I apologise for the length between posts. It's been a crazy few weeks. A lot of running around trying to get ready for University which starts in a weeks time. I have been inspired to start a horticultural society when I go back to University. My inspiration comes from a project that I got involved with over the summer. A few of the students at the St. Georges University in Tooting have set up an allotment on an unused patch of land, the site isn't great but the work they have done there is amazing. I was there when the patch was acquired, it was a long narrow stretch of land covered in black berry bushes. The soil, if you can call it that, was about 3cm of top soil covering a bed of gravel mixed clay earth. It was probably the worst conditions you would want to grow food in. I helped the medical student with the clearing of the site and lay out of the beds. I worked on the project for about a week, lending my knowledge and labour to help get things up and running.
Four months on and the site is nothing short of amazing. When they started, they was nothing but black berries and gravel, lots and lots of gravel. Potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins, squashes, courgettes, chillies, strawberries, French beans, sweet corn, aubergines, lettuce, carrots, and cauliflower were some of the produces I was greeted by on my visit to the St. Georges' University Students Allotment site. As a child I remembered hospitals being cold and sterile places, but this small patch of life created by the next generation of medical professionals was very uplifting.
It just goes to show, plants want to grow. The conditions that were presented to the students were not ideal for vegetable growing, but with a bit of hard work and lots of care the outcome was spectacular.
They had three different breeds of tomatoes. Three types of squash and a very impressive pumpkin. One of the squash plants was planted in the compost heap and was doing very well. So well that it escaped the borders of the heap and stretched for another three feet. They made three grow beds one of which was predominately squash with some courgettes and french dwarf beans. Another with potatoes, sweet corn, strawberries, and more french beans, and the last one was the smallest of the three beds and was jammed pack with crops. It has pumpkin, carrots, chillies, aubergines, tomatoes, and lettuce. They also had a few crops in pots littered along the pathways beside the beds.