We have had lots of rain and lots of sunshine – guaranteed to make everything grow like crazy. The community garden and allotment groups have been busy busy busy too and there are some really terrific gardening and nature projects happening right now across the district. This is a round-up of just a few:

Locavore Community Garden: This is a new community food garden based at Martello Primary School and aims to work with community to embed resilience and security around food supply. It was first established as a kitchen garden but is now a collaborative initiative between Custom Food Lab and the school, benefiting students and the wider community. Plants, fruits and vegetables are grown there – including native plants found on the Kent Coastline and not often cultivated in gardens. They are absolutely flying at the moment – already harvesting lettuce, spinach and radishes – but also building a structure in Cob – and are looking for more volunteers to join them especially if you want to learn about building with Cob (an earth building technique). If you would like to get involved in the plant growing or help building the compost loo there are lots of opportunities to learn about Cob building, lime rendering and other sustainable building techniques. Just turn up on Mondays, Wednesdays or Sundays 2 – 4pm.

Hythe Triangle Community Garden: The group has agreed an interim management and maintenance plan to improve the small area known as the Hythe Triangle Community Garden, a triangle of land between St Leonards Road, Albert Road and Windmill Street, (a former animal pound in the 1800’s) as a publicly accessible community garden. The group have their challenges ahead including; repair of an historic wall which is in poor condition, pruning and care of protected trees, clearing of invasive weeds such as sumac and control of bramble and alexander will also need to be addressed – so that biodiversity and wildlife can be encouraged. If you want to know more about this important community project contact Terance Ellames via email at: hello@htcg.org or Facebook.com/Hythetriangle

Incredible Edibles Cheriton and Broadmead: This volunteer group continue to cultivate small forgotten bits of land. Clearing the weeds away before mulching and planting with herbs, fruit, vegetables and flowers which is freely available for local people to help themselves. They also have a variety of planters around the place full of herbs and flowers. Their stated aim is To beautify Cheriton and Broadmead in Folkestone with edible plants and herbs. Addition of planters to the High Street to be filled with herbs, fruit and vegetables which people can help themselves to. Tidying up unloved pieces of ground. Working with local people to grow their own fruit and vegetables. If you would like to get involved contact Tina Pearson on email at: tina.pearson1@sky.com

Sandgate Community Garden: This community garden is situated in Enbrook Park (SAGA grounds) and is looking great just now. The volunteers are currently focused on watering new plantings including fast growing onions, pea shots and new lettuces – and sowing seeds for beetroot, Romanesco, broccoli, kale and swede. The tree spinach with its cerise pink leaves is just starting to show itself which means a few leaves can be picked soon to add colour to salads. For those who are growing vegetables you might find this idea useful – for £8 per month Seed Craft (Folkestone) will send you 4 packets of seeds ready to be sown, along with comprehensive growing guides and tips to help you make a success of your growing experience.

Harbour Ward Community Garden: Earlier this year on a wonderful sunny morning Mike Frank and Dave managed to improve the water collection on the slope above the community garden. So throughout the coming summer months there will hopefully be lots of beds of happy healthy plants. They also added some corrugated sheets of plastic, to feed into the guttering and water butt. A nice bench was also installed so you can sit and admire the amazing view.

Hythe Environmental Community Group – Gleaning: Hythe ECG are purchasing a 6ft x 4ft trailer that can be used to transport produce gleaned from local farms. (last year the group gleaned 35 tonnes of produce that would otherwise have gone to waste and redirected it to local charities, foodbanks and schools). Most of the funding for the trailer has come from local councillor’s Ward Grants but a further £280 is needed (I think they are close) to cover spare wheel, security, insurance, number plate and travel cost to pick it up. Aside from supporting Gleaning, the trailer will be available as a Community Asset for loan to any local not for profit organisation (e.g. Scouts, Community Gardens, Schools). https://hytheenvironmental.community/

This is a round-up of just a few of the community projects in the district – there is nothing better for physical and mental health than being outside and working on the land. If you are lonely or bored – find one of the community projects near you and get involved – you will be welcomed and you will never regret being part of one of these excellent projects. You can find out more about these community projects on this website pages..