Sunday, 27 November 2011

Chris Swain Memorial

A dedication ceremony was held at Dig In on Saturday 26th November in remembrance of Chris Swain who sadly passed away this year. Chris was very dedicated, both to his family and the allotment, and he is missed by all of us, not only for his kindness and generosity, but also for his tireless contribution to both Pulp Friction and the Dig In Community Allotment.

In honour of his memory, a pear tree was planted in the Dig In orchard, along with a dedication plaque.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Pumpkin Day Winners!

Congratulations to the following pumpkin exhibitors at the Annual Dig In Pumpkin Day event-

The Bradburn family - Largest pumpkin award (weighing in at 34.93 kgs).
Chris Davis' daughters - Joint winners for best dressed pumpkin.
Mystery exhibitor (unknown) - Strangest looking pumpkin.
Gary and Claire Swain - Honory prize for their misshapen pumpkin.

The event was one of our best attended so far, with around 180 adults and children (including volunteer helpers). A total of £124.67 was raised through a raffle and donations on the day, which will help towards seed, materials, tools and repairs for the next season.

Many thanks for all who attended, making Pumpkin Day a huge success. We also have some video footage of the event;

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Pumpkin Day

Today was very busy and loads of things was going off from carving pumpkin's, pumpkin soups, bird feeders, facepaint, pumpkin games and activities and other things too.
I was doing the bird feeders shaped of pumpkins by using

lard and wild bird seed.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Last of the Summer Grapes

Many of the summer crops are coming to an end, but Gary Swain spotted the last remaining bunches of grapes in the polytunnel. This photo of today's bounty was taken by Chris Davis.

Apple Day 2011

The Dig In Apple Day event was held on September 24th. The weather was perfect, and the volunteers worked very hard to ensure the event was a great success. Everyone I spoke too said they had a wonderful time, enjoying apple related food and refreshments as well as the various activities. We had over 100 visitors, and very positive feedback was received.

Over £90 was raised on the day through a raffle and donations, which will be put to good use for repairs, gardening equipment and other items needed for the project.

Chris Davis, a Dig In volunteer with a keen interest in photography was our official photographer for the event, and has provided some fantastic images which I have put together as a montage to give a flavour of the event. Please click here for pdf version.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Pond Dipping Event 2011

This year's Pond Dipping event was held on August 17th in conjunction with Alan Heath from the Long Eaton Natural History Society (LENS). These events are always very popular with the children, both from a fun and educational perspective, and this one was no exception.

Although we felt that the numbers and types of species found in the pond have been limited by the unwanted introduction of goldfish (which will also eat tadpoles, so reducing the numbers of frogs which in turn help reduce the surrounding slug population), Alan reported a total of 19 species found during the survey.

A pdf listing the species found at this year's event is available by clicking this link.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Stapleford Carnival 2011

Once again DIG IN attended the Stapleford Carnival ( 3.9.11)with an array of fruit and veg, preserves, seeds and strawberry plants to give out to local people. A fabulous well dressing was created and now is displayed for a week at Stapleford town Council. Lauren, Gill, Chris, Claire and Kathy were able to chat to people about DIG IN, offer growing advice and encourage involvement in the future events and coming along to wednesday and saturday sessions- although any discussion was in competition with a very noisy falcon on the next stall! Hundreds of people came to Stapleford Carnival- a great opportunity for us to publicise the Garden. Lots of folk were very interested in coming along and the swell of support for the Apple and Pumpkin days was evidence of how DIG IN is fast becoming a well known and well loved part of the Stapleford community. Thanks to the Town Council for a stall in their gazebo and their support.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Bugs Hotel

Chris, Claire and Gary Swain have been very busy constructing a bugs hotel from recycled palettes, next to the wildlife pond. When finished, the hotel will provide a valuable habit for beneficial insects, which in turn will assist the frogs and other amphibians reared in the adjacent pond to control our garden pests.

Other recycled material such as rolled up cardboard, hollowed out canes, straw, small logs and twigs will be added to provide cosy resting places for these creatures over the cold winter period and beyond.

Prize Winners!

Congratulations to Tony Payne who, on behalf of Dig In, entered produce grown on the community allotment in the recent Stapleford & District Garden Holders Association show. Tony entered a melon in the 'Most Unusual Shaped Veg' section and a bunch of grapes from the polytunnel in the 'Any Other Fruit' category.

This is the first time our community grown produce has been entered in the competition, and to come away with a second and third prize is a fantastic achievement.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Clare has been very busy creating colourful new signs for our annual vegetable beds. Thanks to Chris for sourcing the wood and sawing it all! This is part of a movement to make the site and the growing plan easier for everyone to understand. Mary has drawn a beautiful map of the site which will be appearing on site shortly. Thanks Clare and Chris for all your hard work!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

cook and eat 10th august

The rain stopped, and the sun came out, and the wind blew, for our summer cook and eat event today. We almost lost our new marquee! Lets hope we can fix the damage done by the wind.... A meal with an Indian feel was enjoyed by all - with Mary's courgette bhajis proving popular. We all enjoyed the blackberry and apple compote with yoghurt for desert. We have another cook and taste event for childminders next week. Getting to try all this lovely food is definitely a perk of the job!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

There has been a lot of action on site over the past few weeks. Last weekend Pulp Friction was well and truly launched, and this weekend over 30 people learnt about bee keeping from Lee. The picture shows a number of "bee hotels" to attract solitary bees to the garden and a swarm of bees made from wool and plastic bags.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Mini Harvest

A selection of fruit and vegetables recently harvested at Dig In. After being a victim of convenience, eating tinned peas for many years, I had forgotten how good real peas, fresh from the pod tasted.

Photo kindly provided by © Claire Swain

Volunteers needed to help with events

Can you help to plan and deliver Our Apple and Pumpkin festivals? We need a small group of people who can give a bit of time to help organise or help at these events to make them as good as previous years.If you want to be involved let us know either through the blog or the Dig In enquiries email.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

pulp friction launch

Pulp Friction have been working hard on site to create an amazing soft fruit growing area. A public event to launch and celebrate the project will be happening at Dig In on Saturday 23rd July from 10.00 -12.00. Some of the smoothie bikes will be in action, and there will be a chance to find out more about the project and the future plans. Everyone welcome.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Dig For Life local food update

The first 3 months of the project have been a busy time.

I have been supporting Foxwood school - who proudly harvested their crop of onions and chard today.

Castle College has paid two visits to the site and will hopefully be returning in the Autumn.

Bugs and beasties have been explored by Albany Juniors and the Cubs, a chance to promote the value of wildlife and diversity on an organic allotment. The Beavers are planning a few visits to do the same and help with our harvest in Autumn.

I linked with the Framework Access to Nature project to support a group to come on site, a chance to promote the project to local people. Everyone went home with their own salad pots to grow on at home.

I supported Pulp Friction when they built their beds. Chris from Pulp Friction with help from his family has done wonders to help the Dig In site become tidy of weeds and lay bark chippings on the paths.

I have done a few outreach sessions at Surestart. Along with Local Food Worker Alan Withington we did a salad pot workshop with parents, and Mary and I helped with a cooking session with rhubarb crumble on the menu using Dig In rhubarb. 2 families came to a Cook and Eat session at the Dig In site in June.

Over 30 people attended the willow weaving workshop and had a chance to express their creative talents making stars, fish and dragonflies.

At the Hemlock Happening there was lots of interest in the project and in growing vegetables generally. We had loads of help to complete a well dressing in seasonal June flowers.

Here's looking forward to the next three months!

Dig In Project Worker

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Contact details for DIG IN

Confusion over contact details is hopefully coming to an end with the development of our wonderful new website and emails.

telephone:07943 700302

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

cook and taste june 2011

Lauren, Mary and Gill welcomed Surestart workers and local families to the site for a cook and taste session. The weather stayed dry!The children and parents enjoyed looking round the site, watching the neighbouring chickens and trying the fabulous food prepared by volunteers, staff and parents.

Site activity

lettuce and onions

Roy planting pumpkins and french bean

Here are some photos showing work at DIG IN in June 2011 showing some of the hard work that volunteers have put in and the great plants growing.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


Just a reminder that we have a FREE willow workshop this saturday 18th june 2011- please book va the DIG IN bookings email or the DIG IN telephone number (see workshops information) .

Change of date - Bee keeping is will now take place on 30th July 10-12 at the DIG IN site. Book through the ususal channels.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Hemlock Happenng 2011

DIG IN volunteers once again provided a fantastic information stall at the Hemlock Happening giving away approximately 100 plants to some of the hundreds of people who attended. Children and adults helped to create a wonderful well dressing made up of petals, seeds and pulses while talking to volunteers and Lauren about the project. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped on the day and for all the hard work put ino making this a perfect opportunity to spread the word about DIG IN and growing your own food.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Dig In Local Food Project

I am just over a month in post and really enjoying my new role.
  • Outreach sessions growing salad pots and cooking with allotment produce are planned with Stapleford Surestart, and I hope parents will be coming down to the Dig In site over the summer.
  • I have met with the First Steps Project to explore how more people from the project can be supported into volunteering with Dig In. The first new volunteer will be visiting the site in May.
  • I have been linking with local schools. I am supporting Foxwood school to plan their garden area and plan to support some sessions on site. I will support a visit to the site by Albany Infants in May. My next plan is to make links with Albany Junior.
  • Links have been made with the new Framework "Access to Nature" project, and a session on site is planned for May.
  • A group from Castle College will be volunteering on the site in May.

I am very keen to get local children involved in creating a beautiful new sign for the site. Watch this space....

Dig In Project Worker

Friday, 1 April 2011

new dates for workshops 2011

Hello everyone, some DIG In workshops/activities have been arranged. Funding secured from Broxtowe Action Fund has allowed us to go ahead and repeat some well loved and well attended workshops. DIG IN AGM 23rd May 7 pm at the Carnegie Centre, Warren ave, Stapleford .This is an open meeting and welcomes people who want to know more about DIG IN or join the group. Please contact me for more information. Willow weaving 18th June 10-12 or 1-3-Come and learn the skills of weaving with willow and make a garden decoration to take home . Tutor Helen Domleo- booking essential . Bee Keeping 16th July 10-12 TBC. Look inside the Hives and learn about bee keeping. Tutor Lee Atkin. Booking essential . Pond Dipping-17th August 10-12 Learn about biodiversity and how to maintain a wildlife pond with Long Eaton nature society.Booking essential. All workshops are free and will be outdoors so wear sensible footwear and clothes. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Please book via 07943700302 and leave your name and contact details.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Spring 2011

An awful lot has happened since last entry. Several of us visited the Summerwood allotment mainly to look at their compost toilets (very impressive) but also to just look at another site.
It was huge, had countless sheds & greenhouses, not one but 2 eco loos, a clay pizza oven, a bee hive and a very natural looking pond. One of the fun things was a bicycle powered apple press which we persuaded Kathy to have a go on.
We came away more inspired and more determined than ever to get an eco loo on site. If I can remember how to do it I may post some pictures.
The other really major thing is that we have secured some local food funding and got a project worker, Lauren Kinnersley, for the Dig for Life project. We are hopimg this will help us do all sorts of events and developments, particularly to draw in more people to Dig-In and build in some sustainability. Mary V