Round up of 2021 in the Community Garden
2021 has been a year of growth in every sense. We started with a glorious blank canvas of 22 composted beds, separated by woodchip paths, which had been marked out and filled the previous Autumn and Winter. These were gradually filled, mostly with annual vegetables, but also with fruit bush cuttings and some perennial flowers for cutting. We have since taken on 2 allotments to expand the space we have for growing – thanks to Sarratt Parish Council for making this possible!
We sold our first salad bag on May 1st, and went on to sell an average of 12 each week from May to October. Posies of riotous dahlias flew off the shelves, as did punnets of small, tender beetroots, beans of different colours, sweet, crisp carrots, and plenty of other veg. There was no fruit to sell this year, but this should grow, year on year, as the bushes mature. Great thanks go to Sarratt Shop for selling the produce.
Our volunteers have been extraordinary – hardworking, persistent in the face of British weather, reliable, and always good humoured. We have had two Duke of Edinburgh Award students working with us as well as the village team. This garden couldn’t exist without a solid base of volunteers, and they are greatly valued.
Our partnership with Sarratt School has been a great success, with the children in Reception to year 3 visiting several times to do quizzes, take measurements, and observe the changing seasons – they have been a huge asset to the garden, and I hope this symbiosis will continue. In the year ahead, I would like to develop the link between growing and cooking/eating, and also a greater understanding of plant biology and ecosystems with the schoolchildren.
In May, we installed a swarm of honeybees into the beautiful top bar beehive that was waiting for them. They made it their home, and have made the most incredible combs of wax, filled with honey and brood. We left them the honey, as it was their first year, but hope to take a little this coming summer, all being well!
Lastly, this 2022 brings the start of a partnership with Mission EmployAble, a new charity helping young adults with learning difficulties to learn employability skills. Six young men between 19 and 25 years old will be working in the Community Garden and around Sarratt, learning the many different aspects of working in horticulture – do say hello if you see us out and about!
I haven’t mentioned the various Open Days, the Apple Festival, the summer jazz – but look out for events coming up this year!
Thank you to the Sarratt and Chipperfield Community Foundation for the continued support with community garden.
To find out more, please email Flo (email@example.com) or look on facebook for Sarratt Community Garden.