22 Jun 2017. Today we harvested plenty of beetroot; red, white and black currants from the heritage fruit bushes; and onions. We found a modest crop of early potatoes in the bed near the large beech tree, which was pleasing because we could not expect much from a relatively shaded area. Other smaller harvests were rhubarb, peas and mangetout, cabbage and spinach. Our loyal customer Tricia took a large bag of produce and we put a tray on display at the Coach House cafe.
It promises to be a good year for soft fruit with white currants weighing their branches to the ground and plentiful yields from black and red currants. Pics on flickr. Today's jobs for six hard-working volunteers included strengthening defences around the strawberries: although much of the green fruit had already been stripped we will save what we can. Last Friday I saw a fox in the fruit enclosure and it has made its path through one of the currant bushes, which is partially flattened but not destroyed.
8 June 2017. High winds on Tuesday had thankfully caused no damage at the Kitchen Garden in Marble Hill Park, although a small tree outside in the park had been blown down. The tumbling tomatoes that flowered well have begun to bear fruit (title picture). See pics on flickr. The capsicums in the raised bed are now beginning to flower and you can see the shape of a pepper even at the flowering stage.
7 June 2017. We were delighted to welcome a dozen visitors from Stepping On Out, the Teddington-based charity best known for producing greetings cards made by adults with learning disabilities. See pics of the visit on flickr. On this visit people learned how to harvest onions that were planted last October and that have now reached an impressive girth. We planted tomato seedlings and made sure they had plenty of water to settle them into the earth.
1 June 2017. Six dedicated volunteers carried on the work of tending the Kitchen Garden at Marble Hill Park. See pics on flickr. Red-currants have ripened, some peas were ready to pick and the rhubarb has recovered. There was not yet a big enough harvest to offer to park users but we paid a visit to the cafe to check that they can accommodate a small table of produce this year and we are delighted that it will be possible.
25 May 2017. Seven volunteers today kept the garden in order as the season quickly advances. See pics on flickr. Strawberries are showing strong signs of promise: we laid straw and built mini structures to prevent them touching wet earth and rotting as they ripen.
18 May 2017. Six dedicated volunteers gathered at the Kitchen Garden in Marble Hill Park for a day of strengthening and building bean structures, sowing and planting out runner beans, weeding, edging turf along the fence line, reining in the straggling strawberry plants and watering any crops that have been covered. See pics on flickr. We potted up some more tomato seedlings - 'Bloody Butcher', a name with brutally non-vegetarian connotations referring to the gory colour of the fruit.
One of the tumbling tomato plants has produced its first flower and our first lupin has appeared. It is a late-ish season but there are definite signs of Summer now. Today five volunteers planted pea seedlings, cut the grass, weeded and watered. Handyman Ben visited to advise about replacing the shed felting. We continue to be exercised by the limitations of the lawn-mower especially as the warmer weather is speeding up growth.
27 Apr 2017. Borecole (kale) seedlings are growing well and needed re-potting at the Kitchen Garden in Marble Hill Park. Volunteers took a late seasonal opportunity to prune the fan-trained cherries and plums. Then the major task of netting the fruit trees and bushes was completed. Despite heavy showers in recent days the earth is quite dry and potatoes especially needed watering as well as earthing-up.