Those long sweet summer days have arrived; we enjoyed one of those on 24 June when we celebrated the summer solstice on the Community Allotment. It was too hot for most people to do any gardening, so chilling out, chatting, drinking Sarah’s cool, homemade, elderflower pressé and the fabulous food prepared by the evergreen Caroline.
Caroline was excellent as ever, working hard and chatting sociably with everyone as she cooked delicious food. It was difficult to find seasonal food on site for cooking in June but Caroline rustled up a feast seemingly out of nothing.
Gorgeous vegetable pakoras and frittatas, garlic bread, salad with nasturtiums and home baked treats were the reward for the hard working gardeners (Jenni and Steve mainly!)on a beautiful summer’s afternoon.
Freshly picked allotment raspberries
Review by Jenni and Alan
We are delighted to have Caroline Whiteman from Brighton & Hove Food Partnership come along and cook for us using fresh ingredients from our community allotment.
Come and enjoy some tasty bites made using seasonal produce grown on the plot. Vegan and gluten free options will be available. Please bring a plate to share as the seasonal cooking will just be a small taster for attendees.
11am at The Weald allotment site. Find us at plots 238 & 239 at the Weald Allotments, Neville Avenue, Hove, BN3 7NA
Things have been pretty quiet on the allotment over the winter. Still some hardy souls come along regularly enjoy the peace and tranquillity at the site. And we were treated with some spectacular scenes with the snow.
A gale-force rainy day compelled us to relocate our annual outdoor Winter Solstice celebration to the warmth and comfort of Alan’s house. Mulled wine was sipped, delicious soup and cakes were consumed and carols were sung while the rain pelted the window.
Now spring is here we are looking forward to the regular Sunday sessions 11-1pm at the Weald Allotment site. For more details about how to get there click here.
As winter approaches we are still getting a great turn out on Sundays (11-1pm). The weather has been kind, making it a very enjoyable time at the Weald Allotment site. There is still plenty to do – pruning, collecting, preparing and, of course, eating!
The girls have been helping Viv prepare for Seedy Sunday (Sunday 4th February 2018 – more details are coming soon!) by collecting coriander seeds.
We had a lovely picnic to farewell Emma, who is moving up north – best of luck for your new adventure Emma we will miss you! Barbara’s delicious homemade cake was a winner once again (she cooked the chocolate beetroot cake we posted recently – any excuse for another slice!).
Harvests are still going strong – rocket, carrots and chard…
Next year we are replacing half the Lavender border – typically you should would renew plants after 7-10 years and these have been on the site for at least 10 years. We removed the old plants, and the soil is being prepared for planting in March (spring is the best time as lavender can be damaged by frost if not well established). Here is a handy guide if you want to know more about growing lavender.
Now is a good time to prune autumn fruiting raspberries – using the opportunity of being able to get close and personal to hand fork out the more persistent weeds. Top dress the nearby soil with a compost of well-rotted manure in the early spring. You can also plant out new roots or replant raspberry suckers now if the ground stays warm and has good drainage in organic soil.
Between November and February you are welcome to come to the allotment between 11am and 1pm on Sunday (weather permitting). The winter sessions are not overseen by co-ordinators, however, there are usually some regular hardy volunteers who will make you feel welcome. We have a poly tunnel where we can shelter if the weather suddenly takes a turn for the worse.
We had a fruitful summer at the allotment. A bumper harvest meant that we were able to pick and donate over a ton of local, organic apples to Fareshare, who distribute food to vulnerable groups in Sussex. A vital organisation ideally suited to distributing gluts of produce.
Nikki with Apples on their way to Fareshare
Alan with heritage organic apples ranging from Ashmead’s Kernel to Rosemary Russet.
The lavender harvest
We were delighted to welcome our newest member Ivy!
Our summer culminated with the autumn equinox picnic. Delicious delights from our summer harvest plus, of course, Barbara’s amazing baking (every week she brings something incredible for us to eat!).
Every Sunday our Organic Community Allotment welcomes new visitors between 11 and 1 pm.