Welcome to the SRT blog No. 25

16th October 2020 – Welcome to our blog post No. 25

Facts about the month of October…

  • October’s birthstones are the tourmaline and opal.
  • Its birth flower is the calendula ( we grow lots of these and use them in the cafe at HFG)
  • The zodiac signs for this month are Libra (until October 21), balanced and social characters,  and  Scorpio (from October 22 onwards).
  • Historically in Germany it was called: Wein-mond or Wine month.
  • Oktoberfest is now celebrated around the world, but has been held in Munich, Germany since 1810. This celebration marks the beginning of a new beer-brewing season, as cooler temperatures bring optimal beer-brewing months and it has become a tradition to polish off the remaining beer from the year to prepare the casks for a new brew in autumn.
  • October was originally the eighth month of the Roman calendar. It comes from the Latin word “octo” meaning eight. Later, it became the 10th month when January and February were added to the Calendar.
  • We celebrate the 21st as Apple Day.
  • The most famous day in October is the 31st when we celebrate Halloween (more about that next week) and is also known as ‘Eve of Winter’, the eve of the first day of winter in the Northern hemisphere.


The feral cats, at Northchurch, have now been roaming around the site, having a good look around and taking a bit of interest in whose there.

The shop is getting more and more things in stock which we are selling by the day. The trainees are really enjoying being on shop duty and carrying out shop tasks like preparing the veg boxes, cleaning and making nice displays, and most of all, selling to the customers.

The sheep and goats are still grazing well and are getting their coats ready for the colder months and the pigs are still enjoying the company of the trainees at lunch time.

We have now turned the bottom third of the bubble green house into an open work space for DIY projects. This makes it much safer to do wood working projects as it is in a large and open space, protected from the rain and it is still fairly warm in there. Currently the main job is taking pallets apart, getting the nails out and cutting them to size ready for drilling them onto the skeleton structure of the fence.








Using up and turning the compost heaps is a team effort at the Activity Centre


The full move over to the new ‘Mess room’ into Greenhouse 2 has happened as we outgrew the other one. It’s fantastic that the whole team are of the trainee’s and their resilience to the on-going changes.

We are still harvesting every week for veg box and shop sales. Carrots have been amazing with over 60 harvested, turnips have started harvesting, beetroot will be ready in a week or two and will be cropping for about a month and parsnips will be harvested from next week and celeriac shortly after. The last of the beans are being harvested now and we eagerly await the brussel sprouts which are growing really well.





Bees are about to settle in for the winter months. They’ve had a tough season with one hive losing a queen, raising another queen then succumbing to wasp invasion. Our surviving hive is doing really well despite defending themselves against wasps. So now we are applying preventative pest treatment for winter and have opted for leaving the honey they have made on the hive for their winter store.

We have set up an area in Greenhouse 1 for the sale of houseplants – We have Aloe Vera, Spider Plants and Money Plants set out in a naturalistic display.








The herb beds are still producing which is amazing, still picking mint & lemon balm for teas and the herbs – chives, coriander, thyme, rosemary are perfect in a cheese and onion toastie! We just need to find time to pick the seeds from the Echinacea, Corn flowers and Calendula for next spring/summer.





Alison has successfully caught up at SANDs gardens in Gadebridge park. There were lots of branch removal to do after the storms. It was Toms first outside contract and he was a super star and cut all of the hedges saving Alison from achy shoulders. Team Alison were also spotted varnishing the new picnic benches






Enjoy the change of colours that’s happening in the garden this week