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Community Garden in July: berries, produce stall, and green manure

By 10th August 2022No Comments

The summer harvest is in full swing and the Garden Gate stall is getting busier each week. The fruiting hedge has been very prolific this year and everyone’s been enjoying the raspberries, gooseberries, and currants. Janice even made some jam you can pick up on the stall along with all the other produce – on every Sunday, 1-3pm. Our first tomatoes are beginning to ripen and it looks like we’ll have a bumper crop.

Our sweet corn is flowering in the polytunnel as well. We are growing using the three sisters method. This is an ancient method developed By Native Americans. We are growing sweet corn, squash and beans together. They all need similar conditions, the beans grown up the corn and capture nitrogen to improve the soil, the squash shelters the soil which needs less water and less weeding. So far, so good…

The secret is out. Nettle tea and comfrey tea are gardening gold. Evelyn, who comes to the Community Garden as part of group on Wednesdays has made her own nettle tea to bring on the veggies in the group’s veg plot. For more info on free fertiliser for your garden see the blog on the PLANT teabar. Alzheimer’s Scotland run a garden gathering every week for people with a love of gardening. They have room for new members. For more info, please contact Anne on 07979 950887.

The polycrub is almost finished. Sterling work by Will and the rest of the team. The finishing touch will be the vine-to be planted with its roots outside and trained on the north side of the polycrub. If you are growing grapes do come and share your expertise. There’s progress on the repair of the polytunnel too, with plans coming together to clear the site and contractors to come in and replace the damaged tubing and reskin it.

As we’ve begun to harvest we want to avoid leaving bare soil for too long. According to our permaculture course the vital microorganisms in the soil start to die after six weeks of sun. To combat this we’ve been sowing green manures on several beds. For more info on green manure, check out PLANT video “Green manure in the cut flower bed” on PLANT YouTube channel.

The other issue is of course the pressure on the water supply from the current drought conditions in Fife. Fife’s water table is at its lowest since records began and the burn at the Community Garden is so sluggish it’s affecting the pond on the East Common. We’ve still got some harvested rainwater but the donation of another water butt means we’ll be able to store even more, if it ever rains again! If you have any plastic guttering going spare, we could find a use for it, too.

The Garden is purely volunteer-powered and we are always looking for people who are keen to help with growing, harvesting and produce sales. No previous gardening experience required but it would be great if you can share your knowledge! Email or pop in on Sunday, Monday or Wednesday to find out more about getting involved.

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