A Year in the Veg Patch

RAF Halton’s Community Garden Scheme (HCGS) was formally opened in July 2010. A year on and the scheme is going from strength to strength. 17 of the 19 plots are currently being tended to with an abundant summer crop of vegetables and a new chicken coop with resident bantams! The challenge this year, and no pun intended, is to ensure that none of us lose the plot…to the weeds!

By far the hardest task for the founder members on their ‘relaxing’ plots was the initial clearance of weeds, stones and roots and then preparing the growing area. The problem with a clear plot is that if it is left for any period without tending, the invaders move in and, as was witnessed in June and July this year, 6ft high weeds attacked the plots like something out of a 1950s Sci-fi movie. With the investment of members and of the Station over the past year, the scheme now has the equipment, the enthusiasm and commitment to meet any challenge (and weed!) head on.

Members have enjoyed a bumper crop of potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, courgettes, broad beans, radishes, beetroot, lettuce and strawberries to name but a few. If your plot is managed efficiently, your grocery bill can be cut in half and you will enjoy the benefits of home-grown food, and the free side-effects of satisfaction and a good old fashioned physical workout!

The new communal shed, greenhouse and petrol strimmer have added value to our community and allow members to utilise joint tools and growing space to satisfy their green-fingered desires! The scheme is looking for committed individuals and teams to join and is open to all service personnel working or living at RAF Halton and all Halton civil servants and contractors. If you are interested in ‘growing your own’ please contact Flt Lt Tony Seston on Ext 7072.

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