Saturday, 15 December 2012

Seasons Greetings from all at Dig In

It's been a great year at Dig In, despite the rubbish weather!

We'd like to wish you all a great Christmas, and we hope to see you at some of our events next year. First off will be a fruit tree and bush pruning workshop in late January, so keep an eye on this blog for more details soon.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Pumpkin Day 2012

Special thanks to Chris Davis for the video presentation.

Here are some of the sample of pumpkin carving what's been going off today at the allotment. Everybody enjoyed the day from carving into pumpkins and doing the pumpkin activities there and tried food with pumpkin in them. The weather was cold but never rained for the day with the sun coming out in the sky. There's different form of shape and colour, which makes them look different and stands out quite well together too.

A big thank you to Tracey Lloyd of Groundwork and everyone who volunteered to make the event a great success. A poem was also commissioned specially for the event, which was written and performed by Dave Wood;

Soup De Doop (mp3 audio format) © Dave Wood 2012

Congratulations to the winners of the pumpkin contest;

Largest pumpkin: Roy Oldershaw.
Best dressed pumpkin: Mickey Jones (8)
Most unusual pumpkin: Claire Swain

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Pumpkins are a coming...

A selection of delicious DIG IN squashes, pumpkins and shark fin melons.... all safely tucked away awaiting 2012 Pumpkin festival. Come and join us to celebrate and bring a pumpkin for the largest, best carved or most unusual competition categories.
Thanks to The Co-operative for supporting our event this year with a supply of Pumpkins for carving on the day.see you on the 27th October 11-3.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Apple Day Event 2012

A warm, rain-free window in the weather, lots of fun, games and smiling faces (not forgetting the delicious apples, tasty food and recipes), made this year's Apple Day a great success.

Chris Davis, our volunteer photographer has put together a wonderful slideshow of the event (click the icon at the bottom right of the video frame to view full screen);

A big thank you to all the volunteers, event organisers and contributors who made this all possible.

Thanks also to John Hempsall for assisting with apple identification, Paul Deeley for the audio entertainment, Pulp Friction for the smoothies and Dave Wood for his specially commissioned poem recital;

Clues to the Apple (mp3 audio format)

Clues to the Apple (pdf)


Saturday, 6 October 2012

Mosaic Workshop

Here are one of the samples of the sun catches and the stepping stones what we did today at the Mosaic workshop today and loads of people enjoyed doing it,the weather stopped nice for us too. We used different colour tiles for the stepping stones and for the sun catcher we can use beads and other tiles and mirror for them.

Mosaic bug hits DIG IN

The sun shone AGAIN- I can't believe our luck this year so won't say too much as we still have PUMPKIN DAY to go!DIG IN's Mosaic workshop held by artist Sophie Robins was fantastic today. 14 participants who all had a wonderful time making stepping stones and sun catchers to take home. We started the communal sculpture for the site too, a large sphere mosaiced in ranges of colour which we hope to finish off with another mosaic session.The photos may capture a bit of the mosaic bug that held us all. I loved it so much I went to B&Q and bought the tools and did some more when I got home...

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Apples Away!

Dig In are currently gathering apples for our forthcoming Apple Day event, which will be held on the Albany Allotment site, Pasture Road, Stapleford. NG9 8HZ (near the Man of Iron pub).

The event will run from 11am to 3pm on Saturday 22nd September 2012 and admission is free.

The numerous boxes of apples in the photo were generously donated by Ben Grundy and freshly picked by Dig In volunteers.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Sunset Over Dig In

This lovely photo was taken by Dig In volunteer, Paula, during an evening watering session.


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Come Dine With Me session on site today was a big success. No less than 27 people came, alongside regular volunteers. Mary made green risotto with peas and spinach harvested from site. We harvested the first of the tomatoes for the salad, along with courgettes and cucumbers. Desert was fruit salad made with berries all harvested on site. Summer is finally here!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Beekeeping Workshop 2012

Pictures from the recent beekeeping workshop.  The photos are of the small colony of bees that took up residence, uninvited, earlier in the year. There are only about four frames of bees and brood, so it is a small colony and has had to be fed sugar syrup solution during the wet summer so far.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

On the photos what was taken last summer at the Stapleford Allotment we had Hardeep Singh Kohli who came and cooked on site and everybody enjoyed it and the weather was nice too. We learned some skills that we didn't know before.
Kohli took part in the first series of BBC One's Celebrity MasterChef programme.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Drastic measures to control slugs and snails on site.....

With all the rain slugs ans snails are proving a real problem on site this year. Our newest volunteers Mike has come up with a way to help us. Here he is with a selection of our molluscs on route to be fed to his chickens.....

Thursday, 28 June 2012

New Bees - 2 new colonies!

Helen Turner and Mary Venning have been looking to revive the Apiary. A stray colony has come by itself about a month ago to take up residence in Hive No 1.Helen has been feeding them 1:1 syrup to encourage them to stay. When we had a look at them they seemed active and happy with plenty of new brood in evidence. They were occupying 2 frames and we saw the queen!
Then on Monday 25th we went along to Pearson's farm to collect another colony, courtesy of Lee. We went in the evening hoping that most workers would have come home for the night. We taped up the hive and moved it to Dig-in, untaped it and left it on top of the Bessant Hive.
Then on Wednesday 27th we inspected the new colony. There were bees on 4 frames and again we saw the queen, so did David and Edwin. (Note to self- get more rubber gloves!) We moved the occupied brood box onto the stand and placed two supers above it without the queen excluder. This is so the bees will be encouraged to move up into our accommodation.Later we can return Lee's brood box to him.
We now have to see if they stay with us or decide to go back to Pearson's farm as I'm not sure if it's 3 miles away.Watch this space!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Saturday 23rd June- a little bit of sunshine...

After so much rain the grass and weeds have grown very well indeed.We had a good session on site today with a visit from a new volunteer and her daughters.Richard and I made an impact on the grass around the lower part of the site, cut down the 3ft high grass ready for the mower!you can see the beds with onions in now.We had to be careful as the grass was full of frogs but they were carefully placed in the pond by Cicely.Well done all- looking good.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Taming the Jungle!

The Workskills group visited the allotment to prepare the sensory beds for replanting next week. The beds were rather overgrown, so the students got stuck in thinning the plants and weeding the beds. Here are some of their comments:-

It was good fun. We got fresh air. We did planting and weeding. I am looking forward to going again. - Alex

It was a very great feeling to work outside with the plants, flowers and many other types of wildlife, also getting some fresh air.- Matthew

I was a bit shocked how fast it had grown and I was excited about doing the weeding. - Becky

Saturday, 2 June 2012

The hemlock Happening well dressing under construction
Hemlock Happening 2012

Well dressing step by step- thought this mught be useful for anyone having a go.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Dig In AGM 2012

This year's AGM was held at the Carnegie Centre, Stapleford on the 23th June. The event was very well attended, with guest speaker Alan Withington providing a wonderful presentation of some of the site projects undertaken, as well as a talk on the benefits of providing wildflowers and other habitats for pollenating bees and to attract other beneficial wildlife to the allotment.

Mention was also given to the success of numerous groups and organisations such as First Steps and Pulp Friction, which Dig In have the pleasure of working with (including a special thanks to Stapleford Town Council), and the positive health benefits which volunteering at a community allotment provides, not to mention the terrific events and workshops we have planned for this year.

An update on the progress of the planned composting toilet, and recognition of the positive work undertaken by our outreach worker, Lauren Kinnersley, came as part of the Chair's report from Tony Payne, and a financial report was provided by our treasurer, Kathy Holmes. 

Sadly, both Tony and Mary Venning stepped down from their respective roles as Chair and Secretary on the committee, and I would like to thank them for their hard work and commitment to the project. Although the officer roles of Chair and Treasurer have been filled, we are still short of a Secretary. If anyone feels they are able to fill this rewarding position, or would like a chat over what duties and time commitment this would entail, then please contact either Kathy Holmes or myself.

A special thanks to all those who provided the very tasty buffet on the night.

David Gell
Dig In Chair

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Pulp Friction have just held an event- an afternoon with Hardeep Singh Kohli-at DIG IN.The sun shone, probably for the first time in about five weeks and brought people out to sample the delights cooked by Mr Kohli.We think that approx 60 people came along and all money raised will be going to a homeless charity named by HSK.Thanks for taking part if you came, thanks for contributions of time and food by all volunteers from both DIG IN and PF, and mostly thanks for Jill, Pete and all the PF group for their hardwork for organising this event. Its always good to get people together at DIG IN and we will be looking out for the future book- a month of sundays- to be written by HSK based on his experiences cooking with different people in different areas around the country.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

I am delighted to be back at Dig In for another season of growing harvesting and eating. It is heartening to come back to such a strong and vibrant volunteer team. Alan has surely worked miracles supporting volunteers to transform the plot over winter. There is already a programme of activities developing over the summer months with visits planned for the Stapleford Rainbows and Cubs; Albany Nursery and Albany Junior and Sandiacre childminders. Activities will include bug hunts, pond dips, gardening, harvesting, tasting and cooking. I look forward to reporting more on all these activities as the summer unfolds. Yes, the rain will surely stop as some point, and the warmth will return!
Lauren Kinnersley - Dig In Project Worker 2012

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Workskills day in the rain!

Yesterday a group of students from the Worskills course at the Arthur Mee Centre visited the allotment to weed the sensory garden ready to add new plants in a few weeks time. This is what they had to say about the experience...

We went to the dig-in yesterday it was raining but that made it more fun. We planted some new plants in the polytunnel and we dug up all the weeds. We also smelled some plants, they all smelled nice. I would love to go again

Mitchell Phillips (student)

I really did enjoy the day out the allotment  because it was great being out in the fresh air even though it was raining. I especially enjoyed sorting out the plants with the small spades.

Matthew Browne (student)

First I did some weeding outside in the pouring rain. When I got wet I went inside the polytunnel and watered some plants. I enjoyed the afternoon and would like to go again.

Matt Sadler (student)

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Free Grub for Robin

A friendly robin visited us during Saturday's session at the allotment. With hungry chicks to feed, every overturned spade of earth was closely examined for tasty, bite sized morsels to take back to the nest. It is amazing how close proximity these birds come in time of need, and this one had the classic spade handle pose off to a tee.

Thanks go to Helen and Paula for the photo and free grubs.

Friday, 20 April 2012

new things happening on site

Its a while since I've been on site and I'm amazed at the changes and new developments.
The sensory garden is soon to be developed by students at Arthur Mee in a plan to re invigorate what we have and add in more Bee friendly plants. The students will be fund raising for plants, blogging theri activities as well as growing and planting.Watch this space for the changes...
Alan from the 'Grow and Grow' project has been working on site with different groups and DIG IN volunteers to upgrade and revamp our composting, create new wooden beds for groups and the odd table and chair!He has also been working with volunteers to create bug boxes. The wildflower area will be developed this year and a start has been made to create a wildlife haven near the bee hives.Im really looking forward to recharging our wildlife batteries and making DIG IN an oasis for our wildlife as well as our local people.
Ducks seal of approval
Despite ghastly weather activity has carried on apace at Dig-in. Wed 11th had volunteers making bee boxes in the polytunnel under guidance from Alan W. Sat 14th sev people including new volunteer Paula came. This Wed (18th April) saw 12 people on site sowing seeds in p/tunnel and dashing out to work outside between showers.
But the best thing was that after most people had left a pair of mallard ducks was spotted on the pond! They stayed long enough to be snapped by Debhbie.This is surely a sign that our pond is truly wildlife friendly
I'll try to upload the pic but not sure of my IT skills.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Reachout celebration

On Wednesda y 29thMarch, as well as the usual 14 volunteers, lots of people from Tracey's Reachout Project came to celebrate what has been achieved through the project. I'm sure Tracey can tell you all those who came.
Tracey, Kathy Holmes and I brought an array of food made with garden produce, including pumpkin puddings, plum fairy cakes, courgette & lime loaf and Tuscan bean stew. The sun shone and it was all lovely. Here are a few pix (if I can remember how to do it!)

Sunday, 11 March 2012

frogs everywhere

The DIG IN wildlife pond is a joy to behold at the moment. The whole place is croaking and jumping ( literally) with a huge amount of frogs of all ages, colours and sizes.An absolute pleasure.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Mucking In

Many thanks to the Dig In volunteers who turned out yesterday to help with manure moving. Good fortune was on our side as the material was well rotted and had virtually no odour :)

Photos courtesy of Tony Payne.