Happy Earth Day 2016!

Every day should be Earth Day and we reuse and recycle at Lovelitter HQ on a daily basis. To mark the occasion this year we planted a beautiful tree to live outside our arch. Trees are awesome for the environment and awesome for us; helping the planet to reduce toxicity and slow climate change, as well as being soothing to our souls. We planted our newest tree baby in a recycled box made today from salvaged wood. This included a random small piece of formica, some pieces from broken furniture that couldn’t be repaired and some scrap wood offcuts found on the street. A simple project made with purpose that will remind us each day to care for our wonderful planet and appreciate the life she sustains.

Recycled Wormery

LOVELITTER RECYCLED WORMERY

Not everyone may like them but you cannot ignore how important worms are in our gardens and allotments and as the sun is out and spring preparations are underway we thought we would share our way of making a recycled wormery.  Wormerys are great for the balcony, garden, roof terrace or allotment as they offer a brilliant way of recycling your kitchen waste (do not add meat or dairy) and they allow the collection of beneficial worm juice which can be poured over your garden plants.

You will need to source a watertight bin with a lid you can either buy one or find an old one it depends on how much recycling you are interested in.  A tap is required to be fitted approx 2″ from the base of the bin and a large enough drill bit needed to make the hole for the tap to be slotted into.  Drill air holes just under the lid all the way around, this is so the worms can breath.  Some bricks or wood will be needed to stand the wormery on and once in place fill the bin approx 5″ with shingle or stones then place a cut out circle of black plastic with some holes in over the shingle, this helps to separate the worms from the shingle and drain the worm juice through.  Then on the black plastic layer place approx 2″ of sand and then approx 4″ of compost and shredded newspaper on top of the sand this will be the worm’s bedding, add a little bit of water as the worms like it damp.  Then add your worms.  Tiger worms are considered the best for composting and can be bought online.  Kitchen waste can be placed on top of the worm bedding; citrus, tomatoes and onions should be avoided in large quantities as it can be too acidic.  When feeding the worms try to keep the pieces small and don’t allow the food to pile up, that is a sign they are being fed too much.  A healthy wormery should have no smell.  A towel can be added over the top in cold weather to warm the worms.

Pine Needle Mulch

It is that time of year again when our streets are littered with decaying Christmas trees, each leaving a trail of dried pine needles to the door that ejected them or still piled up in the place where they stood for a few weeks.  They become unwanted and a nuisance after being the most sought after piece in December, but if you grow blueberries they take on a new life afterwards.  The pine needles can be used as a mulch for the acid loving plants.

Lovelitter Wildlife Habitat

As we like recycling here at Lovelitter we decided to make a wildlife habitat for our insect friends at our allotment.  We found a lovely metal meat safe with the door rusted through so badly that it was no longer fit for purpose, so we used it as a perfect base for our habitat.  We took the door off the cabinet and started to collect materials that would create the layers for the inhabitants to nestle between.  We sourced some wooden logs (which we drilled holes into), twigs, broken terracotta pots, bamboo canes, sand, soil, bark, leaves, engineering bricks & pine cones and proceeded to layer up inside the cabinet, some succulents are the next thing we are hoping to add.  I hope the new tenants enjoy their new home as much as our allotment enjoys their visits.

Harvest Time

The allotment is growing nicely; among this week’s picks are some vivid purple turnips and lovely yellow carrots, great for roasts and stews, and the final chillies and tomatoes of the year, to be both eaten and preserved.

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Allotment Produce

Our allotment has been loving the weather and is producing lots of lovely fruit and vegetables, including our first sweetcorn of the year, delicious on the fire.  Our tomatoes seem to have enjoyed their comfrey tea and borage companions as they are sweeter than ever, and the kale is green and luscious.

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We also have a lovely heritage golden beetroot variety, globe courgettes and some spring onions to feast on.

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Today’s Trug

The allotment is loving all the warm weather and our latest pick is a selection of blackberries and raspberries, chard, our first chilli, tomatoes and globe courgettes of the year, and lots of lovely herbs to be used fresh and dried for winter.

Rainbow Days

Rainbow Chard

Our allotment is working hard and rainbow chard is a consistent feature.  Lovely to behold as well as eat, and with lots of great nutrients it’s definitely a Lovelitter favourite.