Notes from the garden shed: April 2017

Notes from the garden shed: April 2017

Fungi have been on my mind recently or, more precisely, on my trifle!  Yes, even my beloved trifle (in the fridge) has succumbed to a deadly attack from a grey mould. It’s got me thinking about what a mixed relationship we have with this kingdom, separate from plants and animals. Perhaps we’ve all personally suffered attacks from said kingdom – the dreaded ‘athlete’s foot’ or dandruff – but us gardeners at the Skip Garden have other uses for this family.  Firstly, without a good range of fungi, our compost wouldn’t decompose so quickly or so well and now we add mycorrhizal fungi to our soils to make a symbiotic relationship with our plants' roots, getting much better health and growth – so, love them or hate them, we really couldn’t live without them.

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Our Veg of the Month: Claytonia

Our Veg of the Month: Claytonia

Claytonia, originally known as miner's lettuce, was eaten to prevent scurvy due to its high vitamin C content. It is also considered a good source of beta carotene and protein. Fleshy for a salad crop, it is usually bright green in colour with rosette leaves and small pink or white flowers. The taste is often described as something between spinach and sprouts.

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Growing a garden together

Growing a garden together

As our Saxon Court community gardening project is coming to an end this week , we thought we would update you on how things have gone at the garden. Saxon Court is a mixed residential block in King’s Cross that includes supported housing and shared ownership housing. Way back at the beginning of the year, we received a grant from People’s Postcode Lottery to run weekly gardening sessions from May - October, in order to train local residents in wildlife and vegetable growing and garden maintenance skills and to create a beautiful space for them to spend time together as a community.

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Notes from the Garden Shed: August 2016

Notes from the Garden Shed: August 2016

Fat chloroplast cells now turn oak and shrub a deep rich green, and vegetal photosynthesis machinery is in full production - stand back and admire. 

By the end of August, we’ll be at the full tide of the year’s growth for the UK’s native species. Watch for the day the moment when the tide turns, little by little slowing towards autumn.

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Junior Chef Club

Junior Chef Club

In the dark cold winter months, there is nothing better than gathering around the fire telling stories and eating heart-warming food or getting a tray of freshly baked goods out of the oven to taste whilst still warm... especially when you have made it yourself! On Thursday afternoons,9 students from Mount Carmel and EGA made their way from school to the Skip Garden to take part in the Junior Chef Club, supported by 2 of our Senior Generators, Kaine and Kira. We wanted for the Junior Chefs to not only learn how to cook amazing food, but also to learn about themselves, how we are all connected to other things around us, where our food comes from and our role in helping plants grow.

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In praise of Twilight Volunteering

In praise of Twilight Volunteering

On the evening of October 22, we celebrated the closing of our successful Twilight Gardening project, a project that we have been running for years and we opened for a new season last spring, writes Silvia Pedretti.

Every other Wednesday regular and newcomers, from local and non-local areas, joined us at the Kings Cross Skip Garden throughout spring, summer and autumn, feeding us and the garden with their knowledge, enthusiasm and love for the community.

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Dec 2014: Notes from the Garden Shed

Dec 2014: Notes from the Garden Shed

Clothing crisis alert! The calendar says wrap up warm but the weather is so mild that even working in a Tee shirt feels hot – ridiculous! 

I’m writing this on the last day of November but it feels more like October. Most trees are still holding onto their leaves and I've just read the news that frogspawn has been found on Dartmoor – a new early record – but I can’t help thinking that it will end in tears for those poor frogs!

Our Bees are being sensible at least and staying in the hive although we’ve lots of nice flowers in the crop skips if they fancy a snack.

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Tile House Skip Garden sessions

Tile House Skip Garden sessions

One of the pleasures of working as Community Engagement Officer is having the opportunity to design projects that bring the values of the Skip Garden to the wider community, writes Ciara Wilkinson.

As the development continues, we find ourselves closer to residential buildings, and we have been keen for some time to begin engaging with those residents who pass the garden by every day, but who have never, or rarely, ventured inside it.

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Oct 2014: Notes from the Garden Shed

Oct 2014: Notes from the Garden Shed

I’m writing this piece during the last few days of September and summer seems to be holding its breath not wanting to leave the stage for the entrance of autumn. Which is making me having to guess again when to settle in our winter crops, writes Paul Richens.

Timing in gardening, as in most things, is crucial. Sowing too early or too late can be disastrous – well, at most, unfortunate I suppose! Last year I sowed some green manures too early in the rather warm autumn to see them grow large and then get taken by the first frost.

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Sept 2014: Notes from the Garden Shed

Sept 2014: Notes from the Garden Shed

Nature knows it and plants are starting to show it - the tide has turned on summer tipping us towards autumn. Hedgerow Hawthorns are heavy with berries and the first few leaves of the Spindle trees are glowing red, writes Paul Richens.

In the Skip Garden the Corncockles planted for our project on wildflowers of the wheat field are full to bursting with ripe seed. Pristine Red Admiral and Peacock butterflies glide about our flowers feeding and preparing for their long hibernation ahead.

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Big Bang Summer School 2014

Big Bang Summer School 2014

This year’s Big Bang Summer School was a very special collaboration between Regent High School pupils alongside a variety of student volunteers from the Central School of Speech and Drama (CSSD), the Institute of Education (IOE) and the University of Arts London (UAL) as well as our Generators and puppeteer Nina, writes Raiesa Choudhury.

Global Generation expanded into a super-team for two wonderful weeks with bright ideas and skills being shared in the special space of the Kings Cross Skip Garden.

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Revisiting Global Generation’s History - 2008

Revisiting Global Generation’s History - 2008

Developing Global Generation has often felt like we were following a map that was being uncovered through the great people we met along the way, writes Jane Riddiford.

It was through Arthur Potts-Dawson of Acorn House restaurant that we were introduced to King’s Cross-based branding agency Wolff Olins.

Design Director Bethany Koby and Building Manager Stuart Robinson wanted to involve the staff in growing vegetables for the Wolff Olins kitchen as a way of stimulating a hands-on understanding of sustainability throughout the company, which in turn would trickle down to their clients.

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