We’ve been in full swing this month at the KGE. With the start of programs such as Field to Fork cookery classes, the first of our monthly volunteers days, a couple of newly skinned polytunnels, a few thousand new seedlings and the first flowers popping into bloom, it really has been the month of new beginnings.
Field to fork cookery classes
Every Tuesday we welcome BS13 participants to our Field to Fork cookery class. Starting with a cup of tea in the orchard and a discussion of what’s on the menu, we then take a tour of the garden to see what’s growing and ready to harvest, what herbs might go well with our dish and how best to harvest them all. Being outside, cooking and eating and being in company is always a pleasure but after a year of lockdown, it seems everybody is particularly grateful to be surrounded by the trees, the flowers, the birds and the plants at the KGE.
Once our baskets our laden with fresh greens, we get settled into the new field kitchen, chatting, chopping, cooking, and learning about the health benefits (and of course taste benefits) of eating food straight from the field.
Once the food is prepared it’s time sit and enjoy it, at a safe social distance, under the trees in the blossoming apple orchard. Whilst we eat we discuss some ideas for the following week’s class. At the end of the Field to Fork class, everyone heads off with a takeaway of leftovers to share at home and a few herbs, greens and salads from the garden.
Monthly Volunteer Days
This month saw the start of our monthly volunteer days. We welcomed families and bubbles of 6 into the garden to help with the many jobs needed to get us ready for the summer season. Pricking out, sowing seeds, weeding beds laying woodchip and only stopping for nourishing tea breaks and a delicious lunch provided for us by The Real Meal Store. Using our own greens, herbs and salads they cooked a hearty stew with sweet herb pesto and homemade focaccia which was quickly devoured by all. All our brilliant volunteers took home some pots of herbs to plant out in their own gardens, pots of our chutney and heads full of knowledge from a productive day at the KGE.
Over winter, when the flowers are dormant and the only thing growing in the beds and ploy tunnels are the hardy winter veg and a few salads, it’s easy to forget the vibrant colours and sheer beauty that all our flowers bring to the garden. Right now, the buds are about to burst and in a couple of weeks, guided by our talented in-house florist Clem, we will be cutting, conditioning, and arranging bouquets once again. Our doors will soon be opening on regular Saturdays when we’ll start hosting our flower workshops so come and spend an afternoon in the garden, learning about flowers and tying handheld bouquets. More information on workshops available on our website. https://heartofbs13.org.uk/shop/kitchen-garden-enterprise/
We are also pleased to announce that our chemical free, seasonal flowers will soon be available to purchase from Better Food shops across Bristol so watch this space.
As always, it is important to note that none of these things would be possible without the ongoing and consistent support of our team of core volunteers. This was a big month and with their help we have successfully reskinned 2 of our 5 poly tunnels and sown thousands of seedlings. So, thank you team KGE!