"The team at Phipps has already harvested 930kg of produce this year! There is still lots more to come – perhaps this will be the first year we hit a full tonne of produce...
Most years, we grow well over half a tonne of fruit and veg, depending on weather conditions and slug appetites. Steve and Bob’s work in providing us with a polytunnel with a watering system three years ago has increased our productivity because we can grow more seedlings which are more likely to succeed than seed sown directly into the soil.
The highlights this year are a substantial tomato harvest. Blight was ruining the crop so badly that we gave up trying to grow tomatoes for a few years, but the conditions this year really suited tomatoes. We’ve eaten lots, made chutney and still had some to give away too.
Though the runner bean harvest dwindled during the heatwave, despite all the watering which Steve and Slawek did, once it rained again in mid August the plants put on a second flush of growth and we’ve had big harvests since then. Once again we’ve had a massive courgette and marrow harvest - it’s hard to distinguish between the two when they grow so quickly from mini to monster! The team’s work in reorganising the rhubarb bed paid off, but generally it’s been a poor year for fruit, largely due to the unusual weather conditions. But our fruit trees are getting to a good size and we can hope for heavier crops next year.
We’ll be continuing to harvest beans, mange tout, tomatoes, and courgettes until temperatures drop. There are more potatoes and carrots to dig, cavalo nero and chard to cut and the leek harvest to start once it’s got cold. Broccoli is shaping up for next spring too.
Do come and visit one Wednesday morning!"
Trustee & Community Gardening Champion