Promoting health and wellbeing to build a stronger community

Allotment News – Oct 2020

This year has been very successful on the allotment, thanks to all the work of our volunteers. We have been able to keep working and have enjoyed a lovely range of fruit, vegetables and flowers through the seasons.

We tried to grow some different vegetables this year; onion squashes turned from lemon yellow to a rich orange as they matured. Tony made us some lovely wigwams to support these squashes, as they like to climb. Other successes included celeriac, which is very slow to grow from seed and leeks. We experimented with growing sweet corn in a block, to aid wind pollination. This obviously worked well as the local badgers decided to enjoy some of the cobs! We experimented with growing carrot in two methods to avoid carrot root fly – in deep containers and in a row under fleece, both worked well. The range of vegetables included, broad beans, spinach, rainbow chard, cavolo nero, beetroot, parsnips, carrots, mangetout, french and runner beans, borlotti beans, onions, several varieties of potato, cabbages, broccoli and sprouts, courgettes and butternut squash. Our salad crops included lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and aubergines and we have a range of herbs.

Growing strawberries and raspberries enabled everyone to have a taste, as well as planting some cuttings, so we hope to have gooseberries and blackcurrants in future years. The raspberries made a tasty, rich red coloured home-made ice-cream and the rhubarb recovered from originally being planted too deep. We also enjoyed trying a beetroot and chocolate ice cream.

We nearly forgot to grow some pumpkins but a late sowing enabled us to give a few pumpkins to local children for Halloween. During the summer, we also encouraged a Sunflower growing competition – to see who could grow the largest flower and tallest plant; using Whats App to compare results.

The front of the allotment has lots of cutting flowers including dahlias and cosmos, with marigolds self -seeding to provide companion planting. This provides a bright welcoming entrance.

Everyone who helps is able to enjoy some of the produce and we have been pleased to share our surpluses with Rectory Fields and Horsley Place, as well as offering some fresh vegetables to those unable to leave their home.

We can find work / activity for all abilities or, a seat for those who just need to enjoy some fresh air. If you would like to know more about our allotment or wish to join us as a volunteer, please contact cranbrook.allotment@wellbeingintheweald.co.uk