April has been a busy month in the gardens as spring has finally arrived. All hands have been on deck as we have been able to start planting in the beds. From the start of April, the first early potatoes were sown and, four weeks later we have just finished planting our main crop too so thank you to everyone who has helped. Natures Play Nursery children have been a great help along side our regular volunteers and Cyrenians Hospitality Students.
John is working hard to improve the soil of some new beds in the North Garden. So to help with this, all volunteers have been busy helping to plant a succession of peas which will help to fix nitrogen in the soil. So as well as improved nitrogen, we’ll look forward to harvesting peas in the coming months too. There should be enough for everyone and more!
Many of the plants from the glasshouse have finally made their long awaited journey to the raised beds too! Craiglockhart Primary have kindly planted a bed of lettuce and a bed of curly kale. Steven and Matt’s spinach is coming on well, as too is the chard and spinach that Sue and Sabrina have planted out. The broad beans sown in March by the Cyrenian’s Community are now starting to show and we hope the carrots and parsnips will be through this next week too.
We were also delighted to offer Shandon Local Food Group a delicious hamper of rhubarb, chives, leeks, parsley, radishes and spring onions to go towards their community dinner at Beer Bistro on the 17th April. We would love to thank both Beer Bistro and Shandon Local Food Group for their kind donation to the project. Shandon Food Group visit the gardens the first Sunday of the month to lend a hand so thank you to you all for your kind help and on going support.
We did have a sad note this month though, as we said good bye to Hunter, a regular volunteer who has been coming to the gardens for two years. He will be well missed and his help has been really appreciated over the years. So good luck with the move north Hunter and we hope you have a chance to come back and visit over the summer.
And finally, we do have a small surplus of tomato plants and seed potatoes. If anyone would like to offer a small donation and take some for their own gardens then please pop in during our drop-in sessions and take your pick!
Monthly Volunteer Feature
John has been volunteering at the gardens for around two years now. Coming from a professional gardening background, John brings with him a wealth of knowledge which he has developed over the past twenty years. As well as offering much support to the everyday running of the gardens, John also works on specialist projects within the gardens. These projects include a whole array of worm and composting digestion systems which, with John’s expertise are slowly improving the soil to ensure crops will grow for years to come. So thanks to John for all your dedication especially when it comes to soil nutrient, one of the most important aspects of organic growing!
And a huge thank you to all the dedicated volunteers who really make the gardens the special place that they are.