We are hoping for a clear August night for our BPCG volunteer and supporter party on Saturday 14th August 7pm to 11pm. But whatever the weather, we really hope you can come as it’s going to be a great evening with plenty of food, music, drink and chat.

For music, we are delighted that we have the fabulous musician Aerside as our DJ for the evening playing a mix of mellow & mellifluous sounds.

For food and drink, it’s a pot luck bring a dish +/ a bottle – and we are also going to enjoy Pale Ale from Brockley Brewery. For your food offering, please be sure to label it saying what it is and what ingredients are in it, and if it is meat/ vegan/vegetarian. Thanks!

For chat, well that’s down to us all! It will be lovely for us all to get a chance to catch up.

This is a free event but please do book a place with a ticket below so we know how many people we’re expecting. Booking is here https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/event/2021-volunteer-party/

In the garden this week, we will finish harvesting the soft fruit in the woodland by picking the last of the red and black currants, and the gooseberries. Then we can remove the nets from the fruit cages as they will not be needed to protect fruit from birds until next year. We will clean the nets, and put them into storage. With the nets out of the way we will then be able to give the whole area a good weed enabling us to tackle the bindweed that is making its way all around the soft fruit area. At the same time we will give the woodland hedges a summer trim.

The loganberries which are growing along the periphery fence also need some attention. Loganberries are know as hybrid berries or briar fruit. Briar fruits including blackberries, boysenberry, tayberry, and wineberry, all crop on long stems or canes and produce most fruit on the previous seasons’s growth. All of them are vigorous and require annual pruning and training for easy management. Thornless varieties (such as our loganberry) tend to be slightly less vigorous as well as kinder on the hands when fruit picking. We have planted loganberries along the metal fence because this helps us to manage its vigorous growth by providing a strong support against which we can tie in the canes. Whenever a cane tip touches the ground, it will root, beautifully illustrating how these fruit canes layer naturally.

The loganberry harvest is usually over by the end of July and once the season is over, the long stems which bore the fruit quickly turn brown and the leaves wither. However at the same time as the fruited stems are dying back, the plant has been busy producing new shoots (which are light green in colour) which quickly grow into long stems which will bear next season’s crop of fruit and therefore need treating with care. These stems are flopping over our woodland pathway and in danger of getting damaged as well as causing an obstruction. Once harvesting has finished we cut down the fruited brownish coloured canes to ground level and tie in the new light green canes. We will prune the new canes back to approximately 20cm high ready to form next year’s fruiting canes.

Then the only other thing we need to do in caring for our loganberries is to give them a 5cm mulch of well rotted manure or compost around the base of the canes in early January to ensure continued good growth.

We will give a similar treatment to our boysenberries (another briar fruit) which are growing over by the apiary along another of our periphery metal fences.

In other BPCG news, this week, Sarah and Raydo are running a Greenwood Induction session on Sunday 8th August at BPCG 12pm to 5pm.  To book  onto it, please go here https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/event/greenwood-induction-8/

Local Brixton start up company, Hidden Tracks are running evening bike maintenance courses at BPCG on this Wednesday 4th August and then again on Tuesday 17th August, 7pm to 9pm. If you look after your bike, it will look after you!  Well, of course, that’s the theory and while it doesn’t always run true a well-maintained bike will break down leaving you stranded miles from home (in the pouring rain and freezing cold) less often. To find out more and to book, go here https://hiddentrackscycling.co.uk/collections/fix-it-bike-maintenance-courses

In other news, Tisma Rahman, a master’s student in Environmental Studies at King’s College London is researching London’s urban food gardens and the long-term impacts of climate change (as in temperatures, rains, snow, etc.) that residents/food growers have noticed while urban gardening, and exploring, if any, local adaptation strategies (e.g. changing some of the gardening methods). If you would like to speak to her about this research study and your experiences of food growing, please contact her on tisma.rahman_ahmed@kcl.ac.uk