Sandgate Community Garden: Update 6 December 2020

We had another message from our fleece supplier to say that there will be yet more delays to it being delivered and without a reason why – perhaps as with the situation with the shortage of seeds this year with so many people growing whilst in lockdown, there is now a national shortage of fleece! 

Who knows?

We have had some interesting weather this week and spent time having to put back covers over plants, and discovered that one of our trees had snapped and was hanging precariously over the broad beans and onions.  No time to do anything about it this weekend, we shall see what can be done on Monday!  It is clearly colder, but we still have asparagus shoots popping out above ground, and petunias in flower.  There is a picture below of a huge collection of snails found hibernating inside a plant tray.  When we started work last year, there were very few slugs and snails to be found but it is clear they are being attracted to the garden like the rest of the wildlife and it is important to keep the plants clean of old and rotting vegetation around their bases so as not to make them too welcome!

We are still trundling barrows of wood chips up the hill to the garden, and one of our barrows has developed a flat tyre, probably in protest.  It is a great way to keep warm though, all that shovelling and barrowing about.

It was thought that we had finished with planting for the year but were donated a few Artichoke roots.  We now have two types of artichoke, and they are completely different.  With the Globe Artichoke, the flower is the edible part, and with the Jerusalem Artichoke (just planted), the root or tuber is the edible bit.  If you do not like the tubers, the flowers are great for the bees, so it is worth having a go.

Docker brewery has now released two new brews made from the dried Hythe hops, which includes our hops from our plants.  There is a ‘Hythe Pale Ale’ and ‘Dark Matter’, names chosen by the community, and which feature pictures of growers on the cans.  Some of you may recognise the individual on the can picture below!   Docker say that the beers are ‘more delicious than we could have hoped’, and information on where to find the beer can be found on their Instagram or web site.  There was a rumour that the beer can be also be found in the Sandgate Village shop – how convenient.  The first Hythe hops brew was from Hop Fuzz, and was a green brew from fresh hops, so this new beer will be different.  10p from each can sold is being donated by Docker to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust – such a worthy cause.

What’s next?

  • Is it worth mentioning the fleece?
  • Sort out the wheelbarrow
  • Sort out the tree and subsequent damage
  • Keep bringing wood chips up to the garden