Sandgate Community Garden: Update 15 September 2019

It’s all about the brassicas on the plot at the moment!  We have some very lush salad leaves, purple and green Pak Choi, towering purple sprouting, red veined chard, and juicy spinach: perfect for blitzing into a smoothie or pesto – or taking pride of place in a colourful salad or stir fry.  The Chinese cabbage is starting to draw itself up into a conical shape, ready to make a crispy heart in the centre, and we are looking forward to trying them.  The butternut squashes are getting a few more days collecting this late summer sunshine before we harvest them, and the salt and wind scorched fruit trees are sending out new green shoots, and are looking fresh again.

We have had a small amount of excess produce which we have been taking to the library on days when they have mother and baby groups etc.  We have also taken a few tomatoes and beans to the Old Fire Station on Saturday mornings when the Farmers Market is not running.  One lady came up to the garden on Wednesday morning to ask what we had ready and available, and it would be great if more people got used to the idea of coming along when we are working there to get some local and seasonal veg – most people have been very kind and supportive and donated a little money when they take something so that we can invest in more seeds and plants for next year.  One thing we will not have to buy next year is new strawberry plants as the few strawberry plants we had this year have sent out lots of ‘runners’ making new plants for us to gather and transplant into our newly dug strawberry bed!  So far we have collected 40 new plants, but we still have more to move…nature is just amazing!

Exciting week coming up as we have made new links with the nursery on site, and some of the children will be coming along to the garden on Wednesday to have a look and maybe try some of the salad leaves.  We hope to be able to help them with their raised beds and pots outside their classrooms and provide seeds and/or plants throughout the year.  Children are much more likely to try eating fresh fruit and vegetables if they have had an active part in growing them, so this is an important step in the garden’s development, to be able to be of help within the community – we hope to be able to do more as time goes on……

What’s next? 

  • Watering
  • Picking
  • Collect the rest of the new strawberry plants and plant into new bed
  • Check brassicas for cabbage white eggs and remove
  • Check that purple sprouting are all staked securely
  • Pot up chilli seedlings ready to take indoors over the winter.