In summer 2019, we noticed a potato plant growing in one of the borders in the church garden. It happened to be a Tuesday evening, so we dug them up, washed them off, and they went straight into the soup for that evening’s Soup Kitchen. It got us thinking. We realised how lucky we were to have outdoor space and raised beds. And we realised that as a church that had recently joined Eco Church, and that was looking to minimise our impact on the environment, an eco-answer was staring us in the face. We decided to try and close the loop as much as possible, and to start growing as much of the food as we could on site. We then realised that it would be a wonderful opportunity for guests and volunteers at the soup kitchen to come together to grow their own food, to learn new skills, and bring the wonderful cross-section of society that is our community together. The Soup Garden was born!
We spent the winter of 2019 preparing the beds and ground, and planting some over winter seeds. We tried to slug proof with copper mesh, and put in home-made ollas to help us water in the summer months. We bought a HotBin Composter, called Phocas (named after a patron saint of vegetable gardeners), to help us use all of our soup kitchen waste and church waste paper and cardboard. As 2020 turned into spring, the seeds were sown in earnest and things started to take shape.
It’s easy to catch up on where things are by checking out our Garden Diaries on Youtube. The latest episode is below.