We hope you are in good health and enjoying our weekly updates.

A nice piece of news for this week is that we are on the Beeb for Farmers Country Showdown on Tuesday 28th April at 6.30pm on BBC 2. So if you missed it first time, this is your chance. We share the slot with Vauxhall City Farm and it features us both at the Lambeth Country Show 2019 where you will see us talking about our Raise the Barn project. Since then, we have won planning permission from Lambeth for the Barn and been awarded a £160,000 grant from the GLA’s Good Growth Fund.

Drum roll….you can now buy our tomatoes! They are flowering bush tomatoes in 2 litre pots.  Buy a single one for £5 or get 5 for £20. For the full range of products available, go here. For more detail on the tomatoes go here.  The system is: order online, then you will receive a confirmation email asking you to choose a pick up time on a Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun 11am or 3pm.

Let Cat take you on a tour of what’s growing in the Greenhouses in this lovely short clip here and do visit our ‘photo album’ here of the gardens this March and April.

Join us for BPCG’s very own Zoom Gardeners Question Time at the NEW TIME of 2pm on Saturday 25th April. Our previous ones are viewable here.  If you are able to send us your gardening questions in advance, that’s great so that the panel gets a preview. But if not, just come along and fire them at them! This Sat GQT, there will be a feature from BPCG trustee David Roy on orchids which will be fascinating.  Join GQT at 2pm on Saturday by clicking on this link

There are still two places left for Jelena’s online Fermentation Class where you can learn to make Beetroot Kvass and Seasonal Sauerkraut. To find out more and to book go here.

At the greenhouses,  our Dwarf French and Climbing beans sown in pots in the warm propagators should be germinating any time now. We will grow them on in the greenhouse until they are about 10-15 cm tall, then harden them off and plant them outside.

This week we will be sowing our squashes, cucumbers, courgettes, gherkins and melons or in our case the cucamelon, all of which belong to the Cucurbits family. The Cucurbits family are made up of vining plants, most of which are annuals and most of which have single sexed flowers, with both male and female flowers growing on one plant (monoecious) and are unlike the majority of flowering plants which have hermaphrodite flowers.

Cucurbits are not frost hardy and like warm conditions which is why we start to grow them later. We will be sowing the seeds in pots in the greenhouse, waiting for them to germinate and then once the small plants are growing well and the risk of frost has passed, we will plant them out into the garden. 

We will be sowing four varieties of squash, Sweet Dumpling squash which is an acorn shaped squash with white and green coloured skin, Uchiki Kuri squash with is an orange round squash, Butternut Squash has creamy yellow skin, and Marrow Custard White which is a patty pan type of squash with flat creamy white fruit. 

We will also sow Cucumber Dar, which is a sturdy stripey cucumber, ideal pickling and for slicing into salads. You can grow it outdoors in UK and it produces its fruit on vines of around 45cm long. 

The Courgette variety we will grow this year is  called ‘Zucchini’ and for the Kitchen Garden we will grow the Cucamelon which can reach a height fo 2.5 m or more and produces little stripy fruit about 5cm long (ideal for adding to salads.)

We are continuing our weekly seaweed feed for plants in the greenhouse and continuing to pot on seedlings including the red edible amaranths. 

It’s now time to start to design an automated irrigation system for the lower greenhouse which will soon have electricity and so can run the timers.

Last but not least, Are you a competent grower from seed? Would you like to grow food for your local community? If so, we’d love you to join Incredible Edible Lambeth’s (IEL) scheme. IEL are looking for 100 households to grow food from seed to seedling stage and then hand on those seedlings to people in your community who you know would benefit. The aim is for each grower to hand on seedlings to 10 households.  IEL and BPCG can help with this stage if you, understandably, feel you can’t distribute. If this interests you, the only requirements are to become a member of IEL (it’s free and links you in with dozens of other growers) and that you live in Lambeth. Contact incrediblelambeth@gmail.com for more information.