Kitchen Gardener’s Blog

August     

And the rains came!

 

Thankfully a little wetness returned in early August and ended the weeks of drought. The plants responded to this by becoming almost jungle-like, particularly the pumpkins, which we struggled to contain in the beds as they escaped onto the paths!

August saw many of our loyal and hardworking volunteers take well-earned breaks, returning with tales of gardens visited far afield and novel and innovative ideas for us to try. We also welcomed several new volunteers to our Thursday morning sessions, wonderfully exciting people keen to flex their green fingers.  How much we appreciated their kindness and commitment (and Beth’s courgette cake quickly became the stuff of legend!)

Chef Liz added to her regular ‘third Sunday’ cookery workshop with an additional series of Friday sessions, which proved to be really popular and were a great opportunity to showcase the fantastic produce in the garden. We work carefully with her to discuss her seasonal recipes to make sure we have ample supplies of the best quality vegetables at just the right time and she has a real flair for making full use of all available parts of the plant so nothing is wasted.  It was great to see visitors leave with bags of their own produce and a recipe sheet to try themselves at home!

We ran ‘Little Green Fingers’ sessions every Wednesday throughout the summer holidays for the tiniest gardeners, who helped harvest the potatoes, spotted butterflies and bees and learnt about the importance of camouflage for the wee beasties that allow us to share their space. (Our resident toad is probably the favourite!) Thank you to colleagues Dave and Sam for their help.

A discussion about August would not be complete without reference to the Walled Garden Kitchen Feast, which took place at the beginning of September and allowed us to throw open the gates and invite everyone in to share the harvest! Much planning and preparation throughout the month, many emails and phone calls, plans and changes of plan, but we pulled together a fantastic range of people to share their skills and knowledge, everything from cooking to composting, willow weaving to beekeeping to raku ceramics, and hedgehogs to bats!  Nothing would have been possible without the help of our volunteers both beforehand and on the day.  We’ll have photos and updates next month to share what turned out to be a glorious and fun day.

We’re starting to relax a little into autumn now as the garden colours change subtly from fresh greens to mellow rusts and browns. Plans are coming together for a Hallowe’en half term event and we need to clear a space for Father Christmas’s grotto in December!  Who knew Santa was a gardener?  Well we always had our suspicions!