rhubarbWe had our first meeting today in the Communal Polytunnel at Hamilton Lane and were fortunate that the rain stayed off and we were treated to a warm polytunnel out of the wind.

Outside, we visited the shop and loo block and the mini-plots on 251, where early crops will be planted, and 162, which will be planted later.  There is still couch grass growing under the plastic on 162 but we hope that this will be less of a problem by the time we plant in May.  We picked some rhubarb from the course leader's plot and tasted tangy mustards in his polytunnel.

Back in the polytunnel we put our Charlotte potatoes in egg boxes ready to take home to finish chitting.  Radish is being used as an example of multi-sowing seeds in modules to be planted out in a few weeks' time; the modules have gone home, where there is more heat to aid germination, and will be returned to the polytunnel soon after germination.

It was interesting to hear why people have chosen to do the course. Several had experienced a childhood surrounded by gardening/nursery expertise but had been confined to mundane jobs rather than being encouraged to grow; there was also some natural childhood rebellion. One member had experience of several allotment sites but had spent all her time clearing rather than planting so the idea of starting off with a 'ready-to-go' plot was appealing. Some had very limited success in growing veg at home so were keen to improve their skills.  There was also a desire to increase self-sufficiency.