Winter is now upon the Garden, with rain you can believe and cold that attests to the season.  The colour is green – most everywhere –  with all seeded green manure now germinated, and elsewhere Kikuyu resurgent on paths and in the wilder borders of the Food Garden. We continue to harvest carrots for the kitchen, along with turnips and leeks (finally).   The last of the celery will reach the soup-pan soon.  Spinach is now planted in succession and should go on-and-on.

The vegetable sowing programme in seed-trays is done under the protection of the Hokkie, then to the Nursery.   Carrots, turnips and beetroot are sown directly into prepared beds.  The seed-drills are now lined with worm compost from our Wormery.  The present generation of Lynedoch garden worms are raised on a combination of fresh vegetable waste and scrounged chicken and cow manure (Eric’s oxen are now contributors).  This seedling compost requires no additions, is satisfyingly productive, and obviously saves on material costs.  The planting out of our seedlings from the Nursery, also uses worm compost to stimulate root growth.  Worm compost tea is  used to fertilise the seedlings.  We are beginning to use other “teas” distilled from weeds, nettles, comfrey, and cow dung, assisted by molasses.

Most recently we introduced a method (imported from the far north) of leek-transplanting, which one of the community work students termed “leek zen”.  It involves using a dipple to create holes for each leek, with a small sprinkle of worm compost at the bottom of each hole.  Then the leek is left to get on with it.   A very careful practice and one which can delay a student’s return to the class-room.

The Woodland is approaching its verdant best.  New growth is everywhere apparent.   Intimations of bulbs from the depths can be noted.  The pattern of ponds and ditches are not yet filled but we walk the paths in hope.  The mulching of trees has recommenced, with materials harvested from the Wetland and the grasses brush-cut from their surrounds.  A Plant-List was recently added to this Blog-site and is fairly comprehensive.  The next stage is to label trees and shrubs.   Any suggestions as to the best means to do this are welcome.

The Heap at the end of the Woodland is now green.  The small trees that were planted in it are now overtaken by a range of vegetation that was seeded in the top-soil dumped there.  Louise is now studiously freeing up the trees with her group of community work gardeners.  There will be more top-soil deposited on the far side of the Heap from site excavations currently underway.  This will add to the elevation and the Heap’s aesthetics.  We may be working towards a look-out tower!  Louise’s Labyrinth continues as work in progress together with design in progress for the integration of that area into the Woodland.

The latest garden area to be tackled is that adjacent to the Olive-Leaf building, now an office and activity centre for Learning for Sustainability.    Details to follow.


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