Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Bearing Fruit

This time of year we are really benefiting from the fruits of our labour, everything in the raised beds and polytunnels are growing great guns!

The kitchen have been making good use of the vegetables, fruit and herbs. 

 Chillies are looking good and surprisingly hot!

Tomatoes are cropping really well if a little slow to ripen. The Basil is really tasty.

The Cucumbers, Squash and Courgettes are going strong.

The Salads and Onions are good, definitely benefiting from better spacing.

In the greenhouse the Aubergines and Watermelons are flowering a little later.

The Sweetcorn, Potatoes, Brassicas, Squashes and Runner Beans are producing loads for shelley's group to cook with.

The raised bed we repurposed is really taking off especially the Nasturtiums and Cosmos.

And the sunflowers loving the weather!!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Summer Holiday part two

Devon County Council managers lent a hand on site with a couple of projects in the Horticulture area.

The main project was to help transform our wildlife pond into a bog garden. 

This involved piercing the liner and slowly draining it. This was done over a week to allow the wildlife to relocate. First we added gravel for drainage.Then alternate layers of organic mulch, compost and topsoil.

Next we planted it out. The main focal point was the Gunnera Manicata and Acanthus Mollis. Then we interplanted with Iris sibirica and Ligularia.

 Also we planted out a border on the edge of the old pond area and planted with Epimedium, Acorus and Hostas which are typically more suited to dry shade. All using plants either grown by students (from seed, division or cuttings) or donated by friends of the project!

And bark chipped the whole area.

Finally, in the woodland area we put in a traditional rope fence for the bee hives.

It was a great day and everybody really got involved thank you DCC!

Summer Holidays

We have had a great couple of weeks with Devon County Council  and Exeter University both volunteering.

Exeter University spent the day at our new site at West Hill lending a hand with various projects starting with the woodland walk where they got stuck in clearing the space.

And then mulching the borders in preparation for planting.

Then we moved on tho the wildflower meadow where we have both top fruit and soft fruit growing. First we removed the old fencing around the top fruit.

Weeded the area and put in tree guards to protect from rabbits.

Then we moved the fruit cage from the soft fruit area as we will be re locating the growing area so we can expand the orchard in the meadow.

Thank you again to Exeter University there energy and enthusiasm is always really appreciated!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Chloe's last week

This week was Chloe's last week, she has been integral to the project regularly helping to water, weed and plant out and generally keep the poly tunnels running!

The last job we did together was to plant out the next crop of salads, that we started from seeds. As they have been so well used we decided to try a wider variety of lettuces from Little gems, Mizuno, Romano and Japanese Leaves.

To start with we ripped out the last of the lettuces that had bolted. Prepared the bed. And put in a tight line.

After planting we watered well and planted some extra Marigolds for fun!

Muddy Hands! Thank you for all your Help.

Also Gabbys class made some lovely courgette Muffins using produce that we have grown, they were very tasty. 

Finally, Louie did a great job feeding and watering the runner beans.

Delivering Flowers

This week as we are coming to the end of another successful project. We had a variety of tasks to complete with the help of Exeter college students. 

Exeter College collected the last of the summer bedding plants from West Hill and delivered them to the WESC shop in Heavitree.

They got the opportunity to meet staff and volunteers and learn a bit more about WESC and how the plants they helped grow helps to raise funds for the charity.  

Also, after the kitchen had made good use of our first crop of Spinach and Kale, we cleared the Brassicas bed ready to plant more Kale, Chard and Cabbage.

We took the opportunity to learn a bit about row spacing and the importance of planning your planting. 

After planting and watering, we mulched around the plants to improve water retention in the soil and reduce weeding (fingers crossed!) 

Job Done.