It’s always been an objective of the orchard to provide a range of different fresh foods for people to eat. In conjunction with the fruit trees, we wished to create raised beds that could be planted with a variety of soft fruits, herbs and vegetables.
Having received a generous environmental grant from The Greggs Foundation, we were able to begin this project.
We were initially meant to build these in the orchard itself, but as there was torrential rain on the day, we were glad of the provision of St Barnabas’ Church basement in which to build the planters as “flat packs”, which could be taken and quickly installed in the orchard when the weather was better.
After a day of fun, laughter, sharing and learning new skills, eating delicious muffins provided by one of the group, we had produced ten large raised bed planters in kit form.
A couple of weeks later we were able to install these just before the construction of the path and hardstanding area, thus being able to recycle the dug out soil by using it in the planters. We are very grateful to a kind neighbour who helped us transport them up to the orchard on his truck.
Planting was shortly carried out by pupils at Farmilo Primary School, who planted a variety of soft fruits, herbs and vegetables.
With permission granted by The Greggs Foundation, we are going to be continuing this project in the November by creating flowerboxes to go around the footings of the outdoor classroom, and fill them with bulbs and flowers.
November 2017 Update
We finally managed to “put to bed” this project when we planted a whole pile of garlic and onion sets, some rhubarb, and two beds with a variety of herbs. As well as this, we moved some fruit bushes around to make more sense of what we’d got in each bed, and removed some of the annuals which had died off.
All of this was generously funded by the Greggs Foundation through their Environmental Grant #GreenerWithGreggs. Thanks to them and our local volunteer team, as well as Farmilo Primary School, we’ve a load of fruit, veg and herbs that have and will help to make some wonderful, zero carbon food for local people in the area.