Springtime Update

Many thanks to Elke for this information on the new growing season.

After the wonderful Prince’s Trust people helped us so much to tidy up the garden and built us some wooden planters and a fence in November/December 2015, it had been a fairly quiet few months at the Community Centre garden. I had been in to do a litter pick at some point, but we continue with further improvements.

Here is a link from Dudley News on the work done by the Prince’s Trust people: http://www.dudleynews.co.uk/news/14134282.Students_dig_deep_for_community_project/)

Sam Bedford and I resumed activities on the 12 April. We used up the bulbs that had started to sprout in the cupboard and planted those in the big planter in order to bring a bit of colour into the garden.

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We also put different herb seeds into the small planter in the hope the weather wouldn’t take another turn for wintery conditions.

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Next things on the list will be to find out about the progress with another soil delivery and more litter picks. We also have to find out how we can use the “Grow Wild” kits I had received more recently.

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Approaching Christmas

I haven’t managed to get there for several months, but at last I did manage it this morning; I really wanted to see for myself what had been going on. It was a damp and dreary morning, but the visit was well worth it. I can hardly recognise the site from how it was earlier in the year – the work done by the volunteers recently is fantastic. The new raised beds are going to be much easier to work on, especially for the more elderly/and/or infirm (amongst which group I certainly count myself now), and the gravelling over a membrane should make maintenance much easier.

All credit to the temporary volunteer group, and of course all the regulars, especially Elke. Sorry none of you were there today (well, it’s not gardening weather, and lots of other commitments at this time of year) for me to thank in person. I think we will have a better and more complete report on recent progress soon.

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Update on progress during summer 2015

Things have been quiet on the blogging front over the summer months, not least because all the effort has gone into work on the garden itself. However, now that there is less to do out there, and the weather is often not favourable to working outside, there is a bit more time to report the progress that has been made in recent months. Many thanks to Elke for this update –  she has done most of the work in the garden too!

Full steam ahead – the long overdue update!

A lot has happened since the last post to the Seed & Feed blog that was dated 9 Apr 2015.

For a few months, things moved rather slowly at the Centre. I started off some more seeds in containers due to the fact that the ground was so very shallow at many places. Some donations of plants were made as well and I tried to accommodate them as well as possible, putting them either in the ground or in other containers.

Early seeds

Early seeds

Sadly, Mike’s health hasn’t improved and he had to stop helping out at the project in a practical way. [I live in hope, and want to get along there to see the improvements for myself].

My attendance became a bit irregular over the summer but I tried to look after the growing plants and vegetables as well as possible until it was time to harvest them. Out best bits were the carrots and some onions (which were more like the size of those you see in the picked onion jars in shops).

Sunflowers

Sunflowers

Harvest

Harvest

From October, things started to pick up with the arrival of Sam, a young lady who is very much into gardening. She found out about the project from Donna and joined early in the month. Sam is very creative and hands-on, just what we needed. She is living locally and is hoping to find some more people that might be interested in helping the project.

Donna (and I think Peta) had been in touch with people from the Princes Trust in order to enlist some help to clear the grounds, get some raised beds made, put up the tool shed, create a herb garden and a memorial corner in memory of people that had come and helped at the Centre over the years but have passed away. On 11 November, Donna, Sam and I met with a group of young people to give them a passionate outline of the project and its aims. The group had three projects to choose from and we were to find out about their final choice on 13 November. We kept our expectations very low – but were rewarded with the message “We’re afraid we’ve got sad news: you’ve got to put up with us for two weeks!” Friday the 13th isn’t really always a bad day!

This morning, Donna and I have been present, planning tasks and required supplies with the group at the Centre on the first day of their two weeks. I’m hoping to get some photo consent so I can post further progress updates.

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Elke Wallace

Thanks Elke for the update, and for all you have been doing – the site is transformed from when I last saw it, let alone how it was before the project started. Strength to the arms of all team, and many thanks for all the good work.

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Grass cutting season arrives

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Yes, it’s back into the season when the grass needs cutting. Donna was one of those doing this on Wednesday, making use of our new mower. Meanwhile Elke was continuing with the digging, struggling to remove roots, while I was restricted to doing some litter picking.

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New equipment in use

We now have some new tools to use on the project – these a re just a few of them.

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Elke reports that she finds it much easier to do the digging using one of the new forks, rather than a spade.

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I’m afraid that I only watched Elke and Lorna at work, as I didn’t want to risk digging at the moment.

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A very productive day

ElkeDigging

Such a lot done today – a litter pick, the wire fence has been repaired, and Elke has been digging her heart out, and finding lots of worms!

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The tree roots have gone!

Thanks to the council people who came today to remove the tree roots.

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Above: Elke was there to watch progress.

They even took the roots away.

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And this is how it looks now (as seen from the top of a double decker bus).

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I’m sure Elke will be busy digging and planting next Wednesday (I’ll be on holiday ‘unfortunately’)!

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