It is coming up to our first year in the meadow down at St John's Church on Auckland Road and we can't quite believe how time has flown! The space feels so lived in now, and a structure is there, whether plants are blooming in it or not. The three big beds are now ticking over with green manures, onions and winter salad / greens. We can now sit back and think about our successes and dare I say it failures over the last 9 months.
Our successful crops include pumpkins, tomatoes, rocket, red mustard, purslane, Jerusalem artichokes, peas, corn, black soya beans and edible flowers. We now look forward to seeing what our celeriac come up like...
I managed to find via Freecycle a compost bin, hose, bench ( for all-important pauses between labours) and a watering can. We re-used much of the rubble lying about to make little fire pits to burn a little waste wood and bake a few tasty treats to celebrate our work.
Last but not least of our successes, has been the new faces we have met and the community that is growing along side all our many plants and fruits.
Failures? Well, there always are in gardening but here, they count so small compared to the success of this space as to hardly register. The pumpkins could have cropped more if watering were easier, but we did well enough for our first year; likewise the tomatoes where we had to pull them up early as disease took them over. Still good cropping, but could have been better with better access to water and helpers in the busiest months of July,August and September.
To tide us over the darker months, we held a bulb planting session in October and we now look forward to seeing the many daffs and a few cheeky tulips poke their heads up through the sleepy ground. Next we will build leaf mould cages and stockpile brown leafy goodness for 2015.
Next year, we aim to grow more and better. Our only true limitation is how many we bring on board to help us realise this dream. The marvellous Father John Pritchard is keen for us to expand. So if you know someone who wants to volunteer... It could be you!!
Fancy getting involved? See the St John's Garden page for more details, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.