Midsummer heralds the mammoth task of squash planting

Midsummer has come round quickly this year at Eves Hill Veg Co community market garden near Reepham.

Spring was tricky as it was very cold with intermittent heatwave days and cold nights. Getting the seedlings going (and keeping them going) was a real juggling act.

When it was finally warm enough (and dry enough) to get the seedlings in the ground we were about three weeks behind our planting schedule.

The funny thing about the increasing day length is how growth speeds up, and two sowings of the same thing a month apart (like our first sowings of cucumbers) can quickly catch up. Meanwhile, our staggered sowings of lettuces feel like they have come all at once.

Our trainees – Clint, Ollie, Natasha and Kat – have been learning about weed management, irrigation and thistle pulling – creeping thistles have been sent to try us this year.

The next big crop to get in the ground is the squash over the next couple of weeks including the open day, where we hope to plant 450 more (150 already in), depending on the speed of thistle pulling.

The other business has been Owen and his timber-frame green building course, which has started the process of building an outdoor shelter at the site in Booton.

Over the past two weekends the frame has been going up and chisels have been whittling. As usual at Eves Hill Veg Co, these events seem to attract the loveliest of people and we are grateful for their efforts and hard work.

Veg bags

Our veg bags are starting again with mixed salad, kohlrabi, little gems and chard – we eagerly await the peas, broad beans and spring cabbages; the tomatoes won’t be far behind.

If you would like more information about how our veg bag scheme works, do get in touch. Selling our produce locally not only helps us build our enterprise, but connects us directly to your plates.

Open day

Our next open day will be on Saturday 30 June from 10 am – 2 pm. At 11.30 am we will be drawing the first cash prizes for the 100 Club fundraiser, so do come along and see if you have won. (The 100 Club is now up to 76 members and is helping us to fund Izzy’s apprenticeship with us – more members are welcome.)

There will be children-friendly tasks from 10.30 am – 12 noon, and the mammoth squash planting all morning.

If you want to drop by and say hello or have a look around you would be most welcome. There will be a tour of the site at 12 noon.

Come and learn with us

Do you know individuals or groups that might qualify for a free gardening programme with us?

Do you know a local group that is working with people over the age of 25 who haven’t been in work for 12 months or more, or has a large percentage of people in this category as part of their group?

These could be retired people, parents, students or unemployed people, or it could be an existing gardening group.

We are about to launch a series of gardening groups and courses and would like to reach out to organisations who might like to partner with us. This might mean we come in and help them develop a small garden at their project, develop an existing garden or bring participants to our site. Do let us know!

Hannah Claxton
Eves Hill Veg Co
07876 354363