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The Good Life is Growing…

August 8, 2010
Thyme Out Delicatessen, West Didsbury

Thyme Out Delicatessen, West Didsbury

It’s always more difficult to do something well when you’re being watched, but it’s taken to a whole new level at Thyme Out Delicatessen on Nell Lane, West Didsbury.

Regular readers of this blog and visitors to Didsbury Life will probably be aware that we’re in the process of cultivating a “community garden”. A garden where members of the community are working with Ben and the team at Thyme Out to bring a bit of the countryside to the suburbs.  A garden where we’re hopeful we’ll have surplus produce and so can begin, in a very small way, to supply our local independent food places with the odd vegetable or fruit. A garden where we can begin to model the whole ethos of sharing a commodity, and demonstrating that nothing everything that arrives on our plate has to come from the other end of the country and wrapped in enough clingfilm and needless packaging to sink a ship.

So, after a few days away from the garden, we joined our fellow-gardeners today for a bit of a weeding and a general sort out. Ben has been brilliant – he’s effectively given us carte-blanche to do whatever we feel is right. None of us have a great deal of gardening experience, but what do have is enthusiasm and a shared vision for something that is an absolute no-brainer. A viable, sustainable, independent community.

Thyme Out Delicatessen, West Didsbury

Thyme Out Delicatessen, West Didsbury

So, back to being watched. The chickens are definitely becoming more & more curious about what we’re doing and are keeping tabs on our every move. Luckily Lucy & Ava were able to distract them as we hacked away at the Russian Vine that has taken a stranglehold over this part of West Didsbury. [We are very much hoping that the virilent strain of vine which requires cutting literally every day in our garden, hasn’t wound its way over to Thyme Out!]

We were thankful today that it wasn’t a blazing hot summer’s day – clouds were good, as it was hard work filling the bags to go onto the Manning’s compost heap. See –  no waste here! It did feel a bit strange initially pulling up plants and chopping away at trees that technically aren’t ours. But having spoken to a neighbour, who is a gardening expert, we soon felt good in the knowledge that we were doing the right thing. Blackberry bushes have been trimmed and a small harvest gathered. The plum tree has been pruned and the crop of fruit is looking nearly ready for the girls at Silver Apples to come and pick for their home made pies. We also cut back a tree which has stumped us for some time – photos of the fruit will be posted tomorrow to see if anyone can confirm what we think it is – to discover a beautiful fig tree. Now that the sun will get to it, we’re looking forward to donating some of these figs to a local eatery… There’s a crop of rhubarb that we’re particularly excited about because Rhubarb Restaurant on Burton Road are going to using some of our rhubarb in their puddings!

Thyme Out Delicatessen, West Didsbury

Thyme Out Delicatessen, West Didsbury

Herbs in abundance have been discovered in the borders, as well as wild garlic. Even our allotment plots are showing real signs of growth. We’ve got sweet potatoes, peppers, mangetout, broad beans, carrots, onions, lettuce, broccoli, radish, cress, spring onions, tomatoes and flowers. We also had some fabulous young helpers today – thanks to Lucy, Ava & Chloe. Have to say we’re looking forward very much to the other kids returning from holiday – Ellie, Jake, Freya, Joe, Peter & Nancy – so that the adults can have a rest!

So – we’ve cleared, weeded, planted, watered (although very sparingly until our water butt arrives – Mr Tempest!), picked & eaten. And this is just the start of our West Didsbury Good Life…

The Mannings at Thyme Out Deli Garden

The Mannings at Thyme Out Deli Garden

Post Clearance at Thyme Out Deli Garden

Post Clearance at Thyme Out Deli Garden

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