Update on Community Garden

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Social distancing at the farewell gathering for Anna

Sadly, as September drew to a close, we lost the services of Anna Pole. After being furloughed by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) earlier in the pandemic, she spent her summer working with us but now, in this new Covid world, her contract with TCV has ended and she is leaving for a new job based in Tottenham Hale.

On her last day, the committee had a small farewell gathering (shown above in main picture) within the tree circle, sitting around the newly installed brazier and toasting her on her onward journey. We hope that we can stay in touch with her, setting up a twinning arrangement between our community garden and the one she is going to be active in setting up in Tottenham.

Mike Pepler with the brazier he installed

Earlier, Mike Pepler and Ben Wilding had installed the brazier, donated by Trend Antiques on Winchelsea Road – thank you David Collingworth. The final touch was cementing it in, kindly done by Goldfinch Builders – again many thanks.

It certainly made for a happy and memorable occasion and with Anna’s departure rapidly approaching, September saw a flurry of activity by all and sundry!

A suitably ‘rustic’ looking gate made from salvaged materials

The missing gates, at the main entrance and at the vegetable garden, were assembled and installed so the garden boundaries are now completely secure

Dominic Manning and Mike Pepler have made a start on the wildflower meadow scarifying the area to remove the invasive oxtongue and sowing the yellow rattle in patches throughout the designated area. The project will take some months to manifest but, in the meantime, we can get on with laying the central path.

The two men obviously had an abundance of energy because the wood pile and associated waste heaps have been moved to the far corner of the open field thereby creating a wondrous new wildlife habitat!

Over the coming months whilst the vegetable garden sleeps there are several infrastructure projects which need addressing. We have the necessary funds from the Lund Fund to lay the all-weather self-binding gravel on the entrance path, but which is also required for the pathway around the toilet. This involves TCV man-power so we will be liaising with them on a suitable time-frame.

The cleared walk

The link path/central path will make an easy route down to the maturing tree circle. Fortunately we have acquired copious amounts of wood chippings, but we do need gravel boards to edge the path. Anna and Ben had made a start laying down the plastic underlay but, with Anna’s departure, we need man/woman power to actually lay the woodchip path.

Mike has offered to create more log benches for the tree circle, to be placed at a safe distance from the brazier, so that in good weather this enclosed area can be utilised for small gatherings. Since the Covid-19 restrictions are likely to be with us well into 2021, the tree circle provides the garden with an alternative meeting area in which to observe the social distancing guidelines.

The current action list

After our September endeavours the action list for the last quarter of 2020 has shrunk to

  • Complete disposal of the reducing rubbish pile
  • Central path/link path development
  • School boundary planting and willow management
  • Emptying the last grab-bag of top soil

Looking ahead, on our 2021 wish list is a small greenhouse to assist in extending both the growing season and the scope of the garden, allowing us to cultivate tenderer – dare I say, exotic! – varieties of vegetables. In these Covid times please observe the following requests:

  • Bring your own gloves
  • Respect social distancing rules
  • Follow the latest government guidance to STAY SAFE

Appropriate tools are available in the metal shed but please wear sturdy footwear because, in places, the ground remains very uneven. Bring a hot/cold drink to refresh yourself

For further information:
Either, email ryegarden@hotmail.com
Or, write to Rye Community Garden c/o 14 Love Lane Rye TN31 7NE
Or, you can go to www.facebook.com/groups/rye.communitygarden to
‘like’ us and follow our postings
Or, you can go to www.transitionrye.org.uk/community-garden.

Image Credits: Pip Al-Khafaji .

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