Recently we have undertaken some work to understand and manage our environmental impact. To begin this process, we had a City Bridge Trust funded environmental audit, which has helped us to understand the full impact of our organisation on the environment. As a result of his audit, we are looking at lots of ways to save energy, including:
We have already installed advanced heating controls that are saving 20% of our overall gas bill.
We have also joined the Camden Climate Change Alliance, which helps of hundreds of Camden organisations to access resources and know-how to reduce our environmental impact and costs. Recently we were awarded their Going Green mark, in recognition of our work so far in making a positive impact on our environment.
The farm has loads of well-rotted manure available for use on your gardens, plots or allotments.
Manure is a valuable resource which completes the nutrient cycle and allows much of the nitrogen fixed with Legumes, vegetables or forages to be returned to the soil where it can become available for subsequent crops. Manuring aims to improve the structure, composition, and water and nutrient retaining properties of the soil. It is also important as a source of energy and nutrients for the soil ecosystem. Well-rotted manure can help you produce healthy, tasty crops for you and your family.
How to use manure
Handle with gloves and spread approx. 1 kg per M2, and dig in to a depth of 15 -25 cm, rake over top of plot and leave for 2 weeks before hoeing off any weed seedlings that have emerged.
Plant plot as soon as soil has warmed up, usually mid-March for hardy crops, later for tender plants. Refer to seed packets for more info.
Manure can also be used as a sheet mulch around fruit or flowering shrubs, as a starter in your compost heap, in potato or celery trenches or in raised beds. Large applications of manure can cause some crops such as carrot to fork, and will need to be limed. It is not a substitute for potting compost.
Manure gatherers need to wear suitable protective clothing such as wellies and gloves, and need to speak to a member of staff before starting to dig. They will show you where to take the muck from. You also need to bring your own bags or other suitable containers, are advised to wash your hands at the facilities in the farm, and to remove outside footwear before entering home.
You may borrow a wheelbarrow and pitch fork if available. Again, seek a member of staff for info.
There is parking in local streets which is free after 11am Mon-Fri, and all weekend. There is no on site parking available.
Bag your muck, barrow it down, pile by gate, get vehicle, load up. The rest is up to you. Do not park outside the farm. This is permit only and you may be ticketed or clamped.
The manure is free for a limited period. Please ask a member of staff before taking from a heap. Thank you.
Last week saw the first Songhaven dementia-friendly music concert on the farm, which despite the Beast from the East was a great success!
As soon as professional mezzo-soprano Vivien Conacher, accompanied by Berrak Dyer on piano, began to play, the snow started falling. They played classic tunes, from show favourites such as ‘Oh What A Beautiful Mornin’!’ and ‘The Way You Look Tonight’, to ‘We’ll Gather Lilacs’ and ‘Edelweiss’. We sang along joyously, even at one point to ‘Summertime’, despite the heavy snow! Afterwards we enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea amongst good company and discussed everything from our favourite music, to the long-standing Victoria sponge vs. chocolate cake debate.
It couldn’t have happened without our fantastic volunteers though, who did such a wonderful job of welcoming everyone and serving the afternoon tea.
If you would like to volunteer at Kentish Town City Farm on our older persons project, Our Three Points, we’d love to hear from you! You could be doing everything from serving afternoon tea at our upcoming Spring Tea Dance, facilitating a knitting workshop, befriending members at our Social Lunches, or leading health walks. Volunteering opportunities are very flexible and will suit enthusiastic, approachable people who are interested in tackling the huge rise in elderly loneliness.