Monday, 27 July 2015

Great weather for thinning and planting out, and eating currant muffins

Sunday was a very wet day, yet nine volunteers braved the elements to add bedding plants around our big oak tree. Having decided they couldn't get much wetter, they carried on with other jobs, bedraggled but happy. As Charlotte wrote in her weekly email: "This is great weather for thinning and planting out, baking and eating muffins, slugs and snails and ducks."

Currant muffins

Mary baked these delicious muffins using blackcurrants from the community garden and some redcurrants she was given by a friend. She says: "The redcurrants are quite tart compared to the black ones, but they were a wonderful treat on a rainy afternoon with tea after we dried off from our 'soaking Sunday' gardening session!" 

If you'd like to try to bake your own muffins, here's Mary's recipe:

Currant muffins (Makes 6)
1 cup self-rising flour (or add 2 tsp baking powder to 1 cup regular flour)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Mix dry ingredients above together and add until just mixed:
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 to 3/4 cup of fresh currants
Bake at 180C for 15 to 18 minutes

Sunday, 19 July 2015

The garden in July

This is how the Empty Common Garden looks right now. This picture was taken from the shed's roof. The school holidays are looming so we hope the garden will be enjoyed by families more.

Aside watering and weeding, jobs for July include keeping an eye on pests and keeping plants looking good by deadheading. It is a time to enjoy salad crops and keep fingers crossed that tomatoes will yield their bounty and escape the dreaded blight.

If you would like to join us, read the first post and get in touch...

Monday, 6 July 2015

Retrieve, reinvent, reuse‏ - the three Rs of recycling

Adrian, the River Cam's warden with his 'catch of the day'

The Empty Common Community Garden is doing well. This week's blog post is about creative recycling and an unusual partnership that has developed. Adrian, the River Cam's warden is saving tennis balls and five-litre plastic bottles that he finds in the river for our community garden. 

This is a great way to reuse litter. Rubbish is retrieved from the river and reused, given a new lease of life (i.e. the reinvention bit). The picture above shows Adrian with some waste fished out from the river. You can find out more about him and all the river Cam's conservation activities by visiting or just follow @CamConservancy.

Plastic bottles as cloches in the garden

Tennis balls are used on top of spikes to prevent tears in
the polytunnel. We featured a similar picture before, but see
how much taller our tomato plants are!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

We are having a heatwave...

The weather has hotted up nicely so a watering rota has been running in the past weeks. Thank you to all those who have volunteered so far.

It is so hot even bugs get sleepy. Here is one nested in a hard piece of soil. We think it's in mid metamorphosis. 

It was found by our volunteer Lisa, who was really pleased! She is an archaeologist and was very happy to dig up live treasure rather than ancient artefacts! 

If you'd like to join us and find your own treasure, please refer to the first post, which has a map and contact details.