Welcome to the SRT blog No. 15

31st July 2020 – Welcome to our blog post No. 15

Couple of photos from trainees this week –

George’s broad beans will be ready to harvest very soon and Joe’s Runners are starting to take off – better than mine are.



Anyone got any photos of their sunflowers to send me? publicity@sunnysideruraltrust.org.uk

Some facts on sunflowers;

  • Sunflower is the only flower with flower in its name!
  • As of 2012, the Guinness World Record for the tallest sunflower is 8.23 m (27 ft) for a sunflower grown in Germany.
  • Famous Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh did a series of paintings featuring and called Sunflowers.
  • The flowers within a sunflower head are clustered in a spiral pattern whereby each floret is oriented towards the next by the golden angle of 137.5°. This produces a pattern of interconnecting spirals. The number of left and right spirals are consecutive Fibonacci numbers – we mentioned this the other week. Normally there are 34 spirals in one direction and 55 in the other. Very large sunflowers can have 89 in one direction and 144 in the other.


Red onion and redcurrant relish being prepped, cooked and jarred this week at Hemel Food Garden.








Sounds like a brilliant combination of yumminess.




Click on the link for the story, so far, of Guy (the expert maker) and the wood fire, pizza oven.

Sand layer
Hope it’s a warm day










So much ready to harvest at Northchurch, plus watering and weeding. Tomatoes and companion planted marigolds – attract the pollinators.






There’s going to be a heavy runner bean crop and green courgettes plus cucumbers.







How good do they look presented in this basket on the market stall.




We are getting the new shop ready to open.







With all the Sunnyside goodies including jams, chutneys, relish, apple juice and of course the free range eggs from the 300+ hens in the Northchurch orchard.

What’s going on here in the central courtyard?

The view outside from the newly tiled (nearly finished) lunch room. Raised beds ready to plant on the right and the grass is starting to sprout from the seeds sown around the path and patio in the middle.


Lots of contracts for the Activity Centre this week – they’ve done litter picking and weeding in Bovingdon, bed maintenance at Coombe Gardens and on London Road in Berkhamsted.








Michael Hogan in Bovingdon

Michael Hogan & Graham Light at Coombe Gardens,

 We’re coming to the end of our berry and currant picking season. Work in the fruit area has moved towards pruning the espalier trees to keep their shape and productivity for next year.

Chris Brown, Rebecca Campbell, Lewis Davies.


And then we wish Jen, bon voyage as she sets off on a new adventure. It’s been great to be able to work with you for the last 6 months at Sunnyside…. it’s been a blast!  Jens last day with flowers from the trainees

Just so you know I’m on ‘staycation’ next week so no blog I’m afraid until August the 14th.

Gives you time to get together and send me photos……

See you all soon.