“It’s been another busy month at the Phipps Bridge Community garden. The warm weather has meant that everything has grown very fast. And because we’re never satisfied with the weather in England we’re now hoping for rain! Watering is becoming a regular and time consuming task. But the runner beans are in flower and snaking high up their poles and the courgettes have started to fruit. We harvested about a kilo of lettuce last week (about half a recycling box in volume – that’s a lot!) in a bid to use it before it bolts and goes to seed. The second crop of radishes is keeping the lettuce company. The broad bean harvest is practically over. We’ve picked 10 kilos of gooseberries and now I have scratched arms and 10 pots of jam to give back to the Phipps team. We also enjoyed a squishy gooseberry cake, and the previous week rhubarb cake was on the menu.
It’s a battle to prepare enough ground each week to plant out all the baby veg which Bob has grown from seed in the polytunnel. But starting them off in a sheltered environment means the small plants are more likely to withstand slug and snail onslaught than if we’d sown the seeds directly into the soil. Last week we were planting out callaloo (a west indian plant somewhat like spinach donated by one of our volunteers) and beans; this week it was carrots and broccoli.
It’s one of the most satisfying times of year to be gardening, when everything is growing well and we can start to enjoy the fruits (and veg) of our labours.”
Ruth Baber, Phipps Bridge Community Garden Volunteer