In July, we got some Castle staff and garden volunteers involved in creating a cob pizza oven, with the help of Cob in the community. We mixed clay, sand and straw and made the oven over two days. Barry and Rosa helped with the design and creation of the plinth. Barry spent a few weeks previously doing all the groundwork creating a solid plinth with recycled bricks, bound together with cob, (which he spent a few hours showing us his salsa moves over). He filled the plinth with rubble, sand, and bottles to create a solid heat retaining base.
A few weeks later at the garden party, we fired up the oven and made about 50 pizzas. We finished off with a foccaccia made from the milled wheat we grew in the garden last year.
This summer also, was the first season to see a great abundance of berries from the garden! Strawberries, loganberries, tay berries, raspberries, japanese wineberries & black berries. The kitchen made great use of them in cakes,flapjacks, muffins and jams.
Mid September, the Castle took part in Urban Food Week. All of the vegetables that week used in the cafe food, was either harvested from our garden or bought from Growing Communities new 4 acre farm in Dagenham.
We had the duty managers in the garden for an hour, during their staff training day. They all took part in a garden task that involved a full cycle of what is involved in veg growing. They turned the compost, top dressed some veg beds with new compost, sowed some winter greens seeds, planted out, and did lots of harvesting! including salad for their lunch.
During the summer holiday, we held a family/child friendly workday in the garden and invited children from the Castle membership and the local community and held a scarecrow wildlife habitat and recycled sculpture making day. The local Wildlife Trust at East Reservoir came along with their tools and materials and helped make a new bug habitat and bird boxes, which have added to our wildlife habitats in the garden. Min and Christina led a scarecrow making. As well as a big scarecrow wearing a Castle hoody, they got the kids to make these mini ones made from recycled wooden cultery from the Castle Garden party!