Muddy Fork, Retford’s ‘Gardening for Wellbeing’ charity based at the Idle Valley Nature Reserve, is now set to grow even more produce in 2023.
With the growing season approaching fast, the gardeners have been working hard through the period of winter dormancy to have the raised beds ready for planting in early spring. Liberal applications of manure and planting of green manure have helped maintain the health of the soil.
The biggest development is a substantial set of raised beds newly constructed in the field beyond the original garden. Thanks to a grant for their construction, and generous support from other donors including a donation of topsoil, these beds will be ready for planting when they’re needed.
The grant was specifically intended to support the growing of healthy food for the benefit of local people. At a time when inflation and cost of living increases are impacting on many and creating hardship, there is huge value in making locally grown produce available to local people at little or no cost. Last year the group developed contacts with community groups to find ways of passing on surpluses to those in need, and with the new development they hope to expand this work.
The new polytunnel, which has already served for one season, has proved an invaluable asset and will soon be full of seed trays again. The gardeners have tried to make maximum use of it over the winter too but the very cold spell in December put paid to some experiments!
All this activity inevitably requires plenty of pairs of hands, and thankfully the group has continued to attract new participants and volunteers. The new beds – raised to a height which makes them more accessible – will require a lot of work and Muddy Fork always welcomes enquiries from anyone who might like to join.
More details of the gardening sessions and on how to get involved can be found at www.muddyfork.org, or contact them via the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.