Thursday, 4 February 2010

What we did Wednesday 3rd February

We arrived to find the site blanketed by a hard frost: beautiful, but any digging was out of the question.

A walk around the site put us in mind of various jobs that need doing: drag the weed from the pond; renew the wild flowers in the insect zone; identify and label all the plants in the sensory garden once they emerge in Spring.

The winter salads in the polytunnel are looking well, and some of us treated them to a little light weeding whilst the others set our newly-purchased seed potatoes ready for chitting. It will be a couple of months before they go into the soil, but the rows of tubers are a fine reminder of what we can look forward to. Mary chose them from the Nottingham Organic Gardeners' potato day, and she has selected a good range of cultivars.

Kathy and ben counted all the beds on site because we plan to number and label tham all. This will make it easier to reference them and so aid with planning and crop rotation in future. Wow - the site has over fifty beds. What a tribute to everyone who has worked so hard to put the infrastructure in place.
Ben has obtained some scrap wood for the labels, but we are likely to need more in order to complete the task. Let him know if you can contribute anything from this list:

  • wood for labels (about 5" width and 1/2" section is ideal, but larger sizes can be adapted.)

  • wood for pegs (about 1" width and 1/2" section is best, but larger sizes can be adapted)

  • unwanted tins of outdoor or household paint

  • unwanted tins of varnish

It would be good if we could use leftover materials, so check your loft, shed, garage, or wherever else you dump the stuff that you can't bear to throw away.

With little else to do, we retired for coffee, muffins (thanks Nicola), and chat. Discussion centred around a banner for our big events this year, and Nicola obliged with an excellent design. We also finished sorting our stock of seed into date order, ready to be sown at the right time of the forthcoming season.

Our stock of seed looks good, although there are still some that we need to obtain, if we are to grow everything we'd like to this year:

  • borlotto bean

  • cauliflower, Romanesco

  • beetroot, Chioggia Pink

  • tomato, a variety of different cultivars

  • carrot

  • courgette, though not too many

  • sunflower

  • sweet peas, any favourites?

  • shallot sets

  • garlic bulbs

Anyone who is going to this month's Beeston Transition seed swap event can help by looking out for these.


  1. Ben - great to see you posting.

    I think Ron's got hold of some stuff that will be good for making the bed labels - I'll ask him to liaise with you. Also - are you remembering the acrylic paint we've got? That should be great for the labels. There might also be the possibility of getting some child-labour to help with the job...!

    Feels like a real blog now!


  2. Tracey - yes, please have a word with Ron and see if he can help out with more wood. You'll have to show me where the paint is stored.

    Bed numbers are:
    1-8: e2e
    9: communal comfrey
    10-13: sensory garden - herbs & flowers
    14-30: rectangular beds, used primarily by the Wednesday people
    31-32: outdoor high (wheelchair accessible) beds
    33-56: the 'dial' and surrounding beds, used primarily by Groundworks and the Thursday people

    I aim to start work once the wood has dried out and recovered from its previous life in a skip. Some dry weather would be nice too: I'd happily saw away in the kitchen, but Mrs. ben is soooo fussy about such things.

    I'll start with the low numbers and work up. If you have anyone else making labels, let me know and I'll allocate them a bunch of numbers to speed things along and avoid duplication. I imagine any "child labour" would be safer with paint brushes rather than saws and hammers, so let me know how many blanks you'd like to have made up for the tiddlypeeps to paint.


  3. Im happy to contribute to the painting of labels and have several little hands that are used to working on a chain gang....I have also got the acrylic paint here at home, so let me know when and who wants it.