Sandgate Community Garden: Update 27 September 2020

This week has certainly seen a significant change in the weather which has also triggered a clearing of some of the summer planting and in with more winter and spring veg.  The watering can did not get a look in this week as the showers and drop in temperature took a hold, and will do for much of the foreseeable weather charts.  The tomatoes would struggle to ripen, and the winter squashes would not benefit from the cold and damp and so an executive decision was taken to lift them all.  The green tomatoes will ripen eventually indoors, and do not have to be used unripe.  The squashes could be stored for several months but with only enough for each volunteer to take a squash, it is unlikely they will be around for long!  So ends another season, and the spaces created were quickly planted up with onion seedlings sown in early September, as well as cabbages and coriander.   As we now have some history to the garden it was interesting to look back to this time last year to see that we were doing the very same thing, and that the weather had followed the same pattern.

Many seedlings have been self-sown, and as we cleared finished plants, there are numerous surprise flowers that simply appear, as well as unwelcome weeds that hide and mature unnoticed until now.

Our RHS certificate as part of ‘Britain in bloom’ arrived this week, and we will be putting it on display in the garden.  With October fast approaching, we will be considering how we will be going into next year, what was successful and what was not, which crops we would like to grow more of, and those which we might perhaps not bother with again.  It looks like there are many things for us to think about.

It is always easier to contemplate such things in good company and with a pint of local brew in the hand.  This week we had notification that the first ‘green’ brew of our hops had been finished and delivered to certain drinking establishments.  If you would like to try it you may have to move fast, as it disappeared at speed last year.  Below is a summary from Hythe Hops organisation about the use of all the hops this year –

“A burning question which I suspect is on everyone’s mind is “what about the beer” and I’m pleased to share the following exciting news about our green hop Hop Buzz brew:

Already being served at:

  • The Doghouse in Smeeth (Evegate Barn)

Already taken delivery at: 

  • The Bouverie Tap, Folkestone
  • Unit One, West Hythe

Delivery due today:

  • Chambers, Folkestone
  • The Fountain in Seabrook,
  • The Hidden Treasure, Dymchurch
  • The Potting Shed, Hythe,
  • The Ship Inn, Sandgate,
  • The Smugglers, New Romney.
  • The White Hart, Hythe

Delivery due next week:

  • The Gatekeeper, Etchinghill

Please remember that beer needs to settle so may not be available straight away so please check with venues to avoid any disappointment.

HopFuzz have also bottled Hop Buzz exclusively for us and this will be available soon as follows:

  • Every member (including non-growers) will receive 2 bottles free of charge regardless of how successful their hops have been
  • We have a surplus (but not enough for everyone) which we intend to share by means of a lottery

Canned Docker beers (from dried hops)

  • We are discussing with Docker how members can benefit from the donation of our hops – watch out for future announcements
  • Docker is planning for 5 brews throughout the year with the first 2 available by Christmas

So now you are up to date with all the hop information, our tired hop plants will soon be put to bed for the winter and rested, in preparation for another year of serious hop growing in 2021.

What’s next?

  • More onion seedlings to plant
  • Start sowing garlic and maybe broad beans
  • Keep up with the weeding as the rain has brought weeds on
  • Clear the plants outside the garden against the wall