More about this summer/autumn

The Pattypan squashes did well on the hay/compost heaps. We still haven’t figured out how to get a water supply to the pond. But it survived, rain coming in the nick of time. A few newts were seen early in the year and lots of other life, beetles, pondskaters and dragon flies. Not so welcome are the ducks who have destroyed the coir matting that was covering the butyl lining. Now when the water is low quite a lot of the lining is exposed. Plants around and in the pond that have become established: Lesser Spearwort, Pennywort, Water Forget-me-not, Water mint, Broadleaved pond weed, Marsh willowherb and Iris.
Our first residential permaculture course Edible Forest Gardening, took place on the 4th to 5th October, led by Kevin Mascarenhas from Natural Flow. We think it was a great success! We covered how a forest garden functions, permaculture design principles, soil fertility, making compost and did some practical work on weeding and mulching around the fruit trees.
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Looking back at the summer of 2014

Most of the fruit trees in the forest garden blossomed well but there was a late frost (May 10th) and we were worried about fruit setting. Maybe this explains the poor harvest of currants. There were currants but nothing like last year’s crop. The Siberian Peas and Autumn Olives flowered and in July we suddenly noticed little creamy balls on the Sechuan Pepper. Generally we’ve heard that it wasn’t a particularly good year for apples in this part of Kent but we had our first apples! Barnack Beauty, Ellisons Orange, Red Devil, Devonshire Quarrenden and Charles Ross all fruited. These apples are all down the west side of the forest garden. What’s good about the west side? There were some cherries but the birds took them almost before we’d noticed them. There was one plum on the Methley plum, some damsons on Merryweather and Farleigh, and good crops on the plums, Prolific and Dennison’s Superb.
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Devonshire Quarrenden

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