Ellis, Nicola, Helen and Alison turned up to help, and all of us did a bit to help the process along, though Ellis definitely did the lion's share. In between things we could help with, we managed to plant some peas, sweetcorn, carrots, parsnips and radishes, and also to continue the war against bindweed, couch grass and mare's tail. The other big scary weed in the allotment is horseradish. Presumably planted deliberately at some point, it is appearing all over the allotment, despite a lot of it being dug up last year. Horseradish is one of nature's big-hitters, with roots that are trying to reach Australia. Fortunately, the very dry weather makes it easier for us to tackle it, as it is too dry to shower us with it's burning sap. However, even with trenching spades (extra long and thin), it was exhausting to remove the larger roots, which were easily 3 feet long, and had to be chopped out in stages. Well done to Alison and Nicola for their hard work in doing that. Helen also did a great job, making us more popular with our neighbours by beheading a lot of the dandelions, weeding with great care and watering all the things that were desperately needing it.
|Ellis doing a stirling job of assisting Mike with the polytunnel!|
|"Mini ploytunnel" containing some embryonic sweetcorn plants!|
|Some herbs surrounding wildflowers - we've probably saved their lives now!|
Despite it being revision week, New College Nottingham managed to send a small group to continue painting the murals on our raised beds, which are looking increasingly stunning. They were also entertained by our first use of the Kelly Kettles which will be our main water heating on site. These are a little like a samovar, and very useful as they will boil water in a few minutes with the heat of a few sticks, giving us carbon-neutral hot water. We're aiming to produce all our fuel on site, with willow and hazel coppice being the main sources. All the gardeners had a go at lighting them with varying degrees of success, but we did manage to create plenty of hot water, with the small amount we had left being poured on a large horseradish that has forced its way up through tarmac by one of the raised beds!
|The artists pose with one of their masterpieces!|
|It's so much fun all this kelly kettle business!|
|All hands to the deck - Helen, Nicola, Ellis and Mike|
Sadly we didn't quite manage to get the polytunnel covered, although it's so close to being finished that we are confident we will be finished next week... Fingers crossed!