GUEST BLOG – Inns court kitchen garden by volunteer gardener extraordinaire, chris boddington

Members of the Man Alive group in the garden with their carpentry teacher and a bench they made

I’m happy to announce the approval by Companies House of Knowle West Edible Gardens C.I.C.! This is the company who are looking after Inns Court Kitchen Garden based at The Inns Court Community and Family Centre.

Work started on the garden in March 2021 supported by the Inns Court Centre and Boing!, Knowle West Children’s Centre, Community Learning, Feeding Bristol and Knowle West Alliance among others, and led by volunteer community gardener, Chris Boddington. The project has so far engaged volunteers from around the local area and City of Bristol College with the aim of supplying produce to local people and ventures including the cafe in the centre.

City of Bristol College volunteers in the garden

Over the autumn our excellent volunteers helped to create more beds and paths, plant seeds, organise the composting area, plant fruit trees, shrubs and grape vines, put up wires for vines and espalier apple trees (i.e. make them grow flat against walls). We’ve had several visits from Greenfield Academy pupils, who’ve planted broad bean seeds and raspberry canes, spread wood chips on the paths and taken part in a Halloween pumpkin carving session. Harry, a local tree surgeon, brought us a truck load of wood chippings. Lately, members of Man Alive have been starting to build a potting shed from a mixture of new and reclaimed materials (50% funded by KW Alliance). They’ve also been putting the woodwork on a small polytunnel frame donated by Redcatch Community Garden.

The base of the new potting shed

Last summer we had good crops of potatoes, onions, courgettes, pumpkins, squashes, French beans, cabbage, tomatoes and peas – much helped by Bristol Council’s Blaise Nurseries’ seedling deliveries, plus several tons of compost donated by Feeding Bristol. We’re hoping for a lot more abundance this year, and have currently got early crops of broad beans, garlic and onions on the way.

If you’ve got time to spare and a desire to grow stuff, please get in touch. As well as the joy and sociability of gardening and produce to take home, volunteers get unlimited tea and coffee and – if they do a couple of hours in the morning – a hot lunch. 

Contact Chris: text or call 07905 961 876, or email kitchengarden@mail.uk

www.innscourtgarden.com