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Plug Season is Upon Us!

It's that time again! We here in the Horticulture Project can hardly believe it's plug season already. Even though January and February have flown by, we are welcoming the change of empty tables for ones filled with pots of green colour. We have been busy preparing for our little companions by sorting out labels for each plant, as well as counting the number of pots we'll need for each delivery. This week, which in the Glasshouse is known as Week 10 (the 10th week of the year!) we have to fill 484 x 6-packs, 101 x 1-litres and 1,664 x 9cm pots. This may sound a bit foreign to you, but it is a language we have all learned over the years. This week we will be welcoming geraniums, begonias, violas, pelargoniums, petunias and verbena plugs, back into the Glasshouse. We have swept the tables, sprayed them with a bug killer and are ready for the welcome sight of a green glasshouse once again.

But we haven't just sat twiddling our thumbs all winter...though there may have been the occasional game of garden bingo when the rain poured down. Once we entered 2023, we planned and purchased seeds and re-planned and re-purchased more seeds, and even finished planting our Hornbeam Hedge in the Growers Garden. We now have this space outdoors enclosed and even an entrance gate ready to be installed.

Inside, we've sown many seeds for the beneficiaries to grow on and then keep for themselves, as opposed to selling to the public. To start, we harvested last year's sunflower seeds, dried them over winter and have sown them and are beginning to see them grow- which is very exciting! We also have started with aubergines, tomatoes, sweet and chilli peppers as well as sweat peas, marigolds, sage and a few more I can't even remember. The final plan is to fill the raised beds in our Growers Garden outside with parsnips, carrots, potatoes, butternut squash, sunflowers, sweetcorn, garden peas, all sorts of herbs and alongside the raised beds, we are preparing for a wildflower meadow. Inside, we'll have large pots for our tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and strawberries, and even a space for the very exciting trial of watermelon!

And the final exciting thing that came with the new year, is our new Horti Team gear- branded Gillets! We are looking very smart and have kept nice and warm over the past cold months. It has really boosted many people's sense of belonging to the Caring For Life family, especially when other people comment on how great we look as a team walking up to break.

I am very thankful for each beneficiary that comes through our doors, and as Spring comes closer, it brings with it new life and more opportunities to Share Jesus's love. It is truly a gift to walk alongside each person and I pray, and ask you to pray with me, that each beneficiary would know Jesus even more through the Horticulture project.

Cat Washburn


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