Health for Life blog

Garden Year – March

Spring is now well and truly upon us and the TCV Health for Life Team have are well prepared for the new season; we’ve got potatoes chitting in egg boxes and seed trays for all of the sites, the bed have been turned and filled with nutrient rich compost and the first early seedlings have been sown under cover. We’ve got a raft of things coming up over the next few weeks including Orchard Days with Helping Britain Blossom and a Plot Preparation and Tree Pruning day at Green Meadow Road! There’s lots to get cracking on this month … Continue reading

Garden Year – February

After a month’s worth of digging, digging and a little more digging for most it’s  time to put down the fork and spade and begin to sow your first crops of the year. There are still plenty of jobs to do around the garden however so don’t think you’re out of the woods just yet! If January turned into a bit of write off, worry not! It’s not too late to turn your patches and get you pruning done, and then crack on with the jobs listed in this post later in February.


February is the month that the … Continue reading

Pruning and Tree Care Event – QE

It was a brisk January morning when a team of volunteers descended on the QE Orchards for a tree care and pruning day this weekend. People from all over the city came along to take care of the juvenile trees that were planted last year, as well as the Real Junk Food Project who provided a lovely warming lunch to keep the cold at bay.

The morning started with a health safety and tool talk from The Urban Orchard Project and TCV, giving all the volunteers a greater understanding of the tools they would be using and the task that … Continue reading

Garden Year – Janurary

Garden Year - Janurary

The Growing Year – January

January has got to be one of the most hated months of the year; ten pounds of weight heavier and a few more than that in cash lighter. It’s generally cold and grey and the glow of the summer sun seems far, far away. Do not fear, TCV are near! It’s the time to get back outside and shift the winter blues; reap what you’ve sown the previous year and prepare yourselves for a fresh start and the new season.  Here at TCV Birmingham we’ve put together a handy post to guide you through your … Continue reading

Garden jobs in January

Finish digging your growing space. Clean pots and containers so they are free from pests and disease, dig compost or well-rotted manure in to your soil; and expose insect eggs to any frost. Finish harvesting any brassicas or leeks. Cut back any autumn fruiting raspberries. Clean water butts of sludge. Keep feeding your garden birds and make some fat cakes. Clean and oil your garden tools. Feed strawberry plants.

Finalise the veggies you would like to grow in your plot, order seeds. Start a bean trench where you will be growing runner beans, discard any left over brassica stems in … Continue reading

Horticultural Show & Food Festival 2015

We’re delighted to announce that we have a second horticultural show combined with a food festival at Winterbourne Gardens, University of Birmingham this year.

Sunday 13 September will see TCV and the Health for Life programme team host: the show, the food festival – where local producers and suppliers may sell their goods – heritage crafts, a community hub and a kids zone.

The show is open to growers of all abilities, ages and growing levels and is just a little bit of fun for free! There are 28 categories you may enter which include: pods of runner beans to the strangest … Continue reading

Schools Horticultural Show

Schools Horticultural Show

Recently, the delivery of the Health for Life programme to cohort two schools’ came to an end. So as we rewarded schools on completion of their academic year in 2014, we thought it only appropriate to repeat the process.

On Wednesday 8 July, we celebrated in style by holding our schools’ end of year Health for Life Horticultural Show at Lordswood Girls’ School.

The show was open to all primary and secondary schools who have been involved in the programme since 2013. Categories consisted of: mini eco designs, home-made preserves, five of your best, longest/heaviest, making a variety box, the … Continue reading

Life as a Project Officer

Life as a Project Officer

On a dull, grey morning in February I pulled up at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital site for my first day out as a Project Officer on the Health for Life in the community programme. I was excited but also nervous – as I am a food growing novice! But walking up to the site I was intrigued to see five raised growing beds, a huge pile of compost and bags full to overflowing with sand. I met up with Jacob, who leads the green gym sessions at the Health for the Life food growing space at the Queen … Continue reading

Jobs to do in February

As the end of Winter draws closer, the days are getting longer, bulbs are emerging and there are plenty of jobs to get your green space ship shape and ready for the spring. Here is the list for you budding gardeners this February:

Time for a Spring Clean- Now is a great time to give your greenhouse a good clean in anticipation of the season to come. Armed with a bucket of warm soapy water, a cloth and a little elbow grease, remove any built up grime and get your greenhouse sparkling.

Preparation is Key- Make sure you are ready for the upcoming growing … Continue reading

Fat cakes!

Fat cakes!

Today we produced freshly made fatcakes at Swanshurst Girls’ School on the Health for Life programme. Some of the girls found the task quite “gooey” at first but then soon got the hang of it. With a little help from our friendly woodwork teacher, we were able to slice the coconuts in half – without any missing fingers – and bore some holes to enable us to tie string through the birds’ feast receptacle. Yum!  Some of the girls were so proud of them that most took them home to do the BIG Garden Birdwatch in their own gardens leaving … Continue reading