Sandgate Community Garden: Update 23 August 2020

It has been a week of highs and lows. 

We are able to harvest quite a range of things each week, and are now fortunate to have regular visitors coming by to pick up seasonal and local veg, or just to see what is going on.  We had the first of the celery this week.  Most of the vegetables you grow yourself are a world away from commercially grown crops.  They have real flavour, but where growing conditions are not always perfect, reflect those imperfections.  For example our celery looks ok, but due to the recent dry conditions is probably more ‘stringy’ than your supermarket version, but my goodness, what a delicious soup it made!

We have an amazing team of volunteers who come along on a regular basis, and we have all made new friends and acquaintances as a result.  We are fortunate.  For us, this is something we enjoy doing, for lots of different reasons, and not because we have to rely on growing enough food to feed the family… that would be difficult.  The high winds we had this weekend turned over our mini greenhouse, with hundreds of seedlings inside, and they were all lost.  Weeks of growing and nurturing lost in the blink of an eye, so no spinach to plant out this coming week, and no coriander, chervil, dill, and no extra pak choi.  We sowed more seeds on Saturday, and we hope they might be able to grow big enough before the cooler weather and shorter days set in.  In the whole scheme of things this set back is frustrating and annoying, but imagine if your whole life had to depend on the crops you are able to grow because it was not possible to go to a supermarket and buy what you want.  It puts such things into perspective.  Here is another reflection on how fragile our environment is, there is a photo below showing various fruits and vegetables pollinated by bees, a reminder of how important these insects are to our food. 

One of our contacts told us about a supply of spent compost from a local strawberry farm, no longer required, that we could go and collect, to add to our winter mulch of compost.  Compost seems to have greatly increased in price just this year, so this is a welcome bonus, and will help to improve the soil.  We used some to partially fill another planter in Cheriton High Street, outside the barbers, as part of the Incredible Edible project.  It saved a great deal of money which can go towards other projects, and goes to show that one person’s rubbish is treasure to someone else. 

What’s next?

  • Can any of the dwarf beans be cleared, or salad boxes?
  • Keep looking for weeds hiding at the base of established plants
  • Repair wind damage to various plants and structures.
  • Continue to move compost and store for later use.