Tidy Day – September 2015

The September Tidy Day is Saturday 5th September when once again we hope to see members of the Community Garden attend and help to maintain the communal areas.

We are still experiencing warm and wet weather and the weeds are strong.

Our main focus on the 5th September will be the following areas and tasks:

  • turning the compost
  • further weeding of the main flower bed area
  • dividing plants from the main flower bed into pots or planting in spare beds
  • de-clutter and remove the rubbish close to the shed area
  • weed and dig over vacant plots in readiness for next year
  • hedge-trimming

The photograph below illustrates the rubbish that has accumulated in the shed area.

Community Garden Rubbish August 2015

Community Garden Rubbish August 2015

The photograph below illustrates the compost area and the weeds that have grown up in front.

Community Garden Compost Bins August 2015

Community Garden Compost Bins August 2015

If the weather is against us and it rains then there is polytunnel work to be completed including:

  • weeding and digging over the ground inside the polytunnel
  • complete the relocation of the path inside the polytunnel
  • carefully remove hedge trimmings from behind polytunnel

The photograph below illustrates the path inside the polytunnel. Work is under way to relocate the pathway and this requires to be completed.

Polytunnel Pathway 16th August 2015

Polytunnel Pathway 16th August 2015

We are still in the holiday season and so some regulars who rarely miss a Tidy Day are enjoying a well-earned break. Also, other regulars will be working on our stall at the Craven Arms Farmers Market.

This makes it essential that many more members step up and make a contribution to the essential communal maintenance of the Community Garden.

As well as contributing to the Community Garden you will have the chance to meet fellow members and we enjoy a mid-morning break with tea and coffee generously provided by the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre.

The Tidy Days are held on the first Saturday of the month to coincide with the regular Craven Arms Farmers Market event and members are reminded that they are obliged under the terms of the Ground Rules for Plot Holders to contribute time and effort to these monthly Tidy Days.

Family Fun Day – Sunday 14th June

SHDC Family Fun Day Sunday 14th June 2015The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre are holding a Family Fun Day and Cycle Sunday on 14th June 2015 to celebrate National Bike Week.

At the Craven Arms Community Garden we are supporting this event with a number of activities including:

A Children’s Gardening Quiz

For the under 12’s, ten questions based on the Community Garden, with a Prize for the winner!

Making Comfrey Tea

Learn how to turn Comfrey into a powerful and natural liquid fertiliser feed.

Starts at 11:30

A Demonstration of Composting Methods

The different approaches and methods of composting.

Starts at 12:00

Watering Techniques to Conserve Water

Learn a variety of techniques for careful watering to conserve this vital resource for gardeners.

Starts at 13:00

Guided Tours of the Community Garden

Learn about the Community Garden and recent developments including how we are becoming sustainable in our rainwater collection and composting and also visit the new polytunnel which extends the growing season.

Tours will start at 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00 and last about 20 minutes.

Booking not required, just turn up.

We hope to see many members, friends and families.
National Bike Week 2015

Tidy Day – June 2015

Members are reminded that the first Saturday of each month from February through October or November is Craven Arms Community Garden Tidy Day and these coincide with the Farmers Market held at the Discovery Centre.

The June 2015 Tidy Day is therefore Saturday 6th June.

The original plan for the tasks included mowing the grassed areas and strimming the edges of the micro-allotment plots. Thanks to the work carried on Thursday 4th June by the West Mercia Community Payback team these tasks have been completed.

That will allow us to focus on:

  • weeding the edges of the communal pathways
  • weeding the communal raised beds
  • any general tidying up that is required

Unfortunately I am not able to attend the Tidy Day On Saturday and so I have contributed several hours this week to the communal maintenance need by turning the compost beds and closing off one bed to prevent further addition of any compostable materials. I’ve also placed laminated warning signs on the particular bed requesting that nothing further is added to the bed.

Please also note that some members of the Community Garden are manning a “Seedy Saturday” stall at the Farmers Market selling plants and produce and so it is even more important that additional members come along to help with the routine maintenance of the communal areas of the Community Garden.

We hope to see many, if not all, members on Saturday 6th June from 10:00 when your valuable contribution to the maintenance of the communal areas of the Community Garden will be greatly appreciated.

In conclusion, the Tidy Day is also an opportunity for members to meet and get to know each other and as a group of members we take a mid-morning break and enjoy some refreshment together provided by the Discovery Centre. There is plenty to see in the Community Garden at the moment in addition to the produce growing in many plots – for example the new polytunnel has been erected and is nearing completion.

Additional Rainwater Catchment – Part 2

Early in April preparations started for the installation of additional rainwater catchment water storage tanks in readiness for the purchase of a poly-tunnel (size) thanks to funding from Ludlow Food Festival.

CACG member John Wood brought his logistics experience to the military precision of his planning for the series of dominoes required to fall in sequence to enable the very tight timetable to be met.

Members started by moving the existing dry compost into the South-West corner of the Community Garden so that the area under the existing roof could receive three new 1000 litre IBC (intermediate bulk containers). At the same time some new compost areas were created.

New Uncovered Compost Areas April 2015

New Uncovered Compost Areas April 2015

The majority of the wood from the former dry compost area has been reused to create these new compost areas that ought to provide better compost through being open to the elements. The paving slabs and blocks were then used to provide a level base for the three new water storage containers to be located under the existing roof so that rainwater can be collected.

Preparing the Base for Water Storage Containers 18th April 2015

Preparing the Base for the New Water Storage Containers

Supporting blocks have been doubled up in order to ensure an adequate head of water to feed a pump that will in turn irrigate the poly-tunnel.

Preparing the Base for New Water Storage Tanks 18th April 2015

Preparing the Base for New Water Storage Tanks

The poly-tunnel will be installed adjacent to the new water storage tanks and at the northern end – the right in this picture.

Further news on progress can be found in Part 3 of this series of posts.