Monday, 6 February 2017

Spring is in the air... plus recipe for citrus cleaner

Thank you, John, for this harvesting pic!

Yesterday Empty Common had a stall at Seedy Sunday. We had photos of our garden, a map (it's rather large and photos do not capture everything) and free strawberry plants to give away. A number of us was manning the stall and it was fun to speak to so many like-minded people. We took turn to see the other stalls, get seeds and buy good food (thanks WI women!) and despite being a smaller event than the previous years, it was pretty good....

As you can see from the picture above, we are still harvesting - parsnips and Brussels sprouts. The tray you can see has some of the pots that were taken to Seedy Sunday, the strawberries have invaded a large area and it was time to thin them and share with others!

Weeding continues, just because it's cold, weeds are still coming up. There is a smell of spring in the air though, the sun is warming up and the lettuces are growing well in the polytunnel, which needs a spring clean... The beds have been tidies up and manured. The crop rotation has been planned...

A bird count was done, too, which is great for kids. Going back to cleaning the polytunnel, Charlotte is sharing her recipe. No need to buy one from the garden centre...

Recipe for cleaner
Do not use on granite, limestone etc. kitchen surfaces and floors...
Fill a jar with citrus peel. Cover it with white vinegar and put a lid on. This can be done over time so you can gather the peel you discard when cooking. Leave to stand for a couple of weeks. Filter it with a fine filter into a clean jar. Use this diluted 1:1 in a spray bottle. Spray the dirty surface and wipe clean. Wash off with water if the surface has a lot of dirt on it. Wash with fresh water afterwards as it is quite strong. You can use malt vinegar if you want to save some money.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Happy New Year from Empty Common Community Garden

It is a cold January but the Garden still looks green and lush. A few crops are still growing outdoors (Brussels sprouts, turnips, parsnips) and in the polytunnel (winter salads). Here are a few photos... We also grow horseradish and it's such a powerful root... even if you use a blender the fumes are worse than those of an onion... We recommend mixing grated horseradish to mayo, cream cheese or other soft cheese to make a delicious dip.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Happy Xmas from Empty Common

Pic: Pixabay

Xmas is next week! Season's Greetings to all our readers across the world... we sometimes look at the analytics and noticed we have followers from far and wide...

In mid November, Empty Common Garden had a spot on the Transition stall at the Circular Cambridge Festival. Here are Simone and Michela presenting the garden in the Speakers' Corner. Simone talked about what the four seasons are like at Empty Common while showing the pictures prepared by Charlotte. Michela talked about what Empty Common offers to children and she shared her experience of building bug houses. Thank you Jacky Sutton-Adam for the support pre talk and to Elena Moses for the photo.

Here comes December...

December has been a mixed bag. We had some freezing spells then the weather got mild again and now we are experiencing fog... Despite the cold and fog, volunteers are still working hard in the garden. Outside it's bed clearing time, weeding and covering all exposed soil with compost and manure. We are getting some fresh one...

The polytunnel has been cleared and cleaned. We were surprised that the lettuce survived the frosts as it was not a winter variety. Unfortunately most of the chilli peppers sulked and perhaps we should take them into a warm house next year.

The Old Burwell wheat that was planted in November has been netted. Meanwhile in a home in Cambridge beans are drying, getting ready for next year...

I have still lots of pictures to share, so watch this space for some archive images... Happy Xmas everyone!

Empty Common's festive tree...

This message was sent yesterday... "Our beautiful Christmas tree was decorated with snail shells, Brussels sprouts and baubles from our garden. Volunteers worked together to clean up and turn over the three sisters' patch... we were a small but mighty group and it was, as always, a beautiful day in ECCG." 

Thank you all for sending lovely photos and information... this is appreciated by members who cannot come every week and readers from all over the world. Here is the list of our readers... we are big in Russia!

Readers from the start until now....

United Kingdom
United States
Czech Republic

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Pumpkins, courgettes, squashes.... what is the difference?

Pic: Good Heart Farm

Click on text boxes and infographic to enlarge... 

Please click on the graph below to enlarge it if you cannot read it!

Monday, 31 October 2016

Happy Halloween from Empty Common Community Garden

Yesterday about 50 people, including families shared our seasonal celebrations. Prior to the party, a lot of weeding and wheat planting went on. The garden was given rare Old Burwell wheat, so we can do our bit, alongside other public spaces, to increase seed stock. Enjoy our pictures...

Pumpkins with tealights

Apple bobbing from a tree...

Fish was on BBQ, veggies and sausages too!

Our new stick swing

A view from the BBQ

Two volunteers having a snack

Swinging away

A party for people of all ages

Nasturtium seeds pickled, a kind of caper!
More pictures from Rebecca....

Friday, 28 October 2016

Halloween... in the garden.... celebrating pumpkins and bats - 30 October

Join us for seasonal celebrations in our still luscious community garden. Bring some food to share or a picnic, the more, the merrier...

Friday, 14 October 2016

Our review for 2015-2016

Charlotte reported to Transition Cambridge at their AGM about the Garden's progress and projects. This is a review of what has happened in 2015 and 2016. The year is still not over yet... so remember to support our future event for the Pumpkin Festival on 30 October! Click here for more information.