Tuesday, 28 June 2011

July in the Garden

Cuter Than Your Average Farm
The last weekend of the month is set aside to visit Occombe farm for the monthly volunteer day down in the garden. This month we arrived a little late having stopped for tiny things: wild strawberries and snails. Our first job was to help pick flowers to go in the shop that day. They sell carnations and sweetpeas straight out of the garden for £1.50 a bunch. I know carnations aren't the most popular flower but picking them still wet after the night's rain and seeing the fragile white petals strong enough to take whatever was thrown at it... well, you get an appreciation.

Readers: for you

Next we nursed the bolted lettuces into a healthy productivity by cutting them right back down to the ground. The gardeners tested before we arrive and they actually do grow a second head as advertised. Stephen did the bulk of the cutting before passing it to me. I salvaged the bottom, tastiest looking leaves and threw the rest in the wheelbarrow ready for composting. Then I walked behind him cleaning up the remaining stumps. The Leaved I'd picked off as being edible weren't good enough to sell so the volunteers where told to help themselves. I ate a big plateful that night and, although there was a little toughness, it was great.
And You Shall Know Us By The Trail Of The Lettuce

To make up for all the chopping down we spent the rest of the day planting. We put plugs of lettuces out and cleared the more tired looking parts of the salad bed, sewing new radishes, rocket and lettuce as we went. We finished the day with a little red on our cheeks because I haven't yet learned that I can still get sunburn when it's cloudy out.

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