Big Dig 2016

Despite the changeable weather, fifteen of us were at the garden this afternoon for this year’s Big Dig.




We managed the first four of the seven tasks on the notice board, but also had time to sit round the fire and chat


I was asked for the recipe for the oat and blackberry flapjacks I brought. Its based on one on the Carnation website, but omits the extra sugar – its sweet enough!


350 g softened butter or similar (I used Yeo Valley spreadable)
350 g condensed milk (this stuff is 50% sugar)
300 g porridge oats
200 g wholemeal self-raising flour
100 g blackberries (I used ones picked at the garden last autumn & frozen. You can substitute other berries, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, or whatever comes to hand)


  1. Heat oven to 180deg
  2. Cream the butter and condensed milk together (tip: weigh the condensed milk into the bowl)
  3. Mix in the other ingredients thoroughly.
  4. Using two spoons, scoop 4cm diameter blobs of the mixture onto a baking tray, keeping well separated. You should get about two dozen.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until they’re begining to brown. They will have spread into each other.
  6. Allow to cool on the tray and firm up before removing with a palette knife.





Willow workshop, Sunday 19 April

On Sunday, a dozen of us came to a willow workshop led by Hilary of Hangers Garden Group. She brought hazel boughs, home grown willow, and commercially grown willow wands from Somerset for us to use.

Hilary demonstrating basic techniques

Commercially grown willow bundle, left, and home-grown right

At this time of year, the wands are very pliable, and can be made more so by working them between your thumbs. The basic building block is a hoop made by curving a wand back on itself and then winding the end round and round. This can then be used to stabilise hazel rods, and the whole strengthened by weaving more wands between the rods

Trying out what we've been told
Trying out what we’ve been told
with flatter hoops
with flatter hoops
adding more willow wands to give strength
adding more willow wands to give strength
Briony makes a willow ball by combining hoops
Briony makes a willow ball by combining hoops
Sue & Lynn weaving a bean support near the gate
Sue & Lynn weaving a bean support near the gate






By the end of the afternoon we had a number of willow structures for future use

Community Garden Open Day 20 September

Big Dig bunting
Big Dig bunting

On 2oth September, we had an open day as part of the ‘Big Dig’ edible gardens open day, with food and activities to show what we were doing at the garden.

picking beans and courgettes
picking beans and courgettes
Apple dangling
Apple dangling
Planting out blackcurrant bushes grown from last year's cuttings
Planting out blackcurrant bushes grown from last year’s cuttings
Food made with garden produce
Food made with garden produce
Doreen Duck's trail
Doreen Duck’s trail



Forty five people came to look round and see what we were up to.

Guides at the Garden

On Friday 20th, we were joined by members of 1st Petersfield and 2nd Sheet Guides. They made a bug hotel, and planted wild plants and blackcurrant bushes



After dark fell, they gathered in the ‘social space’ in the middle of the garden and sang songs and toasted marshmallows on a campfire