Welcome to the SRT blog No. 64

13th August 2021 – Welcome to our blog post No. 64

It’s National Allotment week.

We attempt a process of hot composting within 6 large bays. Rapid decomposition takes place at high temperatures allowing us to use a mix of green and animal waste, layering the compost with equal amounts each week. At the end of each month the compost gets turned into the new bay, leaving the first bay empty for the new waste. This method allows for fast production of larger amounts of compost to be used in the polytunnels all year round and should be weed free, thanks to the heat created. 

We then celebrate the ‘No Dig Method’ not disturbing the natural soil any more than the top 5cm and applying compost as a mulch rather than digging it in as would happen traditionally. We turn the soil less, weed less and better still it makes joining in with general horticulture jobs easier for our less mobile service users.   


Growing no dig works for veg plots and flowerbeds alike, so if you are interested in learning more, the current lead in UK no dig work is @CharlesDowdingNoDig and @Stephaniehafferty 

We use our vegetables in the Sunnyside made soups for the cafe at Hemel Food Garden. This week they made a quantity of beetroot soup as it is so bountiful.






Northchurch have a wonderful choice of courgettes growing this year. Harvesting summer squashes including courgettes, patty pans and some nastursium flowers which are mixed in with a peppery salad mix in the veg boxes – what a lovely idea.








And the Activity Centre sell fresh veg & fruit on the market stall and make it into jams & chutneys
















A Northchurch team have been working on the Bovingdon pond, as an outside contract. Work started in the winter with vegetation clearance to open up the water. This month theye have built a bridge between two sections. Previously locals had made temporary structures from broken branches…both unsightly and dangerous. Special mention goes to trainees Lee, Simon and Joe.












Michael mowing outside the shop and Bismillah practising her strimming skills.







One of our volunteers – Becky with the cats at lunchtime. Eyebrows and Normal having fun.









Linda won the raffle and collected the magnificent insect & bee hotel from the Sunnyside Up farm shop & cafe. We raised a fabulous £250 – thank you to everyone who took part and bought a ticket.








A few bonfires were held this week to burn waste from outside contracts. The ‘great fire’ whisperer – Joshua in action.









Heidi and Sam have been introduced to power tool usage. Heidi is taking over from Ieva as the resident strimmer – a natural by the looks of it!









So exciting in the Sunnyside Up farm shop/café this week!!! They have new recycling boxes so as not to mix it all, making space under the counter for a new freezer…… A new microfiber duster to get shot of those pesky spider webs. Camilla is enthralled with this purchase as you can see.















Half of the cat population – evening feed time. A chrysalis was found on the cat shed – wonder what butterfly will emerge?


The vanda orchid is in flower – beautiful.








Welcome to Sam our newest member of staff whose been with HFG for 2 weeks now, getting to know everyone.








‘Flowers in her hair’ – guess who.










Recycling a pallet for a wooden barrier in Bovingdon. Well done to Hanna, Noreen and Michael.











Berkhamsted weekly market stall – colourful and full of fruit, veg and the beautiful sweet peas, which are quite a hit with trainees and customers. Freshly picked from our allotments.














An abundance of courgettes and beans this week.






Reusing the price label tags made for Hampton Court from our coppiced wood.







Until next week….