Sandgate Community Garden: Update 28 January 2024

Sandgate Community Garden Team Diary Entry for 28th January: A real community event and a pleasure to share food which would otherwise have gone to waste.

We have been lucky enough to have some pleasant sunny days when we have been working in the garden this week.   Cold with some heavy frosts, so we are still limiting how long we have been staying.   Two beds of broccoli from the summer were twisted out, stripped and composted.  They have worked extremely hard and have given us so many florets, but they were now exhausted and it was time to take them up.  A good layer of compost was put down on the beds where they were, to replenish the soil. 

One of our composting nets was turned out into a maturation bay; it will be some time until we can make more compost in our circular nets as there is not enough fresh new growth this time in the year.  The ‘runners’ from the hedge were cut out, a bay tree pruned, and the dead growth in the rosemary plants were cut out – more tidying and preparing for the busy season to come.

We were fortunate enough to have a group of volunteers from the Napier barracks come out. They barrowed lots of wood chips from the bottom of the hill up to the garden. They were then laid to make a new main path going right down the centre of the garden.  We still have more paths to put down, but we have made a good start.

It was a real pleasure to drive out to the largest greenhouse complex in the UK, Thanet Earth on Wednesday.  With strict security, it is a mile from the entrance to the reception desk, driving past the most incredible glass houses containing huge tomato and bell pepper plants still producing fruits in the middle of January.  We rang to ask if Thanet Earth might have some spare produce for the Disco Soup event on Saturday, and they kindly obliged by donating two boxes of tomatoes and two of bell peppers. 

On Thursday there was a visit from the Hythe Environmental group field gleaners, bringing two crates of potatoes, a crate of broccoli and a crate of cauliflowers freshly gleaned from the farms that very day.  With all this amazing produce, some donated sourdough bread from Docker bakery, plus some salvaged bits and pieces from a couple of local supermarkets, the participants of the Disco Soup event helped to put together a delicious feast of soups, salads, and tasty roasted vegetables.  It was a real community event, and a pleasure to share food amongst so many people which would otherwise have gone to waste.  All the vegetable peelings were saved too and will be going to our hot composter at Folkestone College sometime this week, nothing has gone to waste, and a good time was had by all.  We are now going to be looking forward to the next Disco Soup event either in April or May.

What’s next?

  • Take up some of the mint starting to emerge
  • Cut back the dead nettle and take out some feverfew
  • Put down compost where the leeks were
  • Remove old leaves from the purple sprouting broccoli plants

This weeks update from the Sandgate Community Garden Diary.