Open Day pictures

Our favourite event of the year is our Open  Day when we welcome the local community to join us for a day of food, music and entertainment as well as an opportunity to enjoy our allotment site.   Our Open day on Sunday 19th May was no exception.

We would like to say huge ‘Thank You’ to everybody who made the day so special, either by visiting, preparing the site in advance, helping with a stall, cooking or serving food, performing or helping to pack away at the end.

Below are a selection of pictures showing some of the highlights of the day.

The Wildlife Garden

This is our new bug hotel which we are building with the community.  We invited visitors to the wildlife garden to fill the stacked pallets with material to provide nooks and crannies for bugs to live. We will put a roof on it to make sure it provides a waterproof home for a wide range of bugs.

 

 

 

People enjoyed watching the pond as well as pond dipping. The pond is teaming with life – we found several newts (including the one shown below), a dragonfly larvae (below), tiny red bloodworms, two types of snails, caddisfly larvae and a host of other invetebrates.

 

 

 

Stalls

Our plant stall was back selling vegetable and flowers plants as well as rhubarb.  We also had a bee demonstration stall that sold products from beekeeping as well as bee jewellery.  The Soap and Dandelion coffee making stalls was also very popular.

 

 

 

 

Performances

 

 

 

 

 

We’d like to say a special thank you to Beckenham Choir (above) and Churchfields Choir (below) who performed at the Open Day.

Children’s activities

We had a range of activities for our younger visitors including bubbles to chase, a magic show, cake decorating, hook a duck, bouncy castle, no tears tombola, the Woodcraft Folk did craft activities, as well as pond dipping and helping with the bug hotel.

Clubhouse Cafe & BBQ

As well as enjoying the homemade cakes  there was an exhibition by the Beckenham Photographic Society that included photographs taken on site, such as the amazing sequence showing a dragonfly emerging.

 

We also had two BBQs on the go for the day with our fabulous chefs cooking hundreds of burgers and sausages.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to everybody who contributed to the day – it was a real team effort and a lovely community day.

 

What to plant in December

December may seem like the time to hide away at home or even go shopping, but a few hours down the allotment will do you a world of good (all that fresh air and exercise) and ensure you have plenty of homegrown fruit and veg in the spring and summer!

Good plants to grow now are:

Broad beans. Planted now they are ready a month earlier than those sown in spring and they are more resistant to black fly.  Good autumn varieties are Aquadulce Claudia and Super Aquadulce.

Garlic.  Break the buib into individual cloves and plant individually to a depth of about one inch below the surface.

Onions, Shallots and spring onions.  There are quite a few varieties of onions from sets or seed that can go in now.

Fruit plants that can be planted in December include Raspberry canes and Blackberries, Strawberry plants, Rhubarb crowns can be planted in well prepared soil, Gooseberries and Currants now.  Blueberry plants can go into acid soil.

Herbs such as Basil, Dill, Chives and Parsley can be sown indoors on your windowsill for winter use.

Water shortage??

After a glorious Bank Holiday weekend when everyone went planting crazy so begins the rain. Whilst it cuts down on the watering it would be nice to have a few more days when we can get the plants in the ground please! If anyone needs any more organic compost, peat or manure don’t forget to pop in the shop. This year we are stocking grow bags so please see in the shop for details. We also have surplus stock of plants left over from the Open Day, lovingly grown from seed by Roz so please pop into the poly tunnel and pay in the shop for any that take your fancy. Dave’s Pine Berries were a big hit at the open day – they are a white strawberry that taste of pineapple – he has a few left so please ask Dave (the Bodger) or in the shop. Never too late (not this year anyway) to sow or plant out – hopeful the frost has gone but you never know.