Friday, 17 December 2010

Winter Pruning

The ground was frozen solid this morning, so there was no digging at the garden today! Instead Ric taught us how to prune soft fruit and fruit trees - we learnt how to cut so we didn't squash a bud, where to cut so as to promote the growth we want, always cutting to an outward facing bud:

You can tell it was cold today! So that we didn't all freeze solid, we also did some work in the cabin, and Ric explained how to take care of your secateurs:

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Karibu community group and some garden news

Karibu is a multicultural women's group run by Lara Uzokwe, and recently Susannah went to visit them to talk all things gardening.
They had a lovely time hearing about the people's garden and Susannah invited them to come along. In return Karibu have asked Susannah to visit their group through the winter to give gardening tips, and then they hope to start coming to the garden in the spring:

Meanwhile in the garden,  Lawrence and Sean made an exciting discovery - some not so common, common lizards which have made their home on the lizard bank! Its nice to know the accommodation is approved of:

Friday, 29 October 2010

Pumpkin Soup

Want to try something warm and satisfying? How about this soup with crusty bread rolls:

picture from 


1 pumpkin
2-3 onions
vegetable or chicken stock
vegetable oil
salt and pepper


Set your oven to its hottest, then cut the pumpkin onto four and remove the seeds. put a little oil, salt and pepper on your pumpkin then bake until it is cooked - soft when you cut it with a knife.

In the meantime chop up your onions and fry at a hot temperature in butter and oil, for a minute, then turn right down and slow fry until caramelised - soft and brown.

Put your cooked pumpkin, any juice from it, and the onions in a food mixer and blend - add hot stock to make it the thickness you like, serve with bread rolls.

Pumpkin Fritters

This recipe is a bit of a make it and see - you might like a little more spice, a little less sugar... have a go and see what you think!

 Picture from


1 small pumpkin
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon all spice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or whatever sugar you have)
self raising flour
caster sugar to dust


De-seed, peel, chop up and boil your pumpkin - it is cooked when it feels soft to cut with a sharp knife. then mash it and stir in the sugar, spices and egg.

Add flour a little at a time until you get a thick batter. Shallow fry a tablespoon of batter at a time and dust the fritters with caster sugar. 

You can eat them on their own or serve them with ice cream or maple syrup.

Friday catch up - Halloween Fun Day

Today started with garden work alongside setting up for the fun day, with the continuation of the building of the tool wash area and bug hotel extension:

Hot off the press, some snaps from today's fun day, which included pumpkin carving, mud monsters, the smoothie pedal bike, apple bobbing, halloween hunt, guess the weight of the pumpkin, how many seeds in the jar, face painting, composting (and all about worms) and lots of yummy food including pumpkin soup and pumpkin fritters - phew!  

Recipes in the next couple of posts and  photos from our official photographer to come, but in the meantime, a little flavour of the day:

Friday, 22 October 2010

Friday catch up - weeding

It was all about the weeding today. Its a job that always needs doing, but we especially want the People's Garden to look good for next weeks Halloween fun day (Click picture for larger size):

So we weeded the borders (and saved the horseradish):

And the veg beds:

And there was still time to admire the flowers:

And even learn something about the Garden's soil  texture - the picture below shows how the soil at the garden is a lot of sand (bottom) then silt, then clay, and (at the top) organic matter. It shows that although the soil is free draining, it doesn't have much nutrients... hence the tons of muck that are shovelled onto the site!!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Friday catch up - memorial tree

There was lots to do in the garden today...

While the remaining tomatoes "hang about":

There was plenty of autumn clearing to do:

 And surveying of the new roots bed:

As well as the digging up and potting of self seeded grasses:

We also prepared a place for the memorial tree for much loved and missed artist and volunteer, Paul. His tree is called  "Paul's Scarlet" (Catagus lavaegartus). We look forward it its planting:

Friday, 24 September 2010

Friday catch up - new gardeners!

It was all go today at the garden, not least with the two new gardeners who will be working at the People's Garden for the next six months - so its welcome to Sean and Lawrence:

Today we thought we wouldn't have much to take up to the community shop what with this being the last of the runner beans:

But in the end we took up lots of tomatoes, as well as cucumbers, courgettes, beetroot, and even some strawberries and parsley - enough that it took two people to carry it all up there.

Harvesting beetroot:

In the meantime Rick has been sorting out the rotation for the garden (if you are visiting, you can see his plan in the cabin), which is timely given the very large pile of muck now waiting to be spread!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Friday catch up - tomatoes

Both last week and this week there was produce for the community shop - mostly tomatoes this week. They also needed the leaves with blight removing and some of the more dodgy looking fruit. Also this week potting on, including brassica and more weeding of the dreaded mares tail:

Orange and Purple

I thought you might like to see some of the amazing things flowering in the People's Garden today: