Focus on Hampstead Park Veggie Garden


FOHP has 57 members and 188 people on the mailing list, yet we hardly manage to get anyone to join us for the work parties.  Do you have any ideas of how we can boost participation? 

We clean and beautify our four parks with work parties once a month during summer.  This doesn’t give us much time to do all the things we would love to do, but we can achieve wonders with many more helping hands. 

It’s a great opportunity for Harfielders to meet their neighbours, exchange news, teach their young ones how to plant and weed – and for those who can’t bend and work, they can just sit in the shade and chat.
This is an Organic Community GardenThe idea is that residents can stroll down to pick a few leaves for a fresh salad and we encourage a diversity of wild life in the garden (birds, bees, butterflies, ladybirds, chameleons, etc.)

Permaculture principles are followed in the garden so we ask that NO poisons, herbicides or inorganic fertilizers are used, instead, we encourage the use of worm juice, mulch and manure.  Please Google Permaculture to find out more about this lovely way of bringing food into our lives.

Hart’s Nursery in Ottery has fantastic compost/mulch and good organic fertilizers, and inexpensive veggie seedlings that have been organically grown.  They also have Volcanic Dust which, although a bit pricey, is loaded with all the micro nutrients that plants need.   

Right on our doorstep is Julip Nursery – newly opened on Imam Heron Road, next to Manny’s Fish & Chips shop.  Chris and Jules have a wide variety of herbs and seedlings. 

FOHP get donations of horse manure so contact Gail (number below) if you need some for a bed in Hampstead Park.

Don’t forget to dot some colourful flowering Marigolds and Nasturtiums around your bed.  They’re beneficial for the soil and act as sacrificial plants – a lot of insects favour them instead of the veggies.

Feel free to pick produce from the garden in exchange for work done – but with consideration to others who also want to harvest, so please only take enough for one meal at a time.  A few leaves from a couple of plants can be harvested from all leafy green vegetables.  This way the plant will keep producing without needing to be replaced.

Francine, our unofficial Vegetable Garden Manager, can be found in the veg garden most Thursdays at around 2pm should you wish to discuss anything.

We’d like to create a narrow bed on the outside of the wooden fence – a hedge planted with indigenous Rosemary alternating with Rose-scented Geranium bushes at every 2nd fence post.   In the short section of fence in front of the entrance we’d like to have Lavender.  The idea is to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies and fill the air with fragrance.

Along the inside of the length of the wooden fence, we want to plant Granadilla creepers.

We need more pavers or bricks for creating walkways between the beds.  Please be careful around the areas where you see pottery tops and lids sticking out, these have underwater clay irrigation bowls or pipes.  So only use a hand trowel when digging around them.  

Dogs are a problematic in this area as they often trample newly planted items; we’re trying to keep “fencing” as neat as possible and slowly accumulating the little sections of fencing that join together.  

Gail can be contacted on 082 897 2672 to discuss ideas or new projects.

Princes Park Work Party               Saturday 22 October
Surrey Park Work Party                 Sunday 11 December
Purley Park Work Party                 Sunday 20 November 
GARDEN COMPETITION          Sunday 6 November 
Kind regards
FOHP COMMITTEE – Gail, Ingrid, Tina, Christine, Francine and Caroline

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