Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's all go in the garden

Mat, Jamie and Nat planting
sweet peas
In the garden we have been getting a little confused with the weather, the warm days and lack of rain make it seem more like high summer instead it's March! The Wayfarers have returned after their winter break and were keen to get going. To help reacquaint them with the farm, we went for a walk to look for hazel poles and found some great ones which we cut from old coppiced trees. We have since used some for the sweet peas the Wayfarers sowed last year, now ready to plant.  This week the group have been preparing our beds ready for planting and we also sowed a number of french beans, runner beans and peas, in toilet roll tubes where they will germinate, ready for transplanting in May. We sowed plenty so that our project schools can have some and we can sell a few in the farm shop.
The Tuesday volunteers have also been hard at it, getting a small corner of land, near the orchard, ready to plant some comfrey cuttings. We have used a cultivar known as 'Bocking 14' which is high yielding and has a high potash yield. Comfrey leaves can be used as   a mulch particularly around tomato plants, but it is best used as a liquid feed, particularly good for fruit and vegetables. Comfrey can also be added to the compost to help create a good soil improver. If you want more information how how to use comfrey, Garden Organic does a great little booklet offering straight forward advice and information. 
On Tuesday Will and Terry also planted our potatoes - a few different varieties - Swift, (good for container growing), Ratte, Druid, Bambino and Shetland Black. I'll let you know how we get on at harvest time. Happy gardening! Bex.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Composting - Turning Muck into Magic

Composting – Turning Muck into Magic

Looking after the soil in your garden is an important way of helping to grow healthy crops and plants.
One way to help your soil is by adding compost to it.
If you are unsure about how to make or use compost or your compost heap is a bit tired and neglected, then why not come along to Fordhall Farm on Saturday March 31st for a morning in the community garden.
We will use the time to look at how to set up a compost heap, what things to compost and how to look after your compost to get the most from it. We shall also look at different ways to recycle your household waste for the benefits your garden.
To book a place please ring  01630 638696 or e-mail or ring Bex, our community gardener on 07875742522 for further information.
There is a charge of £10.00 and light refreshments will be provided. 

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Apple Grafting

Join us on Saturday the 17th March to learn about apple grafting with Tom Adams.

Apple grafting is the process of joining two trees together to create a new one. By using different tree varieties with different assets, orchardists can strengthen orchards, repair damaged trees and keep on producing your favourite variety of apple, as well as creating new ones too.Spend the day learning about apple grafting with Tom Adams. You will cover the principles of propagation, rootstock production and selection. Time will also be spent teaching you knife sharpening skills so you have the best tools for the job.
At the end of the day you will go home with 4 grafted apple trees.
The workshop will be from 10 am - 3 pm
£60.00 which includes 4 grafted trees. Light refreshments are included.

Tom is a local orchardist;  his work includes designing andplanting new orchard sites, carrying out orchard surveys, restoration/restocking of orchards, rescue work 
(i.e. propagating from trees whose variety can’t be immediately identified or that are known to be rare), running a fruit tree nursery selling old and local varieties, pruning for private customers and running pruning and grafting courses for organisations such as The National Trust, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), and local community orchards.
 For more information about Tom Adams, check out his website:

To book a place on the course, please ring Beth in the office on 01630 638696.