Golden Hill Community Garden News: a new year and a new lockdown

Here’s the latest news about Golden Hill Community Garden from Lucy Mitchell, Community Project Worker…

Hi everyone,

Happy New Year! and a New lockdown?!?  Well, all our kids’ stuff is cancelled so I won’t pretend there aren’t lots of things to be unhappy about at the moment…. but instead here is a cheerful list I’ve compiled of some of the good things that happened in the garden in 2020 (in no particular order).

1) We got a new solar system on our roof.  After our tower of power fell down in the February storms, Pete took the chance to rebuild the whole system  from scratch.  Now it is fit for purpose and even better than ever!

Before we’d kept adding bits to it as the garden grew and what we needed changed. This means we don’t need to have a long cable leading off to a house and we can get back our off-grid cool credentials. As it powers the pump from our well which provides water for the allotment site the fab allotment association paid for it. Brilliant!

2) We raised tadpoles in a bath (safe from the newts) into many, many, many little frogs. SO many little frogs.  The little tadpoles got  us through the first lockdown  I’m pretty much counting the days until February 14th when the frogs are due back.

3) We grew loofahs for the first time and they actually worked and we’re as pleased as punch and we’re going to use them as eco washing up pads and feel very smug about it.

4) The pineapple guava fruited! We planted it 9 years ago and it’s just been a pretty little shrub.  Then this summer’s lush tropical looking flowers were followed by delicious anonymous looking fruits that tasted like a papaya and strawberry AND melon had a little fruity baby.

5) We retired our wall made out of tetra pack drink cartons after 8 years of great service and one of our Georges built us a gorgeous new wall out of an old fence and a window from a skip. It is beautiful and we love it.

6) An allotment holder called Claudia was generous enough to use some of her spare time to paint us a beautiful mural on the first aid shed (aka the Hut of A Thousand Spiders) It’s got all our favourite things on and is a lovely blast of colour and joy for the car park area.

7) Sarah and Grace rescued a lost little cat and found it’s owner.

8) We are able to run groups again. It isn’t like before and there is lots we miss but sitting round the table in socially distanced manner slurping tea and chatting is always lovely thing and the  community feeling we have created here is not something I take for granted anymore.

9) Our wreath making went ahead With a socially distanced pick up and an online tutorial many many lovely wreaths got made.

10) And our first asparagus spears were ready to harvest and the 2-year wait was worth it.

11) It was a good year for carrots and loads of other veg.

12) Being able to start running our holiday clubs, afterschool clubs and toddler group again! So children were able to be outside running round and screaming cheerfully just like it should be.  We’ve stopped them now of course, but they’ll be back.

13) Years ago we were given a old broken climbing frame and popped it in the raised beds so we could grow squash up it.  It didn’t work the first time,  and as we work on a four year crop rotation this was only the second chance we had to try again… and it worked and we grew the most magnificent Squash in the Sky!  And everyone who walked past it banged their heads – it refused to be ignored!

I’ve got no clue what will happen in 2021; MAYBE we’ll be able to open up for drop in volunteering again, and to have a delicious shared lunches and even be able to fling the gates open again and welcome people in for events…

But it doesn’t do to make big plans or have too high hopes in these uncertain times so my humbler wish for 2021 is that we have finally a decent swede harvest and that the mulberry tree fruits again and that this we get at least a couple of berries before the pigeons munch them all.

Take care everyone.

See you in the garden, sometime!


Lucy Mitchell
Community Project Worker
07506 905 394