a further floor area having been scraped and a full barrow of wood chippings on standby ready to deposit a fresh floor covering.

On Wednesday the regulars were on site and were joined by others to have a drink, a mince pie and a chat. P3 is proving to be a nice airy venue when people wish to gather with plenty of distance available. Thanks to Anne for organising this. Keith had his sleeves rolled up though and has started fixing hooks in the new shed to accommodate our stock of SCG tools.

The week has also seen weeding in the potager and demo bed. John has filled the new bay with a delivery of leaves from the Pavilion Gardens. And Rob from Morrisons has kindly left a big box of biscuits which are in the blue box in p3. Broccoli, chard and sprouts are still ready for picking.  I will resume the weekly emails after the break. Wishing you a happy Christmas and a great new year. Let’s hope we can finally get the right side of covid 19!

12 December

Deep into the quiet season there is still activity at the Serpentine Garden. It was Compost and Worm Week for our GPAC group! Thank you to Helen who showed the children the compost systems and wormery activity at SCGC. Afterwards they enjoyed looking for minibeasts and creating their own compost experiment to check on next week and in the new year. Frances reports that owing to Covid and illness our GPAC group will continue on Saturdays in January.

A variety of other things have happened on site during the past week such as filling bird feeders; moving more planks from poly 1 to p2 ready to become raised beds; cabbages have been taken out of the demo beds; the potager has had some clearing and weeding as have raised beds B and C; plastic bits have been extracted from raised beds; work has been done to scrape the floor in p2 and apply fresh wood chippings and bulbs have been planted near the site entrance.

Autumn calabrese and rudolph varieties of broccoli are still offering some heads of broccoli. There is chard looking good and plump sprouts too, ready for Christmas tables. Gil has left out some marrow and ginger jam green (just munching some on toast as I write and it is delicious) and green tomato chutney. They are available for donations in P3. P3 also features plans very kindly drawn by Trevor Gilman showing the potential for the stone buildings. Decisions lie ahead for us.

5 December

This is the monthly email which includes our Supporters so firstly an update for them. A new polytunnel (P3) which stands where the awful concrete garage used to be, has been completed. It is now the reception and education area and is well placed to greet people arriving on site. In the same area a large shed has been erected and offers storage space. This area of the site is improving nicely.

The week’s weather has been very tough but our volunteers have kept things moving. Pea shoots and spinach have been planted; artichokes have been harvested; topping up of raised beds has continued; new volunteer Jim filled a large tub and planted an apple tree then proceeded to plant another. Keith has been fitting out the shed; planks have been moved to P2 ready to become new raised beds; Margaret has fleeced windows in the flower greenhouse for weather protection and a start made on replenishing the floor in P1 with woodchip. A substantial quantity of booze has arrived on site to give the slugs a good albeit time-limited party for the festive season. The slug traps are full. Today is World Soil Day in case you have missed it with lots of items on the Garden Organic site

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