This autumn, more scrumping, apple pressing, hedges and bonfires..
We couldn't resist to get some climbers out again in the local area to go round the houses climbing trees and picking and shaking trees to get some unwanted fruit. We got,several varieties of apples and pears. A few people came in to the Castle too to donate some crates of apples from their back gardens and their granny's back gardens, so we had even more fruit this year! One of the houses let us take all their grapes, so as well as pear and apple juice, (and cider..) we pressed some grapes and make wine too. All ready to be drunk after next Spring hopefully!
We had a great pressing day in the castle, with apple games. We borrowed the apple press from Urban Harvest, who lent it to us last year. Embarrassingly again, we broke the cross beam on it second year running! They have lent it to community groups so many times, and it hadn't happened before. - I guess a lot of strength here being a bunch of active climbers!
In November, we planted a new hedge at the front. We took part in a community tree planting scheme with the Woodland Trust. Thanks to Nick, who's in charge of hedges here, put in an order earlier in the year . They donated 450 saplings. We had a great team of us who planted out 300 plants ( crab apples, dog rose, elder, hazel and blackthorn) all useful for a wild harvest later!
We ended the day with a nice huge bonfire, thanks to Tom Trimmins who yet again shared his woodwork skills and made us another great "wickerman" using bits of old unwanted volumes from the climbing walls. Also thanks to Barry and Min who have been making use of the old bricks that came out of the Castle shop refurbishment to make our swanky new fire pit and make some pretty paving patterns around the pond and some pathways in the forest garden.
This winter, some of us have headed to the mountains ( Min has gone to Chamonix until next summer, the garden will surely miss her, she has been great in the garden and did so much in the year she spent here).
Look out for some hand made hand balms in the shop, made with beeswax from our bees and other Hackney bees, organic olive oil and infused with herbs from our garden - comfrey, calendula and plantain - all good for the skin.
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