Monthly Allotment Update: January
As temperatures plummet the wet has quickly turned to ice and the ground is now frozen solid at the allotment. We still had some chilly fun with frozen water in our water butt and rain-catchers. Our recycled plastic bottle rain gauges are now also frozen and great fun to poke.
The ground is too cold to work, so we continue to start things off in pots in the polytunnel ready to plant outside when the weather is milder and drier. We have produced our first ready to use compost of the year, which will rejuvenate our vegetable beds.
We continue composting finished plant material into our compost bays made from recycled pallets, ready to start the process all over again. We will construct a separate compost bin for pernicious perennial weeds, which take two years to compost. When the weather is really bad we will spend the time indoors making a chart and deciding what vegetables and flowers to grow and which seeds to buy.
Our Broad bean seedlings which we planted in pots in the polytunnel in November are just starting to peak through the soil. We have enjoyed harvesting our enormous (45cm) and oddly shaped parsnips this month and are still enjoying the last of our Brussels sprouts and cabbage.
A giant tin of Jelly Babies kindly donated by parents at Christmas now resides in our shed, which will be a nice treat in the coming months when we have all worked at the allotment.
We are taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch this week making lots of different bird feeders to hang at our allotment and on our bird table and on trees and shrubs at Summerside. We will carry out our bird species count on Friday (23rd) afternoon and upload our results to the RSPB website.
- Crops in polytunnel – Bumper crop of garlic in pots just waiting to get planted out, broad bean seedlings and over-wintering pak choi and spring cabbage.
- Seeds sown polytunnel – Sweet Pea ‘Special Mix’.
- Crops in the ground – Brussels sprouts, cabbage, leek, parsnip, Swiss chard & herbs.
- Things to look out for - Ice is about everywhere this month lookout for frozen puddles and collected rainwater turned to ice. If you feed the birds it’s important to leave fresh water, remembering to break the ice regularly allowing the birds to drink.
Visit from Changeworks & Wormery Demonstration
This month the Pre-School room had a visit from environment consultants Susan and Angela from Changeworks as part of our ongoing Eco School Programme on Waste Minimisation and caring for our Environment.
We took part in active story telling that helped us understand the importance of good recycling practice and how to avoid sending our rubbish to landfill sites.
Our second story reiterated the importance of composting not only in our garden and allotment compost bins, but in our small kitchen food waste bins also.
The high point of the visit was a wormery demonstration where we looked inside a transportable wormery, which is a mini compost bin with several tiers with worms munching through vegetable and fruit peelings at the top and turning it into compost at the bottom.
We had a great afternoon and look forward to future visits on other important environment topics from Changeworks.