We want to encourage people to grow their own and to garden with wildlife and biodiversity in mind.
SinCH provides advice and support in person and through newsletters. We also raise donations for the group through plant and seed swaps as well as locally-grown seasonal fruit and vegetables. Bring your spare produce to our events or share it with neighbours.
Green Fingers at our coffee mornings
At our Lamb & Flag events our Green Fingers team bring you:
- Advice and support.
- Seeds, local plants and vegetables in season.
- An opportunity to bring your own surplus plants and seeds to swap.
- Occasional “hot spot” reports on related topics.
Please bring your own surpluses too. All donations received help SinCH sustain its activities and to develop new initiatives.
Please check out our Green Fingers newsletters for ideas and tips. The archive of these can be found at the end of this web page.
To receive our email giving full details of each event please e-mail email@example.com
Growing Your Own
Why? How to get started?
No matter how little space we have available there is always something we can grow. The health benefits of growing your own are well known and produce will be fresher, taste better and involve way less food miles.
• A window sill can support houseplants, herbs and sprouting seeds.
• Many herbs, flowers and certain vegetables are quite happy in pots.
• If you have a garden you can make a raised bed or two, or you interplant herbs, vegetables and flowers to make a sensory kitchen garden.
• If you have a very shaded garden, a forest garden approach could also work.
Some BBC video clips about how to do things
What to do when
Vegetables and Herbs
Starting a new vegetable patch
Grow your own fruit – RHS advice
Grow your own fruit organically
Growing in containers?
Buy and eat seasonably
It’s not possible to grow everything you need but choose carefully with airmiles in mind. The best way is to buy as much local food as you can but only when it’s in season.
Home cooking, especially batch baking reduces food waste and encourages you to use seasonal produce. The BBC recipes website is a good place to start. Check out What’s in Season now?
Also see SinCH’s own Green Directory for local suppliers (Frontpage here and detailed tables here).
Compost and fertilisers
The best way to grow heathy plants and nutritious vegetables is to ensure your soil is well fed. There are a number of ways to do this but using manure and compost in the right place at the right time is extremely important.
Growing your own? Make as much compost yourself and supplement it with peat-free compost. Most composts use peat and the destruction of peatlands releases their stored carbon. The Staffordshire Wildlife Trust at Wolseley Bridge sells peat-free compost and increasingly garden centres such as the British Graden Centre at Wolseley also offer peat-free options. If they don’t, politely ask why not!
Check out advice on making your own compost here, here and here. You can buy subsidised compost bins from www.getcomposting.com . Enter your postcode and code SWP13L or phone 0844 571 4444.
Gardening for Wildlife & Biodiversity
Sadly Britain has one of the worst records in the world on biodiversity. Over the last 60 years or more we have seen a collapse in the numbers of birds and insects together with a massive loss in hedgerows and wildflower meadows.
We are fortunate in our villages to have many green walks and we are never far from birdsong.
However we are not immune from the national trends so more can be done to reverse these trends.
Please see our Helping Nature Thrive web page for some ideas.
How to get started?
We can all find ways to improve biodversity in our own backyards and some good advice with an extensive guide of actions to take is published by the Wildlife Trusts and the RSPB here.
Lists of plants to support pollinators can be found here & here and creating wild patches here or here or even make your own nature reserve.
You can also encourage bats and amphibians or make bird boxes or a bee hotel. Alternatively, you could buy these locally here.
Also check out our Green Fingers newsletters for ideas and tips