The gardens team (plus anyone else we could find to help) have been busy planting bulbs for the spring. This is one activity that really shows that gardeners have to think and work seasons ahead. These days, the choice of bulbs is wonderfully wide, enabling us to have something flowering from January to May. Beekeepers recommend that you plant large-flowered crocus to give early flying honeybees a boost. These days, suppliers helpfully print a bee logo on the bulb packets to show which are good for pollen and nectar. We only choose insect-friendly varieties.Read More
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.Read More
“The trees are about to show us how beautiful letting go can be”... these words have stayed with me since I first came across them as autumn arrived and I was getting a group of young people on board to take to our campsite on Pertwood Farm in Wiltshire. As is often the case, Silvia and I felt trepidation...Read More
Unaccustomed as I am to giving weather forecasts, I’m tempted to give it a go after reading about this year’s direction of the quasi-biennial oscillation - don’t worry I’d not heard of it before either!Read More
Peas are characterised in the UK by their small, round, green appearance and sweet flavour. They are high in some B vitamins, vitamin C, iron and protein. We often recognise only the immature fresh pea, whilst the dried seeds are often used in Indian cuisine.Read More
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.Read More
This was the year that a number of our long cherished dreams came to fruition, in large part through the interest and creativity of our young Generators and the generous support of our business collaborators. It was a big year for all things food related, writes Jane Riddiford
Two of the Generators Melanie and Gabrielle dreamed up the idea of having a Skip Garden cafe over a number of weekends in the Summer. With the support of a mentor from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP a business plan was drawn up and a funding pitch prepared. About the same time, Argent the King’s Cross developers offered to support us to create a food selling hatch that faced out into the public domain behind the Skip Garden which enabled us to keep the kitchen running and food selling during the week. Branding agency Karmarama worked with the Generators to create the identity and marketing materials for the cafe ... laid back and local.Read More
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.Read More
Well, it has been a busy couple of months in the Skip Garden Kitchen, writes Head Chef Andrew Isherwood. In the middle of September we took the decision to refurbish the kitchen as it wasn’t able to cope anymore with the demands that were being placed upon it. Originally designed to cook staff food and cater to the occasional workshop, the constant stream of events and bookings meant that the kitchen was groaning under the pressure.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
We’ve had a month of new food and new faces in the kitchen, just in time for all the big events we have coming up to celebrate our ten year anniversary, writes Global Generation Chef Catherine Forrester.
We’re delighted to welcome two new kitchen interns, Harriet and Veronica. We were only planning to recruit one person, but they were both so brilliant we just couldn’t choose! They’ve already made themselves invaluable, helping to create some amazing pizzas in our new wood-fired pizza oven at an event in their first week.Read More
Sweet as honey: we’ve just tasted our first Skip garden honey – and it’s wonderful! In tandem with the extraction sessions, working with our two famous urban Beekeepers Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum, we’ve also been running workshops on planting bee-friendly flowers, cos no flowers no honey!... writes Paul Richens.
People do try and grow wildflowers at home but often without knowing that wildflowers need soil that is nutrient poor and are bewildered when nothing grows.Read More