It’s been a long, cold lockdown for all of us, and down at the Kitchen Garden Enterprise we’ve been busily working away through the Winter months. We are incredibly excited by the arrival of Spring and the new projects and programmes we have coming up. Here is a little insight into the Kitchen Garden Enterprise as we welcome in the month of March.
Over December and January, we ran a crowd funder which raised just over £30,000. This will fund a new packing shed and field kitchen, replace our old dilapidated polytunnels and, multi-sectioned composting area and irrigation system and over the last month, we have started to put these exciting new additions in place. The beautiful, open-fronted, timber-framed structure (shown in the image below) is built from locally sourced and recycled materials and will enable us to expand our enterprise in a number of ways. We will now be able to pack and deliver veg boxes to twice as many customers, we’ll be hosting floristry workshops throughout the summer, running cookery and nutrition programmes for BS13 residents and running monthly volunteer days*.
Once the packing shed is complete we will start building the new compost bays at the northern end of the site. These will enable us to produce top-quality compost from all the garden waste, as well as food waste brought to us weekly from our sister enterprise The Real Meal Store. The roof over these compost bays will serve to protect the compost from excess rain and will mean we can collect the water runoff which will then be used to irrigate the site via a soak hose system.
As the weather starts to turn and the sun begins to make a very welcome appearance, flashes of colour are popping up all around the site. The daffodils and crocuses are out and the magnolia tree is about to burst into bloom. Our polytunnels are full of flowers and winter salads and greens are slowly warming up and we are sowing thousands of seeds which, later in the Spring, we will be pricking out and hardening off. This is all in preparation for planting out after the last frost is safely past. Every day new seedlings are pushing their way to the surface and the signs of life are everywhere. It’s a magical time of year for any gardener.
We are looking forward to welcoming a new member onto the team at the KGE. Caroline Bentley will be joining us 2 days a week to run outdoor nutrition and cookery courses for BS13 residents from our new field kitchen. Using produce straight from the garden Caroline will be teaching cookery and nutrition and bringing a new and exciting dimension to the Kitchen Garden Enterprise. When she isn’t teaching nutrition and cookery, Caroline will be cooking up a storm to feed our hungry volunteers who will be joining us on the second Monday of each month. Our monthly volunteer days will be productive, educational and enjoyable days open to all* (numbers will be limited to ensure current covid-19 restrictions can be adhered to.) We hope to see you there!
*For more information on our workshops, volunteer days or nutrition workshops please go to the Kitchen Garden Enterprise page on our website https://heartofbs13.org.uk/enterprises/kitchen-garden-enterprise/