It’s the first Sunday of the month this weekend and there’s no rain forecast so come along to either or both of our two regular events.


At 11am Mahesh continues with his gardening workshops
Growing Soft Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs: A  Practical Workshop for Beginners

 Workshop 4: General gardening tasks including harvesting

1. How to create a sturdy structure for climbing plants such as runner beans; you must have noticed so many structures being collapsed under the weight of vigorously grown runner beans and strong winds.
2.  How to create a perfect netting to protect your brassicas from wood pigeons?
3. How and when to harvest your vegetables – basic things you should know. [Over the years, I have been asked by our growers – “when can I pick my sweetcorn, courgette, broadbeans ……?” This is an opportunity for you to learn just that].
4. How to deal with a current problem – Leek Rust and Potato Blight.

 Note: Workshop to take place on Bluebell South allotments on first Sunday of each month at 11 am, and is open to all GO2 and Growing at Home members. Space is limited to 10 people. To book a place, e-mail: sustainable@talktalk.net


 Food-sharing lunch

Then, at one o’clock, the tables in the picnic area will be cleared for our food-sharing lunch.  Come along with a dish made from whatever is growing on your plot or is in season.

At the Midsummer evening meal last week, among the wonderful variety of dishes there were some inventive, and delicious, ways of using broad beans, so maybe there’ll more this weekend.

To deal with another glut, I’ve googled the recipe for a spinach, almond and chickpea salad hoping to use up the blanket of spinach seedlings that is threatening to smother the more legitimate plants on my plot.


Plants and seeds from the polytunnel and hut.

There are plenty of brassica available; red and savoy cabbage, purple sprouting broccoli, kales of many hues, delicate pale green kohl rabi.  Salads too; lettuce, mustard greens, mizuna and mibuna.  For a quick crop try pak choi, Chinese cabbage or tatsoi, either as plants or from seed.

There’s still time to sow dwarf French beans, beetroot, Swiss chard, carrots, turnips and fennel, all of which are available from the big shed.


Bridget

Volunteering Sunday 24th June

Key tasks will be:

Grass-cutting along the paths and communal areas; if you can bring your own shears that would be great.

Composting (again!); we’ll look at emptying the contents of some of the smaller sized bins. Please bring gardening gloves for this task.


Is your garlic suffering?

The damp spring and early summer has led to plants of the allium species (e.g. leeks, garlic, onions, chives) being attacked by leek rust.  This fungal disease can be recognised from the appearnace of dusty reddish-orange pustules on leaves. The advice from Garden Organic is to in future, make sure that you don’t have too much nitrogen (i.e. don’t apply manure or compost that is too fresh) and maybe increase the spacing between plants to allow more air flow.  There is no need to harvest especially early but on the other hand if you leave it too late, secondary rots may develop on damamged tissue.  So once the bulbs are a decent size lift them to dry


Things to plant  

Cauliflowers, courgettes, squashes, salad leaves, pak choi, …

Things to sow

Peas, beans, beetroot, chard, carrots, …

Juyna and Jane C will be in the big shed on Sunday from 10 to 2, dispensing seeds, plants, wisdom and emotional support.


And finally…….   Mystery bike manifests itself on alloment!

This bike has been lurking in the bike racks for a couple of weeks, and should be approached with caution.

Did anyone arrive home recently minus a mode of transport?  Please let me know if you have any information that could help to solve this riddle

Clive

Don’t forget our
Midsummer Supper on Wednesday, 20th June

Come any time from 6pm when there will be allotment nibbles to keep hunger at bay. The main event will start at 6.30 pm. We want to eat outside so, if rain threatens, we’ll put up a gazebo, but come dressed for any weather. Bring a dish to share, perhaps something to drink (though there will be elderflower sparkle) and crossed fingers for a warm, sunny evening with a gentle breeze.


Plants and seeds available

As usual, there are plants available from the poylytunnel; courgettes, summer and winter squash, salads, parsley, basil and summer savory. Or, for winter eating, there are brassica of all kinds; red and Savoy cabbage, several different kinds of kale and purple sprouting broccoli. Brassicas need to be protected from pigeons which seem to like nothing better than a newly planted bed of cabbages. There’s netting and sticks available, so just ask whoever is on duty.
It’s not too late to sow many different kinds of seed. Try climbing French beans as a change from runners, fennel or even a row of swede.


Bees

Finally, you might be interested in a public meeting that asks:
Why is the bee declining?  What are the consequences?  What can we and the
Government do?
“The Bee-Cause”, the Norfolk launch of the Friends of the Earth Campaign to protect the bee
Venue: Assembly House, Theatre Street, Norwich.
Date: Wednesday 27 June Time:  7.30pm (doors open 6.30pm)
For more information go to
www.thehappybeecompany.co.uk


Bridget

Sunday 10th June


What needs doing? 

  • Are you growing broad beans?  If you are, once beans have begun to form you can pinch out the growing tips on the plants.  This promotes the production of side shoots and increases the size of beans rather encouraging vertical growth.  It also reduces the rate of infestation by blackfly. And, thanks to Jane G, I have discovered that you can eat the tips; prepare as you would spinach.
  • If you cut the grass around your plot, and on surrounding paths, you will reduce the opportunities for slugs and snails to find shelter during the daytime.

For more tips on how to deal with pests and diseases, using an organic approach, see below.


Growing Soft Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs:
  A Practical Workshop for Beginners
Workshop 3: Pests & Diseases

  • The most common pests & diseases on our allotments
  • How to identify and control pests and diseases?
  • Preventative and curative methods and options for organic growers.

Note: Workshop to take place   on Bluebell South allotments at 11 am.  It is open to all GO2  and Growing at Home members.
Space is limited to 10 people. To book a place, e-mail: sustainable@talktalk.net


Stuff to plant
Courgettes, squashes, beans, sweet corn, cabbages……………can all be planted out.  Eddie and Jane G will be in the big shed to help you decide  what to grow and how to grow it


Compost
Thanks to everyone who helped on the last volunteering Sunday.  You legends!!  As a result of your work we now have a large container of compost near the red shed.  All growers can add this compost to their soil before planting.  It will provide additional nutrients for your plants and help to retain moisture.


Muck
We will soon have a delivery of horse manure.  It will be signed as   “GO2 Muck”.  I will cover it with carpet and for using with most plants it will need to be left for a while before being applied.  This will allow it to decompose more fully and enable any residue of equine medication to disappear.


Clive

There are three notable events happening in June….


First, this coming Sunday, there’s our own tried and tested (bunting-free) version of the Big Lunch, on June 3rd, the first Sunday of the month, come to a Food-sharing Lunch at 1pm.

Bring a dish to share made from what you’ve grown if possible or, if your plot hasn’t begun to produce yet, from whatever is in season.

Second, it’s time for Mahesh’s 3rd workshop, open to all members:

Growing Soft Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs

A Practical Workshop for Beginners

Workshop 3: Pests & Diseases

      • The most common pests & diseases on our allotments
      • How to identify and control pests and diseases?
      • Preventative and curative methods and options for organic growers.

Note: Workshop to take place on Bluebell South allotments on first Sunday of each month at 11 am, and is open to all GO2 and Growing at Home members. Space is limited to 10 people. To book a place, e-mail: sustainable@talktalk.net


Third, on the evening of the summer solstice, Wednesday, 20th June

A Midsummer Supper
Come from 6pm onwards for supper starting at 6.30pm.
Bring a dish to share and something to drink.
More details to follow.

Finally: there will be seeds and plants available on Sunday, as usual.

Now, fingers crossed, the risk of frost is over all the tender plants can go out.  We have courgette, squash and sweet corn plants in the polytunnel and plenty of French and runner bean seeds for sowing.
And, thinking ahead to next winter, why not try a couple of Nero di Toscana (black kale) plants?  These take up little room, withstand the hardest frosts and their leaves are tender and full of flavour, great in a stir fry.