Community Plot Blog

24th May 2018

May business carries on, with seed sowing, potting on, weeding and planting out

 

Sowing carrots, beetroots and parsnips in the high raised bed

Potting on brassicas

 

17th May 2018

An even busier day than last week!

We made £120 at the Plant Sale, but still have lots of small seedlings to look after and are still sowing seeds for later.

Today we finished filling the tall raised bed:

Thank you to volunteers Desy and Sara

10th May 2018

A busy day

Despite the slow start with the cold Spring this year, the plants are ready for the Plant Sale on Sunday 13th May 10am-12:00 … we gave them a water with worm feed from our wormery today.

We also moved compost into the newly rebuilt and strengthened large raised bed:

Nicola and Desy weeded, dug and prepared a bed for broad beans, and planted them out.

Our neighbour Joanna gave us chard plants.  We stripped off the leaves to eat, and then planted them out.

Looking forward to the Plant Sale!

3rd May 2018

A lovely warm Spring day.

We prepared the ground and sowed our shade loving Growwild wild flowers under the apple and plum trees.

 

Michael and Mbuelo put up a bean frame and everyone planted out some of the beans we grew from seed.

David and Nicola planted out the sweetpeas we sowed last year.

 

 

Sara prepared a bed for radishes and lettuces, which David, Danny and Nicola sowed.

19th April

Hottest day of the year – since 1947!  We had a tree planting ceremony with members of the Barnet Allotment Federation, who awarded us a beautiful William pear as part of the Ted Green Award for an outstanding Community Initiative:

thanks to Volunteers Desy, Sara, and Margaret

16th April.  Thank you to London Energy for delivering 5 tonnes of compost.  We moved as much as we could – the first picture shows the heap at the beginning of the day, and the last picture at the end of the day.

 

10th April : not much time to do gardening today, we had  our new table to put together …

 

Thank you and welcome to new volunteers, Ed, Lewis and Joanna, and old hands Les and Sara + to Barnet Giving for funding!

6th April : Mencap Group

What a lovely, sunny day, and we got so much done!

Nicola and David made paper pots and sowed purple beans with Pauline.

 

 

Mbuelo, Michael and Tom filled up the first of the large raised beds with top soil, and Desy and Sara prepared the potato bed.

 Welcome to Spring Time!

29th March : Mencap Group

 

It was a wet, cold day, but we got more paper pots made, filled with our home-made compost mix, and sowed with chillies, courgettes, peas, cabbages, kale and Brussels sprouts.

David with the medal he got for volunteering at the London Landmarks Half Marathon.

Thank you to volunteers Desy and Sara.

 

Thank you to Volunteer Angela for refreshing our herb barrow with violas!

22nd March : Mencap Group

Happy Birthday to Nicola!  It is also Tom’s Birthday on Sunday.

Nicola brought cake to share.

We made lots of paper pots – when we had enough to fill 11 ‘and a half’ trays, we mixed up compost, leaf mould and sand to make seed compost.  At the end of the day, we sowed tomatoes, chillies and peas and Nicola sowed her favourite sweet peas.

15th March: Mencap Group

We unloaded a huge amount of woodchip and spread it inside the polytunnel, and on the paths between the raised beds.  It was easy to walk on the new walkway, and we got the whole job done.  We will need to have hot baths to soak our muscles!

Thanks and welcome to new volunteer Poonam

Raised Bed and Accessible Paths Building Project

 

empty raised bed at the beginning of the day

Adding in logs, branches, leaves and sheeps wool – these will raise the level of the beds, and keep them fertile for years to come.

Filling the raised beds : March 6th 2018.  Many thanks to Akan, Mike, Jason and Les

 

February 2018: The 2 new, huge raised beds have been constructed.  Thanks to Akan and Jason, and all who have been involved from prep to completion.  The next step will be to fill them, which we will do with logs, wool, compost and topsoil.

We will be meeting next in March to make accessible paths, and continue to meet on Tuesdays for garden maintenance.

 

 

Merry Christmas 2017!

What’s happening on the Community Plot?  Tuesday Group have been busy, many thanks to Margaret, Rebecca, Jason and Les.  The materials for raised beds will be delivered in the first week of January, and the area where they will go is ready.

Any volunteers to help will be very welcome – contact Les: 07957 388 033

The onions & garlic are up, the sweet peas are thriving. Scroll down to see when the Group planted them!

2017 Winner : The Ted Green Trophy for an Outstanding Community Initiative

Danny (Community Plot member) holding up the trophy.  Barnet Allotment Federation have also kindly awarded the Community Plot £50.00, for a fruit tree to be planted when the Group returns in March 2018.

9th November 2017

We met for the last time this year on Thursday.  It’s been a great year.

We finished pressing the last of our apples – 10 litres of juice, and picked the last of our tomatoes from the poly tunnel.

         

We showed Active Volunteering staff around, and told them about the Community Plot.  On 8th November, Nicola and Tom gave a presentation about the Community Plot to the Barnet Mencap AGM (the slide show is here: Our Community Plot)

We are looking forward to next year.  We planted garlic and onions ready for Spring.  We will be back in February.

   

While Thursday Group are away, we will sometimes have posts from the Tuesday Group, and from the Community Plot Steering Group, who are planning for 2018.

Congratulations to Les Moore, who has been awarded a Local Hero (by Growing Together) for his creativity and generosity in giving his time and knowledge to make the Community Plot.  £40 worth of seeds and vouchers will help to grow the Plot.  See our Twitter page @comm_plot

2nd November 2017

We did some jobs ready for Winter: we netted our pond, weeded our leeks, and Nicola added some more drawings to her poster which will go to the Barnet Mencap AGM next week, when she and Tom will talk about the Plot.

We sowed 180 broad bean seeds, which we saved from our crop this year.

That’s a lot of broad beans to eat, but they will improve the soil and stop weeds from growing.

Nicola identifying earthworms 

We used our Earthworm Watch kit to check two parts of the plot for how many worms we could find.  First we dug a hole: we found big deep-living earthworms, then we poured water and mustard in, and a soil-feeding earthworm came out.  We also checked the colour of our soil, we mixed a 50p sized piece and rolled it into a ball, and then made a sausage to see what kind of soil we have: we have loam soil.

26th October 2017

We had a visitors from Capital Growth : Elizabeth and Laura (front right), who gave us posters and  flower seeds.

We dug up the last of our potatoes and carrots:

No more potatoes left!

 

We sowed sweet pea seeds in toilet rolls!

Thanks to our volunteers: Desy, Sara, Rebecca and our special guests Elizabeth and Laura from Capital Growth

19th October 2017

A wet day, so we made apple juice!

 

Sara was determined to get the last drop!

We made 6 litres of apple juice

When the rain stopped, we planted out winter salads – chicory, lettuce and pak choi

Tom ‘the Foreman’ overseeing the job!

At the end of the day, we took home plenty of veg: carrots, beetroots, chard, oriental greens and toms:

13th October 2017

We were busy on the Plot today, digging up potatoes:

… and picking courgettes, broccoli, tomatoes and pak choi …

 

Many thanks to our lovely volunteers : Sarah, Desy and Rebecca

7th October 2017 – Open Day

We showed lots of people around the Community Plot, and some people stayed for lunch. We had home-made apple juice, soup, barbecued corn and salads made by Vanya, Brigid and Judith.  Then we had cakes made by Vanya and Pauline.  It was good day!

5th October 2017

We are back on the Plot.

Today we picked vegetables for lunch at our Open Day.  We dug potatoes and picked corn:

On the day, we will pick more veg for salad:

Look how big our hot oriental salad leaves are now!  (Remember when we sowed them? – scroll down our Blog to find out!)

See you at our Open Day on Saturday 7th October!

30th September 2017

London Harvest Festival

We were invited to take part in the London Harvest Festival at Capel Manor. This is a big day for community gardens and farms.  Nicola made a poster for our display.

Jason (Tuesday Group) made an unusual container planter in a wheelbarrow with herbs and decorative cabbages, which got Highly Commended in the competition:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone made apple juice to give to people to try:

14th September

We picked apples from plot holder Marion’s plot, and used some of the them to make apple juice by crushing the chopped up apples.  We picked as much of our crop as we could because we are having a break next week, and we don’t want any of our produce to go to waste!

10th September 2017

We won Best New Plot and Novice Cup in the Whetstone Stray Annual Show!!! We got 7 First Prizes; 12 Second Prizes and 4 3rd Prizes.  We won £13.80, which we spent on raffle tickets and tea and cake.  We had some lovely home made cake which was only £1.00 with a cup of tea or coffee.

We also were awarded a £20.00 voucher from Finchley Nurseries and the money from the Auction – £37.00.  We will use this money to buy seeds for next year.

 

7th September 2017

An overcast day but we enjoyed it.

here are our Oriental Mustards, getting bigger all the time!

We dug up a selection of different coloured potatoes, and gave some to PC David Morrow, our Community Policeman, when he passed by:

We planted out calendulas and nasturtiums – Sara and Angela tried the leaves and seeds – they’re spicy!

We’re looking forward to the Annual Show on Sunday.  Tom hopes his Marrow wins a prize:

Thanks to volunteers Rebecca, Sara and Angela

31st August 2017

Our Oriental Mustards are already up … but we forgot to take a photo … watch this space to see them!

We planted out 52 pak choi which we raised from seed.

Mbuelo doing his favourite thing -watering!

We took lots of photos, to enter into the Annual Show on Sunday September 10th.  Tom donated a bottle of wine, he brought back from his holiday in France, for the Raffle.

 

Hasta la Victoria Siempre (Sara)

 

 Nicola’s selfies for the Grow Wild Selfie Competition#grewitmyselfie

Tom with the Kohl Rabi he pulled up!

We tried Kohl Rabi at lunch time.  It tastes a bit like the stalk of cauliflower!  Desy said it is her new favourite vegetable!

After Lunch, it rained, so we got creative and did some drawings of vegetables to enter in the Annual Show competition!

Thank you to our lovely  Volunteers: Sara; Rebecca and Desy

24th August 2017

We prepared our raised bed, and sowed Oriental Mustards

in different colours:

seeds from http://www.seedaholic.com

 

Debbie and Clair from Barnet Active Volunteering visited:

 

Active Volunteering supports several of our volunteers:

It was a lovely afternoon on the plot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We fed our plants , and watered

 

 

 

 

 

 

And at the end of the day, we picked and took home a lot of food!

 

Thank you to volunteer Angela

_____________________________

17th August 2017

We’re back with really good news!  We won the Ted Green Award for Outstanding Community Initiative on an Allotment !!

Many thanks to everyone who has taken part in creating the Community Plot!

 

 

 


This week we picked several kilos of beans, courgettes, potatoes, tomatoes, and chard.  Thank you to the two Joanna’s – one gave us apples and the other gave us plums!. We also prepared a bed to plant out our pak choi, and fed our marrows with food made in our wormery!

Thank you to volunteers Rebecca and Sara.


Week 6 of the Summer Group on Thursdays

We had judges come to look at the Plot.  They stayed for about half an hour, and talked to us about what we grow, and the things we have done like digging the pond, and making paths.

We potted on pak choi, and we planted out cabbages.  We picked courgettes, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots and beans.  Our neighbour Joanna gave us a big branch full of plums.

We’ve had a good time, and we’re proud of what we’ve done in the last 6 weeks.  We are having a break next week, we’ll be back on 17th August.  Tom is looking forward to see how big his marrow will be when we get back!  He hopes to win the prize for biggest marrow in the Annual Show on September 10th!

Many thanks to our volunteers: Rebecca, Desy and Sara.



Week 5 of the Summer Group on Thursdays

We moved the Shop delivery, which weighed one ton.  Pauline said it was one tun of fun!  (Brigid said thank you from the Committee and everyone who uses the shop).

We planted leeks using broom handles, Mbuelo did a very good job!

It rained off and on, but we had perfect timing and did not get wet!

After lunch we fed the worms in our new wormery with banana skins and apple cores!

We took home: courgettes; runner beans; peas; French beans and plums – thank you to Ian for inviting us to pick the plums on his plot!

Thanks, too, to our volunteers: Rebecca and Desy.

The wildflower meadow


Week 4 of the Summer Group on Thursdays

We dug up our first potatoes!  We enjoyed digging our potatoes – it is easier to take them out than to put them in!

We also picked our first tomatoes from the poly tunnel:

There were some very big courgettes.  When you pick courgettes, you have to twist and turn them – not pull them!

Tom’s giant marrow, he is growing for the Annual Show in September.

Lettuce


Week 3 of the Summer Group on Thursdays

We have our first courgettes:

Some of our carrots were too small, and some were just right!

It’s fun to plant different vegetables. This week we planted out kohlrabi – a new vegetable that none of us has tried before, but it’s good to try new things. We also planted out our Brussels sprouts for Christmas. We grew the Brussels from seed, and one of the allotment neighbours gave us the kohlrabi.

Butterfly in the poly tunnel


Weeks 1 and 2 of the Summer Group on Thursdays

We picked broad beans, onions and peas, which we sowed in the Winter, and we enjoyed the hot weather!

Archive: Community Improvement Project with the Royal Mencap Society & Postcode Lottery

Event December 2016

 

 

From October to December 2016,  the Royal Mencap Society and volunteers supported a group of 12 people with Learning Disabilities to make a Community Plot on Whetstone Stray Allotments.  The Group made a pond, paths, raised beds and planted beans, onions, garlic and peas to over-winter.

At the end we enjoyed a party … with cake!

And fresh apple juice!