Today we hear from Cat on the Horticulture project:
Autumn is here and with that brings a different daily routine to the Horticulture project. We've enjoyed so much from viewing the Growers Garden (which is an area that has been developed specifically for the beneficiaries to plant, maintain and take home the produce they’ve grown) outside the greenhouse in the autumn sun, to following our seeds slowly develop, and marvel at our sunflowers blooming! When we get outside to the garden, we can then smell the evening primrose and pick some of the runner beans.
One gorgeous, sunny day we went out and planted some daffodil, tulip and hyacinth bulbs. Every time we do something in the Growers Garden, we write it down in our notebooks, which is becoming a good habit, especially when we can't remember where or what we planted. One of the ladies was so excited and proud (and rightfully so!) of the sweetcorn she grew from seed. Although it became a bit shaded by the sunflowers, we picked the first ear and ate it straight from the cob! It was a bit small in size, but not in flavour, as it was super sweet. Our goal next year is to grow bigger and better sweetcorn, I think a whole bed will be dedicated just to sweetcorn! While the selection of harvest is a bit random and small, we are learning, testing out different methods and exploring new growing techniques and finding the whole process really fun.
On less sunny days, we are in the greenhouse potting up violas and pansies that we grew earlier in the year and that are now ready to sell. With the violas and pansies, we've made up some barrels and baskets and added different grasses, and herbs to make a lovely display, which have gone out to sell in the Garden Nursery. We've also made up around 80 hanging baskets with the flowers...so many baskets! And for the farm itself, we've freshened up our displays, something I often forget to do, but everything looks much better for it. And in the not-too-distant future, I know it's hard to believe it in October, but Christmas wreath prep jumps to mind! We help the Garden Nurseries sell the wreaths by constructing the fir wreath itself and then decorating them with ribbon, berries, baubles and pinecones. So, our tables once full of flowers are now full of Christmas ornaments, ribbons, and other wreath decorations. We will start the construction of the wreaths in mid-November, where all you can see and smell is ribbon and fir branches!
This autumn has been a really enjoyable time of watching the sun glow orange over our Sunflowers, smelling the Sweet Peas as we walk out in our Growers Garden and planning what we want to grow next season.
And most of all, there is an excitement in the air with everyone a bit more confident that we can grow anything (well...within reason with the English weather of course!).