Spring is here! We're going to celebrate Beltain (May Day) in the garden.
The next garden workday event is on Saturday the 4th of May from 11am to 5pm. We will be running a workshop on how to make scrap wood into garden furniture and you will also get a chance to make a Beltaine bough to celebrate the coming season. From 5 or 6pm onwards we will have our Beltain bonfire.
The Castle is embarking on mushroom cultivation in it's gardens! We're using the age old technique of growing mushrooms on logs which was developed in Asia over 1000 years ago. The particular types we're trying to cultivate are the tasty Shiitake and Lions Mane which are native to China, Japan and Korea but are becoming more commonly cultivated in Europe and the USA.
Work with the Castle garden team, learn to manage a productive and fun food growing project and grow, vegetables, fruit and herbs for a commercial kitchen and café.
Since September 2009, The Castle have been working to develop the one acre green space surrounding the building. This has been an exciting project with the vision to create a productive garden based on the principles of permaculture design. We grow fruit, vegetables and herbs for the Castle kitchen and café , plus producing herb products, such as lip balm, for our shop.
In between that warm time and this slightly colder snowy time, lots of exciting things have happened in the Castle Garden. In early autumn, as the summer flowers began to die, our team of staff and volunteers were out seed collecting. Although we weren’t the only ones! The birds, fearless of our giant scare crow, and its miniature underlings (mainly aimed at slugs), ate all the sunflower seeds, massacring the giant heads in the process! This means we will have to rely on seed swaps if we want more sunflowers brightening up the edge of the Forest garden next season.
It has been a very eventful Spring in the Castle Garden, started with a hot weather, then news of droughts then very very wet weather for several weeks which washed out some tadpoles out of our pond and more than doubled our snail population!! (and ate many of my seedlings, I wasn't happy, and I won't tell you what I did with them when I caught them in the act). We still battled on in between the wet days and built 4 new raised beds, with sleepers to act as benches at the end of them. Barry carried about 7 of them across the garden on his shoulder (I'm sure they weigh about 100kg).