By Hannah Claxton
August is always a wonderful and strange month in the garden. It sees peak weeds combined with lots of visitors from around the country (and world – I’m actually in Wales right now).
As a not-for-profit market garden, Eves Hill Veg Co is a credit to the community that has built up around the project, thanks to a rota of people to open and close the polytunnels and water the seedlings each day.
Volunteer Ben is coming in for two days to oversee the irrigation and manage the courgette and cucumber harvesting (and get stuck into some weeding), and our trainees Izzy and Ric stepped up to run our Wednesday volunteer day this week.
Although thistles are our biggest problem at the moment, we are busy harvesting masses of cucumbers, tomatoes, chard, celery, fennel, red Florence onions, beetroot, herbs, edible flowers, courgettes and salad.
The sweetcorn is about a week away: the moment we get to share what a fresh cob straight from the plant tastes like. Fresh sweetcorn doesn’t need cooking – a revelation.
Meanwhile, Farmyard Restaurant in Norwich is enjoying our Red Florence onions – smoking them and serving them with wood ash. It’s wonderful to see the humble onion elevated to central stage through good seed, good soil, good hands and a good chef.
We are currently in talks with the new Norfolk Community College about a project working with long-term unemployed across the region. There’s a possibility for us to deliver gardening programmes for the college at our site at Eves Hill Farm, Norwich Road, Booton. We’ve done round one of applications and, after having been to meet the team, we hope this is work we can pitch for and deliver.
We are also eagerly awaiting news from the National Lottery Awards for All having applied for a grant to support us to do a feasibility study into our production and social enterprise model.
Our next monthly open day/community work day on Saturday 26 August, 10 am – 2 pm, is an opportunity to come and say hello, see the site and help out if you would like to. Beginner gardeners are welcome and, of course, kids too.
The morning task will be mainly weeding and getting ready for planting out our winter salads. You can also learn more about our methods of salad growing. Bring lunch if you plan to stay; we will provide tea and flapjacks.
No fear gardening
Saturday 30 September will be our normal open day, but in the afternoon we will welcome the No Fear Gardening group from Norwich, which bring together new gardeners and experienced gardeners for talks, workshops, garden visits and skill sharing. There will be a short talk about Eves Hill Veg Co and our work followed by a Q&A/veg growing skill share. All welcome from 2–4 pm.
These are available weekly to collect from the farm any time from 3 pm on Thursdays. They can also be collected from Chapel House, Chapel Road, Erpingham, after 5 pm on Thursdays and from Bread Source, 15 Red Lion Street, Aylsham, after 10 am on Fridays. (We are thinking of having a collection point in Cawston.)
Small veg bags are £6, large veg bags are £10. Every week they contain a range of seasonal produce harvested to order. Selling our veg is our bread and butter and is a great way to support and enjoy our work.
Our volunteer days are every Wednesday from 10 am – 4 pm. No experience necessary. Bring lunch. Stay for an hour or two, or join us for the whole day.
- For further information, contact: Hannah Claxton 07876 354363 or email
See our earlier stories:
- Picnic table for community market garden
- Reepham family launch new Norwich restaurant
- First work days for community market garden
- Market garden volunteers needed for new Booton co-operative enterprise