I hope you’re all having a great summer and have coped with the high temperatures and drought. We’ve definitely been feeling the heat in the garden and some Wednesdays have been too hot for our volunteers to get much done apart from sit in the shade and chat and try and stay hydrated! The garden is far too big for us to keep it all watered some lots of veg are smaller or later than normal but the volunteers have done heroic work keeping things looking great. A special shout out goes to weekend watering warriors who have kept our polytunnels watered and our seedlings alive. Our melons, loofahs, cucumbers and tomatoes have been loving the weather! And our new little pond has been both a joy to us it’s always full of life and a frequent drinking spot for birds, insects and -joy of joys!- we’ve even had a couple of frogs sheltering in the shade there.
Last winter we built replacement beds over in the old decking area (thanks Patrick!) and decided that a good use for them would be to grow food for Family Food Action at the Ardagh. FFA is an innovative North Bristol charity working to mitigate and raise awareness of family food poverty. They collect donated food through a network of neighbourhood collectors (covering more than 50 streets). FFA volunteers then sort and deliver donations to 4 community organisations who work directly with families and children in areas of high deprivation. If you’re local and don’t know about them then definitely look them up and see if your street is involved! We now collect surplus vegetables from the plotholders on our allotment site and we have had a really great response with piles of spuds, beans, green leaves and of course many many courgettes and marrows. It’s not something that we’ve done before as their collection day is not on our volunteer day but with the current cost of living crisis it’s definitely feels like a time when if we can do more to help support folks who need it then we definitely should.