Wednesday, 2 May 2012

bloomin rain!!!!

We were rained off again this Tuesday. I know we need it but it's doing nothing for my mental equilibrium!!! I'm going stir crazy stuck in the house! And there's plenty to do around the farm in readiness for Open Day on Saturday, 12th May, between 1 and 4pm. If the rain holds off - surely it will have stopped by then? - we'll be having a barbeque, some great family activities and stalls selling plants, produce, baked goods and crafts. I'll have more details in next week's blog.

Cleavers, Stickywilly, Galium aparine ....#4 by Vietnam Plants & America plants
cleavers hook onto other plants and
 can  pull them down: phuonglovejesus
Luckily some of us volunteers did put in an extra day last week. In the morning we weeded the herb patch by the gate. It's the first area you see as you come in - but sadly the last one you see as you leave and realise that yet again you forgot to sort it out. It's been annoying me for weeks! The whole area was full of cleavers.Cleavers have a number of common names -beggar lice, clithe, cliver, cliders, goose-grass, goosebill, hariff, gripgrass, catchweed and a Scottish friend of mine knows them as sticky willies. You're sure to know what they look like. They are a native plant that grows in hedgerows and have tiny hooks on their leaves and seeds that stick to your clothes ( a prototype for velcro??) They flower from June to August and seed sets from July to October with each plant producing from 300 to over 1,000 seeds!  Luckily we got them out early in the year so  hopefully we've cut down their reproductive potential!  As with so many wild flowers, cleavers reputedly have a range of health benefits with diuretic, anti-inflammatory, tonic and astringent properties.

Wood Chipper | 127/365 by mfhiatt
watchin the chips shooting out
was impressive:MFHiatt
Sarah had arranged for some of the estate management team from the prison to come along with their chipper, so we spent the afternoon moving wood out of the compost rows in the long path at the back of the beds and clearing broken branches and odd bits of wood lying around ready for chipping before we got rained off again. We all thought we'd done realy well... but there was a pathetic pile of chipppings at the end of the day, which makes you realise how much wood the professionals must get through!

The prison estate guys were really helpful and put together some more compost bins for us. The plan is to move the rotting material from the rows into the compost bins - helping to cut down on compost costs and extend the beds. Not work for the rainy day we had yesterday - but probably next week!

If you think helping at the urban farm is for you come along on Tuesdays after 10.00 for a chat or contact Dave at :

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