Sunday, 31 July 2011

Back on Track

Finally managed to get a new laptop and now have new pictures of the garden. So here you go, pictures of the garden in late July. It's been a hot and dry couple of days but everything is still doing quite well.

Mizuna (Xiu Cai)

Young Leaf Salad 

Winter Cabbage

Sweet Corn

French Dwarf Beans 


Tomatoes (outdoors)


Sunflowers (front garden)

Front Garden
Sunflowers (back garden)
Sweet and Spicy Peppers

Aubergines (egg plant/garden egg)

Melons and Squash

Wild Flower Meadow

Edible Forest Garden

May Pond

Adult frog chilling in the pond (beautiful orangey-brown colour)

Young frog exploring the garden

Apple Tree - almost ready for juicing
Rewards, Hmmmmm......yum

Friday, 22 July 2011

Pictureless Update

Hello all. Sorry for the long silence but I had my laptop stolen from the garden a few weeks ago and as a result lost all my documents and pictures. That'll teach me to back up my info. Never the less the show much go on. I have no pictures to post this time around but I will be getting a new laptop soon and should be back on track in a few days time.
As you can imagine, with all the rain we have been having this month, the site is looking very lust however the slugs and snails have been on a rampage as well. They have been helping themselves to our salad crops, and the broccoli and swede patch has been under constant attack. Here at May Project we are committed to not using chemical pest control and our budget is not that great, so the control we employ for these pest is to go out at regular intervals and collect as many of them we can find (including eggs) and relocate them as far away from the garden as possible. We found a very large Kerry Spotted Slug the other day, almost 4 inches long and apparently they are local to southern Ireland, northern Spain and northern Portugal. God knows how it got here. The only other problem we've been having in the garden is the issue of weeds. They have been growing at an alarming rate, so that keeps us busy on most days. We have been getting a few volunteers coming down on a regular basis and that does help make the work load seem less.
We have been harvesting a few stuff from the site these pass weeks. Salads and herbs have been the norm, carrots, onions, black currents, apples, rhubarb, tomatoes, beans and potatoes are also ready and we have had a few meals from the produces. The garlic, sweet corn and peppers are on there way and soon to follow them will be the squashes, pumpkins and aubergines.
The wild space is full of activity since the rains. I took a picture of a baby frog, and some various insect life buzzing around the pond and wild flower meadow. It is a real pleasure to see the diversity such a simple addition to the garden can create. Last week I saw a caterpillar on one of the leaves and just as I was admiring her movements a wasp flew in an began to devour the poor thing. It was a bit gruesome but interesting to actually see it happening right in front of me. We had a new addition to the pond this week, a water strider, the first one any of us had seen since the pond was built in February. We also saw some funny shrimp looking creatures nibbling away at a drowned slug. We will be conducting a survey of life in the pond at some point next week.
A lot of work as been done to the front garden, which was previously left to fend for itself. We removed some of the concrete slabs and prepared the soil and planted some flowers (calendulas and sunflowers to start). We are also experimenting with cuttings from our tomato plants in the front garden, it's been two weeks since we put them in the ground and they are still alive. Not sure how well they will do, fruit wise, but time will tell. We have also placed a small display table in this space to show off and share our surplus produce with our neighbors and passerby's. 
All the fruit trees and bushes in the forest garden site are doing very well. The plums have put on at least a foot of new growth since they were planted, the apple, pear and cherry have also had substantial growth. Now that we have seen their growth patterns we are now looking at the best method of training these trees and bushes. We are also looking into types of ground cover and climbers which would best compliment our canopy and shrub levels. At the moment we have onions, squash, tomato, fennel, beetroot, leek, cucumber, carrot, and broad bean occupying the bear spaces of the food forest. 
The polytunnel resembles a small jungle. The tomatoes are almost to the top (7ft), the peppers are bushy and filled with flowers, the same for the aubergines, and the melon and squashes have been continuously climbing and searching for new supports to cling onto. There is not much going on in the mini green houses as the outside temperature has been quite mild and humid. We have  still got our tamarind plants and some salad seed propagating, young coriander, and baby broccoli in the green house. 
So there you go, a very picture-less update. One last thing, we at May Project Gardens invite you to share in our apple harvest. We will be holding apple days on 19th - 21st August where juicing will be carried out on site, using traditional juicing equipment. Just before that thought, we will be organising a London to Brighton bike ride on the 12th to help raise funds to construct a communal space on site. This will be used to conduct workshops, meetings, etc in not so pleasant weather. So please show your support by getting in touch by either phone or e-mail, details can be found on our facebook or project dirt pages (links at top of blog).