Family plot begins to take shape on the SiT Community Allotment

News from the Southend in Transition Community Allotment - by Duncan

Work day on the new family plot. Jobs: till over area to be grass seeded, we were kindly donated a 2 stroke micro-rotovator by SEE Green party. The plot had begun to cover herself with greenery (some might say Weeds) we had to act fast before, Jim who single-handedly dug the entire plot over, the end of last year, might see. The little machine happily scrambled over the whole plot in double time and used only a couple of cups of petrol.

Whilst the plot was being prepared, Freya on her first visit to the plot worked on the layout, among some fruit trees and raised veg beds she envisioned a sensory garden including, stepping-stones, wind chimes, bunting, aromatic herbs and plants. Watch out grand designs.

A promising discovery of several happy slow worm specimens cruising around the soon to be grass seeded area, we were more vigilant with the machinery after the first meeting with these handsome friendly guys. This particularly gregarious boy or girl slow worm gave us a Celtic cross.

You can see and read more by visiting the SiT Community website, via this link. 

Important Update About Monday’s Meeting

First, ‘A History of Easton Lodge – The Countess and Her Gardens’. The Gardens, grounds and whole estate of Easton Lodge date back to Tudor times and are situated a few minutes outside the historic market town of Great Dunmow. After our speaker has finished we will have the raffle (called by Spencer Christy from Lauriston Farm), to be followed by his 10-minute or so presentation. Please do not leave early They have formed a Charitable Community Benefit Society for the farm and are running a community share offer at the moment.  It is to form a community run business and people’s share pledges will fund an expansion of the Biodynamic produce as well as start them working with adults with learning difficulties. Situated right on the Blackwater Estuary,  just outside Goldhanger, Lauriston Farm’s 210 acres  are managed using Biodynamic techniques and philosophy inspired by  Rudolph Steiner’s Agriculture Lectures from 1924.  The farm is home to  rare breed Shetland cattle and North Ronaldsay sheep, bee hives, laying  hens, vegetables, woodland and a strong social farming impulse.   Eighty-five per cent of the farm is designated as a Site of Special  Scientific Interest.  Within this, there are also two listed ancient  monuments, produce Demeter certified beef, lamb, vegetables, fruits  and meadow hay and organically certified knitting yarn, sheepskin rugs  and throws. You can read about it in the (reduced resolution) share offer document below. Alternatively, you can download the full size document as a PDF via this link and also find further information about the farm and the offer, on the farm’s website at Tea will be served after Spencer’s presentation. … [Read more…]

Spring Planting

The compost making session will be looking at the beginning, middle and end of process, with samples of each to look at and feel . To begin, we’ll talk about what soil is made of, and then how to make compost, which is a bit like soil and helps to feed plants. Then we’ll talk about the rubbish we can recycle at home or school, to put in a compost heap. Jane will bring a selection of paper, cardboard, old plants, weeds, vegetable peelings, apple cores, cat & dog fur from brushes, old cotton clothing, old wool, wooden lolly sticks, etc. We will include talk about the creatures that live in and on the soil. There will be a compost sieving activity at the end, which children really enjoy, which we hadn’t anticipated, but is a real bonus! This is what we do at our Essex Schools Food and Farming stall and works very well. But they won’t actually be making compost on the day, which takes many months. … [Read more…]

Potato Day 2017

Potato Day was in full swing as soon as it started! It was cold, windy, grey, dull and generally a little dour but it didn’t rain! We had 46 varieties to buy by the tuber, including 17 organic ones. (pics courtesy of Trust Links) This year we had Kamil’s popular and very welcome Seed Swap along with Dalefoot Composts. We were delighted that Jeff Barber, the Eastern Region representative for The National Allotment Society, was able to come down again. Mrs Nirmal Gupta, MBE, from the Essex Asian Women’s Association, cooked potato inspired authentic Indian cuisine on the day – delicious! And Annette from Growing Together was selling locally produced mushrooms from Urban Farmers – almost a sell-out there! So many thanks go to all who made this event happen and the people who came and showed that it is a needed event. Many spuds there be next year! Supporters’ Weblinks … [Read more…]