Working Notes July 2022

31 July 2022

This week in the garden has been a welcome break from the hectic nature of the last month. After the carnival weekend, Mix it Up, The Buxton garden trail and Fringe awards all in such a short space of time, it’s been nice to get back to basics.
There has been much harvesting including white wonder cucumber, onions, shallots, courgettes, french beans, peas, beetroot and lettuce. We also continue to have some carrots harvested for us by a mysterious creature of the night.Talking of pests it is that time of the year again. The netting is up and the white butterfly and black fly are out in force, adding to our list of weekly tasks on top of watering and weeding.
As well as the right here and now we are also planning for the year ahead. The seed saving programme is in full swing and we have already harvested some heritage seeds for the future. As well as this, there has also been talk amongst volunteers about how we move forward as a community garden. One idea is to go back to the roots of the garden and dedicate some space for growing and propagating hardy annuals and perennials.
There has also been talk about cutting down on our food waste. On this topic we will be donating any leftover produce with a short shelf life each Sunday to the foodbank at The Residents of Fairfield Association. We will also be donating some chilli pepper plants we have in abundance in an attempt to encourage people to grow there own produce.
As the old saying goes, ‘If you teach a man to fish he will eat for a day. Teach him to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.’

24 July 2022

The week began with record-breaking temperatures sending the mercury through the roof. Despite the intense heat our volunteers have remained active in the garden, keeping on top of weeding and watering as well as other odd jobs including fixing cold frames, netting against pests and finally having the power switched on in our social tunnel.
We have also started collecting seeds from some of our heritage varieties, starting this week with Magnum Bonum peas. The rest of this week has been in preparation for the Buxton Garden Trail.
We have been busy cleaning the garden top to bottom. Courgettes, cucumbers and beetroot have been harvested for volunteers and visitors alike, as have bundles of Case Knife, Eden Gold and Mrs Lewis varieties of french beans. A mountain of blackcurrants have also been picked and lovingly processed into jam.
All the hard work throughout the week paid off as we had over 100 visitors over the weekend, with much interest being shown in the programmes we run within the garden and how people can sign up and get involved. All this considering Sunday was much of a washout.
I’d personally like to thank all those who volunteered over the weekend, especially those who braved the elements on Sunday.

17 July 2022

I hope everyone is coping well with the heat. The next couple of days looks set for some record-breaking temperatures before some well needed rain midweek.
The week began with a mass cleanup from a very successful Mix It Up session from last Sunday, where we were flooded with visitors and donations. Most importantly it has led to new volunteers joining the garden who I’d like to wish a very warm welcome.
Anyone who has volunteered or visited the garden this week will no doubt have seen the mass of blackcurrants and peas ready for harvesting, as well as plenty of salad from the Poly 1.
This coming weekend we will be one of the venues on The Buxton Garden Trail. We will be open from 10.30am till 4pm on Saturday and 10.30am till 3pm on Sunday – as well as hosting The Fringe awards Sunday after 3. In preparation some of our knowledgable volunteers have identified and labelled our potted plants ready for the big day.
If anyone would like to donate any plants for the garden trail, feel free to pop into the garden Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 10.30am till 1.30pm or feel free to leave your donation at the gate.
Lastly I’d like to make a special mention with regards to Frances Sussex being nominated for a Derbyshire radio award for her work carried out in the community, including her 18 months working with Give Peas a Chance at the Serpentine. I had the pleasure of helping her film a short video explaining her work in the garden.
We wish her all the best as there is no one more deserving.

10 July 2022

I hope everyone has enjoyed the carnival weekend. The weather has been fine for it and looks set to continue for the coming weeks.
Growing Well started of the week with the 6th session of their current programme. They learned how to eradicate black fly and other pests with a soapy spray, tied up their sunflowers and planted some lettuce seeds.
We had some unwanted visitors in the garden, more precisely in the compost toilet, where some wasps had decided to set up home. Unfortunately, due to the location of the nest, and the health and wellbeing of our volunteers and visitors, there was no way of moving it without it being destroyed.
Thursday evening saw Melissa and Ruby host a Growing Well Open House event for local charities, prescribers and health carers to come to the garden and see what we have to offer to help people in the community and spread the word of the garden.
Our volunteers have been busy all week with the hose pipe and trowel as well as preparing for the Mix it Up music session. A massive thank you to to everyone throughout the weeks and months for putting their time into the event and for everyone who could make it today. Also a big thanks to Susie and the Bad Habits and The Good Ole Boys for putting on a great show. With just shy of 100 visitors throughout the day, £245 in donations and a few enquires about volunteering I’d like to think it was a hugely successful event.
I think everyone deserves a nice cold drink tonight to celebrate our achievement today. I know I will be treating myself.

3 July 2022

Another month has flown and what a month it has been. After much discussion the garden has finally reopened to the public (currently on Wednesdays from 10.30 till 13.30 and Sundays from 11.00 till 15.00). We have put into plans a quiet hour every Wednesday from 13.30 till 14.30 for anyone who wishes to enjoy the garden without too much commotion. And after 18 months of merriment Give Peas a Chance has drawn a close on its programme for now.
This week has seen much preparation in the garden for the summer and a busy schedule ahead. This Sunday we are hosting our Mix it up sessions featuring The Good Ole Boys and Susie and the Bad Habits. The music will be playing from 13.15 till 14.45 and the garden will be open from 12.00 till 16.00 for those looking just to potter around.
We are also getting prepared for The Buxton Garden Trail on the 23rd and 24th of July. If anyone is interested in volunteering over the weekend or would like to donate any plants for the event we would love to hear from you.

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