Wednesday 23 November 2011

Late autumn

We have tidied up the beds in the Gatherums, reduced the amount of marigolds that have been so spectacular over the summer and transplanted spring cabbage (thanks Nick!) and hardy lettuce (this variety survived last years severe frosts so we're hoping they'll do well)
We also transferred some of the alpine strawberry to the Church St plots also planting garlic cloves.I rigged up a small sign to encourage local residents to contact me if they'd like some help to grow their own vegetables. The owner of the site is quite happy with what's happening so watch this space there may be some more beds very soon!

Sunday 30 October 2011

The Gatherums and Church Street

The herbs and vegetables in The Gatherums are still growing well but it will soon be time to take the marigolds out and replace them.
Ideas at the moment are garlic and winter lettuce. We have a few leeks in one bed with chard and kale.
On Thursday the next stage in Church Street will be another raised bed next to the leeks.
So now three plots in Louth showing how easy it is to grow food in a small space and lots of interesting comments and conversations as we garden.

King Edward's

As you can see the garden has changed! There is now a fence enclosing the garden making it quite secluded and protected.
We enjoyed a couple of hours collecting leaves, harvesting chard, squash and a few delicious raspberries.
Welcome to Charlotte, it was interesting to hear ideas from her travels and good to have extra help.

Sunday 9 October 2011

We made compost!

Until you've made your own compost it's hard to imagine the strong emotional
bond that is formed with a pile of rotting organic matter as it tumbles
from the base of the compost bin...we made soil, real plant growing soil!!

We had a good 3 hours in the garden today and we...

Harvested chard, beetroot, and onions
Planted garlic bulbs
Sowed some winter tares (a green manure that we've put round the blackcurrant
bushes and in bed 5).
Transplanted strawberry runners into bed 22
Swept up 3 wheelbarrow of leaves and caged for mulch production
Transplanted the cardoon in the herb bed..hope it's ok!
Spread remaining horse manure around rhubarb.
Discovered compost!!

Thursday 22 September 2011

Horncastle Edible Gardens

Sorry this is a bit delayed but thought you'd like to see some snaps of the
Transition Town Horncastle's edible garden open day on Sunday 11th September.
Alison and I spent a very enjoyable afternoon checking out other folks
back yards. Unfortunately we couldn't get round all of them but we did meet some really nice people who were passionate about growing their own.. So congratulations due to Rose,Claire,Alison,Polly and all for making it happen and for supplying me with vegan muffins to complete the bike ride home!... perhaps we could get a similar event going in Louth?

Jo and friends on the Master Gardener stall at the Jobson Rd Community garden

This was the view from Fulletby Top on the way home

Sunday 4 September 2011

"How long will it last"

The Gatherums veg boxes look good, two families tasted the chard, lettuce and marigolds and took some home. Several people said, "Still there, how long will it last?" and looked very worried when I suggested that we wanted people to help themselves. So if you read this and want some veg please keep taking the outer leaves. If they are dry there is a watering can behind the water butt.
A new sign is needed I think!
Behind KEVIGS we harvested onions, beans, cabbage and chard as the rain started and completed the watering.

Monday 22 August 2011

Mad dogs and Englishmen!

Here are photos of the recently installed raised bed off Church St, Louth.

After much litter picking, nettle clearing, soil moving and bed making, Alison, Eddie and I had the pleasure of planting out and watering in our lovely leek seedlings just opposite the busy zebra crossing on Church St.

Various passers by in cars and on foot cast us a wary eye, unsure about what was going on, but those who were brave enough to approach a caged, beetroot faced, spade wielding madman, were pleasantly supportive of my breathless explanation.
It would be good to get a larger area going if possible so if you're interested
in taking it further let me know...I'll shall be offering moral support from the comfort of a deckchair!
Here is a view of the area from the other side, there really is an interesting diversity of wildlife to enjoy.

Monday 25 July 2011

More pics from Foundation House

We had a lovely hour and half in the Foundation House garden on Sunday, harvesting and transplanting veg. I've loaded a selection of piccies for you to admire..particularly Noel's tribute to the final flight of the space shuttle...well it looks like a rocket to me!

Gatherums deep beds

Here is a piccie of finished deep beds in the far so good!
Had some really positive comments from passers by and some negative ones on the likelihood of vandalism. Will it become a target for wanton destruction? who knows..what I do know is that this project has already engaged local residents in conversation with people they previously didn't know. Hopefully this will be the start of a number of similar "Grow your own" plots around the footpaths of Louth.

And yes, I realise the plaque I fitted on Sunday isn't dead centre.. I shall manfully resist the considerable urge to move it.

Tuesday 19 July 2011

The Gatherums

We arrived with 8 barrows of topsoil and a flat tyre to find the plants had been re arranged by mystery supporters. Ten minutes working and the mystery was solved. Chloe and Leo arrived full of enthusiasm, creativity and just a touch of chaos!
So now we have spinach, lettuce, chard, strawberries, marigolds, spring onions, kale ready to grow and soon harvest.
Plus so many conversations and debates about whether or not they will be there in the morning. I believe they will, but maybe re arranged just a little.
Come and see the planting add your comments.

Sunday 10 July 2011

Can you dig it?

We had a very pleasant hour or two in the garden today, harvesting,weeding and digging 9 barrowloads of lovely top soil! The soil is destined for the "Gatherums" raised beds which we are planning to install Thursday 14th July 4pm onwards. "The Gatherums" are accessible from the rear of Queen St car park in Louth. You are very welcome to join us
and start Louth's very own "Footpaths of food".
We will also be on Mercer Row during the "St James Food Festival" on Sunday 17th July

Wednesday 6 July 2011

The Gatherums

The herbs are spreading and pulling the weeds out was a sensory delight! They are big enough to take a few leaves for a cup of tea so do try!
Noel's theory that Sunflowers gain strength if they are not supported is working so far!
Herbs planted are; echinacea, thyme, rosemary and oregano but there is space for more if anyone has a spare herb or even two!

Sunday 3 July 2011

July 3rd

A few hours watering, harvesting and light trowelling! Hardly a weed in sight but plenty of veg to collect.
Broad beans, strawberries, garlic, beetroot, spinach ready this week and more of all these plus broccoli next Sunday, from about 11.00 am for a couple of hours, everyone is welcome.
There have been a few problems with one patch, the courgettes disappeared and in the same space Sunflower plants have been eaten. It is last years potato plot, might there be a connection?
Carrot seeds failed to germinate earlier in the season so we have retried, adding a little sand to the bed, James thinks carrots like to be by the sea!

Wednesday 6th at 2 pm we are in The Gatherums for a short time to water and weed, again everyone welcome. The following week we hope to add three deep beds for vegetables and fruit for you to collect on the way through. Look on the blog for the planting day.

17th July in the St james food market Transition Town Louth and teh Community Garden will have a stall with a veg swap, edible flowers and more.

Sunday 26 June 2011

Strawberry ripe!

I had a busy 10minutes picking a lovely crop of strawberries..let me know if you'd like some..but best be quick, they are delicious!

Weeded and generally tidied things up a bit, also took a load of photos to show how the garden's growing.

Everything seems to be doing well apart from the squash which seems a bit slow this year, perhaps the warmer weather will help. We also have a bed that despite numerous sowings of carrot/parsnip and lettuce fails to do very much at all. It's not a raised bed so not one that was filled with the lovely top soil from the nettle bed, so perhaps it's too "clayey"( is that a word?).

Broccoli & Onion bed

Broad beans, cabbage & lettuce "sand bag", kale, spinach & beetroot and mystery plant that eventually became a fox glove!

Monday 23 May 2011

Picnic in the garden..and a bit of music too!

Despite the windy and slightly damp conditions we had a lovely few hours at the garden yesterday with new friends, Alexa, Gavin and Nathan.
We did lots of thinning, transplanting and sowing and prematurely harvested one bed of garlic.. don't ask why!
We ate lettuce straight from the wheelbarrow! (lettuce is in a tub) and Rob played guitar while we all worked..all sounds great doesn't it? and so it was!
I've updated the planting plan so check out what's in and what's out in the garden by clicking on the link to the right of this page.
We'll be there next Sunday 2pm so why not join us?

Master gardeners at Ryton

This is a bit old news now but the newly formed group of Lincolnshire
Master Gardeners jumped in their lift sharing oil powered buggies and visited Garden Organic HQ at Ryton near Coventry a week last Sunday.

It was the annual conference and so was packed with over 200 Master gardeners and Master composters. It was a well organised and very informative event, the highlight for me (apart from the chance to wander around lovely gardens dedicated to edible plants!) were the three afternoon speakers. Emma Marsh from WRAP spoke about the horrendous amount of food wasted in the UK every year, apparently reducing this food waste to zero would have the same effect on reducing CO2 emissions as removing one in four cars from our roads. Mary Clear from Todmorden spoke passionately about the incredible edible movement, it was an inspiring call to take action and show what is rather than just talk about what might be. If you ever get the chance to listen to Mary, reschedule anything else that might be happening in your life and make sure you do. Colin Tudge spoke about the future of global food production , here was another no nonsense speaker that laid bare the crazy,unsustainable and iniquitous current global food supply system. He has founded a Campaign for Real Farming (enlightened agriculture) and recently written a book entitled "Good food for everyone, forever". I bought a copy for the Transition Town Louth library , if you want to have a read let me know. The gist of it is this : it is perfectly feasible to have a low impact agricultural system that can well nourish the estimated future global population of 9 billion as long as the diet is "Plenty of plants, not much meat and maximum variety".
So all in all a great day..just one thing can anyone tell me what this plant is or might be?

Wednesday 11 May 2011

"Leeks and All That" March 11th

Welcome Nathan to the garden! We planted herbs, battled through the building site to water and harvested leeks and a little rhubarb.
The squash, courgettes and runner beans we planted on Easter Sunday are growing well, so we risked leaving the lid off the cold frame. Thank you Sara for Sunflower seedlings as well they are safe in there.
Anytime anyone has time to water then the cans are back in the shed and there is water in the blue butt!
An early post! On Sunday 22nd May we are going to have a picnic and open day. Bring some food and come along with musical instruments! Nathan is bringing his guitar. We shall post or email the time soon.
The herbs in The Gatherums are looking good and James has added a smart sign on slate.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

On Monday afternoon we invited local residents to plant a new herb bed in the Gatherums. Rosemary,thyme,oregano,chamomile and echinacea plants were lovingly installed in their new home.
Once established, the herb bed will offer a delightful and useful aromatic display.
Nearby residents are invited to care for and enjoy the garden at their
leisure, and make use of a few sprigs in their cooking when required.
All the plants and technical support have been kindly provided by ELDC.
This is just the beginning of the project to grow vegetables within the Gatherums. We hope to have a number of raised beds installed within the next month.
We're very grateful to the Trustees of the Gatherums for their support in making this possible.

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Eggscitement in the garden!

We hid over 100 little easter eggs throughout the garden on Sunday. We placed them in every conceivable nook and cranny, we thought that some would never be found.. but we were wrong! Our little "choc" seekers tracked them all down with ruthless efficiency!

We also managed to sow seeds; carrot (bed 15),kale (bed 10),spinach (bed 19).
We transplanted the healthy looking broccoli from cold frame to bed 18.

The resident "Master gardener" (that's me btw) gave a less than proficient demonstration of how to make newspaper seed pots but despite this everyone soon got the hang of it and we potted up courgette, squash and runner beans for the cold frame. We also made a few more to be carefully home reared.

We all had a great time in the sun...picnic, people and plants! What could be better? Thanks to everyone who took part.Particularly our local Master gardener co-ordinator Rick who gave an enthusiastic demonstration of sowing the kale!

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Master gardeners unleashed!

Nick and I along with 15 others completed the first Lincolnshire Master gardener course in Boston (can you spot the stump!) last weekend. Weather was great and so was the training! Philip Turvil and Rick Aron from Garden Organic did a terrific job and enthused us all to get out and spread the word.."It's easy to grow and eat your own veg!"
I would recommend anyone that has a little bit of growing experience but a lot of desire to help novice gardeners get growing, to get involved with the program. The local co-ordinator for volunteers is Rick Aron :

In the photos of the weekend, you'll see Philip demonstrating how to "hook" in the audience with a pile of compost! and how to assess the soil conditions before you start giving advice.

Hope to see you on Easter Sunday for egg hunt..I shall be modeling the groovy Master gardener T shirt! (I just hope I'm not contravening the Trade descriptions act!)

Sunday 10 April 2011

Pea Tepee!

Rhubarb's looking good, we've taken out flowers to try to promote leaf growth.

We've been given some pea seedlings by one of my neighbour's. We've taken the gamble of planting them out, fingers crossed the really cold weather doesn't return!

We've also been given some comfrey to propogate and make green manure. Apparently it is "bocking 14" which means it
does not seed as well. Once established we should be able to get 4 cuts a season from the plants. Lots of ways we can use it, so more about that later in the year.

We also transplanted a selection of the potted herbs in the small bed number 9..leaving abit of room for the fennel we'll sow later on.

I've invested some of funds into a 30m hosepipe which means we can fill the water butt and save endless traipsing of watering cans from tap to it's just butt to garden!