August Update from the Community Garden

Today I felt the sun on my skin for the first time in weeks – wonderful. I don’t want to complain about the cool and rainy weather – it has been fabulous for young trees, shrubs, fruit bushes, courgettes, beans, raspberries, salads and dahlias, making up in part for the water stress they went through last summer – but a bit of sunshine is very welcome! Most growers are in agreement that we are about 5 weeks behind in terms of ripening crops – there’s very few tomatoes ripening, and the aubergines are slow too – hey ho. A cool wet summer increases the risk and early arrival of potato and tomato blight though – be sure to get your spuds out of the ground before it hits, and pinch off your tomatoes after 3 or 4 trusses so that those on the plant have a good chance of ripening before in inevitable happens.

It is the time in the year when you can hardly keep on top of picking, and every meal is full of home grown bounty. If you don’t grow your own….. then why not buy the next best thing in Sarratt Stores?! Give the beans a try – there are purple, yellow and green – tender, delicious, and very nutritious. The purple ones sadly go green when cooked, but the taste is fantastic. I can eat whole platefuls with just some butter and salt, but if you’re feeling the need to liven them up even more, why not try crumbling over some feta, a bit of chopped fresh mint, and some toasted hazelnuts? Eaten alongside steamed new potatoes, it makes a whole meal.

This month, Esme, an ex-intern from Mission EmployAble, has been paid to help with the flower cutting and arranging – I feel enormously proud that the Community Garden has been able to do this – surely this is what it’s all about? She’s also helped us to harvest and transport a load of veg and potatoes for the Rickmansworth Food Bank, and will be helping us to prepare for the Apple Festival (17 Sept, Ramillies Orchard).