Sandgate Community Garden: Update 19 January 2020

This week a couple of us made a trip to Brogdale, the famous fruit farm near Faversham, to collect two  varieties of rhubarb, and a pear tree for planting sometime soon.  On the way back we dropped into the oldest Community Garden in the country, the Abbey physic community garden.  This garden is now 25 years old, and is crammed full of all sorts of things.  World famous, it apparently has coach loads of visitors dropping in for tea and cake, and to see what is being worked on.  You can also get horticultural training, or learn how to cook using ingredients from the garden….. There are so many directions that community gardens can take, however the coaches will not be stopping at Enbrook Park just yet!

Wednesday session was a complete washout, and it seemed like it would never stop raining, however the pond is continuing to fill and the wind break is showing it does slow down the worst of the blasts from the sea, with the cloches managing to stay in place for once.

Saturday was such a contrast, with wall to wall amazing sunshine and finding that we even had to remove our coats soon after starting work.  More weeds have been hoed, three new paths made, and one of the compost bins emptied out onto a new piece of ground to encourage the worms to work it into the soil below – we let them do all the digging!  With the hard stuff done, we made the first proper picking of the year – two types of spinach, chard, mibuna, mizuna, and kale mixed leaves; purple sprouting broccoli and leeks.  We shared the bounty amongst the workers this time, but are looking forward to being able to bring produce to others once we get over the ‘hungry gap’ of the year, and into the next productive part of the growing season.

It is potato chitting time, which involves letting the ‘eyes’ of the seed potatoes develop into shoots whilst they sit on a window ledge!  There is a delightful old fashioned shop in Cheriton opposite the library selling seed potatoes individually, or by the kilo – there are so many different varieties to choose from; waxy salad types, through to floury roasting, nutty flavours, to potatoes never seen in the supermarkets .  Just to be able to buy the exact number and type you are looking for is a real joy.

What’s next?

  • Move bench
  • Continue to hoe beds and prepare for mulching
  • Turn compost heaps
  • Start mulching some of the beds ready for planting in March.