Green Fingers is a small community allotment site in Heysham, a stone’s throw from Half Moon Bay. Over the last ten years, as we created the site from an empty field, we have put in more than just fences, water buts and paths. We have worked to grow a community that gardens together, shares knowledge about growing and uses what we produce and importantly has fun – so it’s not all hard work.
We built our first pizza oven by treading the clay together and enjoying what felt like messy play for adults! I made pizzas, flatbreads and garlic bread for our socials and open days in the oven, which are now a firm favourite. The polytunnel made an excellent place to prove the dough whilst we made the tomato sauce using onions, tomatoes and herbs from our plots. As people saw the oven in action there were requests to know how to make the dough. I ran a group pizza making session in the shed which was great fun! It showed you can make food even better than you can buy at a fraction of the cost whilst using your own ingredients!
The kitchen in the shed is repurposed from an old caravan, so it makes a great compact space. We now have many more cooks and are on our second oven; this one even has a roof to keep the cooks dry.
This year, we made a batch of 22 jars of chutney using slightly bashed onions, apples, garlic and green tomatoes, that would have been composted otherwise. For some of the choppers and stirrers, it was their first time making chutney! There was a lot of tasting involved until everyone was happy that it was ‘just right’. We plan to make even more next time, possibly branching out to jam making.
Inspired by the seed library we have a Seed Swop Box, now in the shed as it leaked outside. We are learning. This is slowly filling up and in our first season, we already have some great donations and swops. Being able to have a few seeds at no cost means that we can try different varieties and compare notes with those who donated the seeds. Hopefully this will increase our range of herbs which will go into our pizza toppings, or sprinkled on our garlic bread and make even tastier chutney.
We are having an Open day and plant sale on 12th June 2022, details will be on our website https://www.daisybank.org. Visitors, and our neighbours, are welcome.