Archives for category: Gardening

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gardening-group  It may be getting colder and darker but that hasn’t stopped our volunteer gardeners coming each Thursday to help with tidying up the garden, mowing the lawn, sweeping the leaves and still doing some planting. We thought we would have to put the compost bag away until spring however there are still certain plants and herbs that can be planted in autumn time. This Thursday saw us plant some broad beans, garlic, red onions and tulips.

We took some useful tips from James Wong’s guardian article on ways to boost our garlic where we learnt that we needed to ‘Pick the sunniest spot  and plant individual cloves 15cm apart any time between now and late January, and water in well. Scattering a couple of tablespoons of Epsom salts over each square metre of planting bed can up the strength of your garlic.’

As it is the week before Halloween we also thought it would be the perfect time to have some pumpkin pie! Pumpkins are great fun to grow. They are easy to cultivate, but need a sunny position, plenty of water and shelter from cold winds. Once harvested, pumpkins can be used for delicious soup, pies and for roasting. Read the rest of this entry »

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Emilious  has been volunteering with Centre 404 since October 2014. He is a regular volunteer at our Friday Night Social and has just begun volunteering with our Thursday gardening group.

Here Emilious shares his experiences of volunteering with our charity:

emilious

I have been volunteering with Centre 404 for two years. I help out at the Friday Night Social which is a disco for people with learning difficulties and allows them to have some fun.

My role is being at the door or I collect people off the bus. I like being at the tuck shop, making people dance and being in the games room. I enjoy getting people up to dance and giving them water when they need it. I get to see my friends, Paolo, Kelly and Liz at the disco and everyone else.

Good upbeat tunes are played at the disco and we sell drinks, chocolate, crisps and other stuff.

I enjoyed the first time at the gardening group because I saw my friends and joined in with the task. We also cleaned up Centre 404 using the shovel, picking up leaves and rubbish, and then at the end of the day we had tea, cake and biscuits.

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Centre 404 was set up by volunteers and family carers in 1951. We are lucky enough to still have lots of people helping us who want to give something back to their local community.  

If you’d like to join them by volunteering at Centre 404 please download our Volunteer Joining Form. Once complete, please send it to volunteer@centre404.org.uk or Centre 404, 404 Camden Road, London, N7 0SJ.

ashpotato   debbie The leaves are starting to fall and the nights are slowly crawling in as we are moving into autumn but thankfully the weather has still been warm enough to continue with our garden sessions. In fact we have been extremely lucky with the weather this summer and have accomplished so much in our garden.  We have filled it with daffodils, sunflowers, broad beans, delicious sweet tomatoes, potatoes, rhubarb and we have sat down together and eaten the produce, with a cup of tea of course.

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We were incredibly fortunate to have Chris from The Royal Horticultural Society attend Centre 404 & Anson Road to help us with sowing seeds and planting herbs as well as share his fountain of knowledge about gardening with us. We received £500 from The Royal Horticultural Society in addition to 6 visits from Chris, which our volunteers thoroughly enjoyed.

We have also been treated each month by Elsa, one of our garden volunteers, who bakes a cake for the group each time shes visits and lets us guess what ingredients she has used. It is different every month and in the past few months, we have sampled lavender, rose, apple, orange, lemon, almond, just to name a few!

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At Centre 404 we are very proud of our garden and are so grateful to our volunteers who attend every Thursday between 2p.m and 4p.m. Our volunteers not only enjoy coming to help with the garden but it gives them a chance to meet up with each other weekly and socialise. Ashley one of our long standing volunteers said, “I enjoy coming because it gets me away from just staying indoors and watching television every day. I get bored if I just do that. I feel I am doing something worthwhile here and look forward to it and seeing my friends.”

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The weather may be getting colder but we will continue working on our garden over the next couple of months. It’s time for harvesting vegetables so look out for lots of soup being made in the Centre 404 kitchen!

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If you are interested in becoming a garden volunteer or in any volunteering opportunities with Centre 404, get in touch at volunteer@centre404.org.uk or call 0207 607 8762

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Now that the weather has finally started to reflect the early openings of Spring, our gardeners were feeling much more eager to stick their wellies on and get productive in the garden this week. Although still a fair bit chilly, the sun beaming down was enough incentive to get outdoors rather than stay inside.

Ashley and Ian got busy with planting some rhubarb whilst Debbie planted some beetroot and summer flowers. We also came across some forget me nots’ which hold such a lovely idea in planting seeds for a loved one.

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As Easter was just around the corner, Elsa made a delicious Simnel cake using Mary berry’s recipe. It was so delicious most of us couldn’t resist a second piece!

Here is the recipe if you would like to try making this at home: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/mary_berrys_simnel_cake_49483

Simnel Cake_centre404

The garden is definitely looking more colourful with the daffodils starting to bloom, however we still have a lot to do before the AGM party in July. This is a special event as not only is it a chance to showcase our annual review but we will be celebrating our 65th anniversary!

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Stay tuned with our gardening progress on our blog and if you fancy yourself a budding gardener, do not hesitate to get in touch and volunteer with us. http://www.centre404.org.uk/volunteer