Thursday, 5 May 2011

We're going on a worm hunt..........

We had a visit from some kids from the 174 Trust nursery . The kids helped Lynda and Justin make a scarecrow for the garden ( a bit late for some of the wheat), they also planted some strawberries and sowed some carrots. The kids also enjoyed digging in some empty beds and discovering the joys of worm hunting ( no worms were harmed in this activity). They also had a treasure hunt and enjoyed making some daisy chains.

This was a great day for the kids and a great opportunity for us to reach a bunch of new people in our community and let them know about the joys of gardening and being outdoors.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Who says Sundays are for lie-ins ?

Here are some photos from our first proper Sunday session with a bunch of brand new gardeners. Here you can see us getting ready to sow some spring wheat, we are hoping to follow the bread making process from seed to sandwich.
We have marked out and sown 6 sq metres of wheat from which we hope to harvest enough grain to produce 6 loaves of bread, I will blog further on this process as the season progresses.

You can also see Marnie and Claire sowing some seeds in the polytunnel and of course we had some tea and Lee had baked some lovely cake which I only got a small slice of, but I will let them off with this because they are new.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

New Beginnings

Here are a couple of shots from our first official session of 2011. Even though some of us have been getting together to do some work at the site in preparation, the first sessions started last weekend.

We have a Friday group this year made up mainly of people who were involved last year plus 4 or 5 new participants, we also have a Sunday group made up of people who are completely new to the project. We all got together to meet each other for the first time or to reacquaint ourselves and to go over some details of what the garden is all about. We also managed to squeeze in some gardening and of course some tea and biscuits.

The photo at the top will give you an idea of the space we have to work with. We should have around 30 people of all ages and abilities sharing this space, growing veggies and flowers sharing the workload and having a bit of fun at the same time.

Monday, 28 March 2011


We have just planted our first earlies called 'Colleen', and in the picture here you see one of our new crop of gardeners, Andrew. Andrew and Colleen seem very happy together.

The rest of the new gardeners start this weekend, 3rd April and the garden will be buzzing with activity for another growing season.

I hope to be blogging once a week once we get started and I will try and document what we get up to ( including growing our own wheat and using it to bake bread).

All the best for now and happy growing.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Signs of life

Hi everyone,
As this is the first post of 2011 can I wish everyone a happy new year. Even though its too early to start any proper gardening as you can see there are things happening, bulbs are starting to throw up shoots, buds are forming on branches and survivors of the snow are still snuggled up under cloches, and I even managed to get a brew on when I visited the other day. I have got an old Aladdin paraffin heater so we can warm our hands when we get back to work which will be soon.

The planning has started for the year ahead and the hopes are high for another productive year in community gardening. Just to summarise the activities since the last post, we harvested our crops, we made preparations for the winter and most importantly we all made it clear that we were at the beginning of something rather than the end.

I hope to see you all at the garden soon,


Monday, 25 October 2010

Some requested recipes

Pumpkin Pie

½ small pumpkin, seeded (about 500g)
½ standard coffee mug of sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
3 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla essence
310ml milk
½ tsp ground nutmeg
For the pastry:
A pinch of salt
210g flour
100g cold butter
3-4 tbsp cold water
Preheat oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. Put a piece of aluminium foil on a baking sheet or in a large baking tin and pop the peeled pumpkin flesh on to it. Cover well with more foil. Bake for about 40 mins or until the pumpkin is tender.

While it's baking, make your pie base.
To make your pastry, first mix the salt into the flour. Add the cold butter and cut it into the flour with two knives or give it a few blasts in a food processor. Slowly sprinkle in the cold water until the pastry just holds together. Pop the dough in a bag in the fridge for at least half an hour.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface and lift into a greased pie pan. Crimp the edges and prick the base all over with a fork, then pop into the bottom of the oven for 5-10 minutes. This should help your pastry stay crisp when you pour in the filling.

When the pumpkin is soft, hoik it out of the oven and let it cool. Puree it in a food processor or press through a strainer until super smooth. Weigh out 250ml (8fl oz) of the puree and freeze any extra.

Once the puree has cooled, stir in the sugar, cornflour, cinnamon and ginger. Then mix in the egg yolks, vanilla essence and milk. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy, but not stiff. Gently fold in the pumpkin mixture. Pour into the pie base and sprinkle nutmeg on top.

Bake at 210C/410F gas mark 6 ½ for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 180C/350F/gas 4 and bake for a further 30 minutes, or until set in the middle and lightly browned at the edges. .

Beetroot and Chocolate Cake

225g plain flour
Pinch salt
2 tsp baking powder
25g cocoa
Grated rind of 1 orange
Juice of ½ orange
2 eggs
150g caster sugar
125ml vegetable oil
150g cooked grated beetroot
200g chocolate chips

• Sieve the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa into a mixing bowl.

• In a separate bowl beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy.

• Add the oil, orange rind, juice and grated beetroot and beat well.

• Gently fold in the dry ingredients until combined.

• Stir in the chocolate chips.

• Turn into your prepared tin and bake for 50-55 mins at 180oC.

• Leave to cool for 10 mins before turning onto a cooling rack.

• Serve dusted with icing sugar.

Saturday, 18 September 2010