Now that we're able to welcome volunteers back we're making big strides at Growing in Harmony this year. We've started a new tradition, the Monday Mooch, so that as well as learning from our educational videos you can keep up to date with what we're doing in these weekly updates.
Elza and I explore ways to make gardening cheaper and more sustainable by sourcing seeds, pots and compost from things we would normally throw away. Elza has grown pepper plants and started off some baby apple trees from seeds that came out of supermarket produce and the results are amazing! The apple trees will take a number of years to grow to the point where they produce fruit but the peppers should give us some food this year.
July 19th Watering is our main priority in the garden at the moment along with providing some much needed shade for the plants. We also check in with Mo and Robert who are creating more bird housing, this time for our new silky chickens who we met last week, and Kavan who is doing a great job of hacking through the jungle that's encroaching on our borders!
Sharon talks to Elza about the research she's been doing into edible flowers. Elza explains that some flowers you might not consider edible can not only be eaten but are actually really high in nutrients that benefit our bodies.
This week's update was cut short by very heavy rain but we were still able to see some of the repurposing that's been going on in the polytunnel, the work that our new trainees have been doing and our newest chickens!
Although we have lots of space to grow lots of things up at our Growing in Harmony site, we're aware that not everyone has the same luxury. Many of our volunteers have very little growing space at home and this includes myself and Darren. We've taken very different approaches to using the space we've got so we decided to put together a little tour in the hope that it will inspire some gardening without a garden!
July 5th. This week the focus is on seed saving as lots of our plants have bolted and gone to seed. We love saving our own seeds, it saves us money and saves seeds being transported great distances to shops and it means that when we've really enjoyed one of our veggies we can have the exact same thing the next year. This week we also meet our new staff members, Molly, Ryan, Dan and Thomas. We see the fruit cage in all its abundance, catch up with Mo and Robert who are repairing the duck house and Kavan who is tidying up the long grass by the edges of the walls and fences
June 28th. This week we have a solo mooch as it's a really quiet week at the garden. I wander round and look at everything we have growing and how well it's all doing.
Our friend Elza has been experimenting with making her own plant feed. Here she explains to Sharon what she used for it and why and they discuss how best to provide nutrients for our plants so that we get the most out of them when we come to eat them.
video coming soon
Our second Monday Mooch with all the news from the garden and the work we're doing this week
Monday Mooch episode 1 - the very first in our new weekly series of visits to the garden, we see what everyone is working on and how things are looking at Growing in Harmony
video coming soon
Strategically planting different plants together in such a way that they can support each other and improve soil health is a really efficient labour saving approach that supports nature while feeding us, it's win win!
Skinningrove penultimate update - Francis shows us round all of the work that has been completed at Skinningrove and explains what's still left to do before we hand the site over to the community
video coming soon
We love working with Helen and her students, helping to support their wellbeing through gardening, being outdoors and working together. Helen explains how her students have benefited from working with us and have grown in wonderful ways from the experience.
We love our chickens here at Growing in Harmony so we've decided to create some new housing for two of our smaller flocks in our education area. The education area is a miniature version of the site as a whole, designed to demonstrate how you might adapt the things that we do here to an average sized family garden so if you've ever wanted to keep chickens, Francis' advice in this video is worth hearing.
The second installment of Aleksandra's Saurkraut recipe. In this video she explains how to bottle and store the Saurkraut.
One of our wonderful staff members, Aleksandra Rakowska, shares a traditional Polish recipe with us. Alexa has been making saurkraut for twenty years and it is absolutely delicious! Why not have a go at making some yourself?
MFC foundation have been an amazing support to us in developing our Skinningrove project. In this video I speak to Charlie Bell about the work we've done together.
Our naughty bunny Snuggles has been hiding eggs around the site, the poor chickens don't know what's going on!
Sharon explains how yellow leaves are often a symptom that a plant is not getting enough nitrogen and explains what you can do to revive plants when this happens.
Here at In Harmony Food Revolution we're always looking for ways to be more sustainable. Reducing plastic use is really important to us and allows us to care for the environment while we garden. In this week's video Sharon shares some of our favourite reused and recycled plant pot ideas for early in the season
We've been working hard on our Skinningrove site since taking it over in October of last year. After blasting down the overgrown weeds and wild plants, Francis drew up a plan for the site and the clearing and building work began. We're so grateful to our volunteers, contractors and staff who worked so hard on the site as well as to our sponsors, because we're now almost at the planting stage and are confident that we'll get some veg planted in the next couple of weeks! If you're local to Skinningrove do get in touch and find out how you can get involved!
One of the methods we're really excited about this year is Square Foot Gardening. Traditionally this uses a soilless growing material called Mel's mix, however we're making some adaptations that will fit in better with our approach using the things we have to hand. We're lucky enough to be given wood mulch in large quantities by our neighbours and making soil conditioner is a great use for it.
Tending to our mental health is important at the best of times but right now it couldn't be more vital. One of the most simple things we can often do to help is to get outside in the fresh air, even when it's cold. The sun on our skin gives us vitamin D, a lack of which has been associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder and being around nature can help us to feel more connected. in this video Zoe explains how getting out in the garden has helped her.