Grow Our Own (GO2) Bluebell South Allotments, Norwich
Management of the Bluebell South Allotments project from 1st of October 2013
Thank you all for sending your feedback.
As you may know, we had a meeting on Sunday 25th August to discuss the new organisational arrangements.
Please follow this link to the minutes document.
Here are the main points:
From 1st of September, 2013, the GO2 Bluebell South Allotments will be managed by seven teams (see below); each team will have a team leader and growers will have to sign up to one team at the time of joining/renewing their membership of GO2. Land and water management and compost and muck team leader’s position is vacant at the moment.
- Admin – Christine Wilson
- Seed and plants including Heritage seed – Jane Chittenden
- Training and mentoring – Rochelle Wilson
- Land and water management – vacant
- Maintenance/Buildings – Jane Graham
- Food and jam-making – Juyna Lewis
- Compost and muck – vacant
If you are interested in any of the vacant positions and/ or have any questions/comments, please let me know.
GO2 Open Meeting on Sunday 25th August 2013
Time: 11:00 am
Venue: Fourways Community Centre, Stevenson Road
Norwich NR5 8TN.
Tel: 01603 920147
Mob: 07969 996646
We aim to finish the meeting by 1 pm but you are welcome to stay afterwards for lunch (bring and share).
Our GO2 Centre at Bluebell will be closed on Sunday 25th August.
I look forward to seeing you all at the meeting,
PS Three weeks ago you may have seen this
A link to a proposal and a request for ideas for a new management for the GO2 Bluebell site
This Saturday – Jam Making
From 2pm to 5pm at the GO2 kitchen – click to see map
Mahesh will be leading a jam-making session – just let him know if you want to join in, he’ll provide what’s needed.
email@example.com or 01603 920147
Don’t forget we have an open meeting (in the same place) on the 25th to decide on a new management team…
This Sunday at the allotment….
Get your nitrogen fix
When broad bean and pea plants have produced their last pods and withered don’t pull them up. Instead, cut down to within a few centimetres of the ground. The roots have little nodules and, as they rot, these help fix nitrogen in the soil.
Rake or fork over the ground between the stumps, pull out weeds and the ground is ready. The stumps could make it difficult to sow seeds but there are plenty of plants that can go in the gaps. There are lettuces, chinese cabbage, oriental salads, basil and parsley available from outside the polytunnel. Or plant pointy spring cabbage, curly or purple kale or purple sprouting broccoli; all will love the nitrogen fix. We have the plants almost ready to go out; some need potting up so help on Sunday would be very welcome.
A couple of exotics fruit/vegetables
||The next time you’re at the allotment, take a look at the borders inside and behind the polytunnel. There are plants growing there which seem to like hot dry weather and have produced some rather useful fruit.
One is achocha, or fat baby,
a member of the curcubit or cucumber family. Fat babies (!) can be used much as you would a pepper. Cut each fruit in half, remove the seeds and stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
The other is tomatillo.
This looks like a green tomato but actually belongs to the physalis family, which also includes cape gooseberries. Tomatillos are delicious baked whole with courgettes, little onions, garlic cloves and beetroot. Or made into Tomatillo Salsa Verde (click for recipe)
|Both are fruiting well so if you’d like to try either or both ask whoever is on duty on Sunday. Any surplus will be left on the table in the picnic area.
Update on heritage seeds.
|I’ve started to harvest some of the heritage seeds.
Mr Jones broad beans were easy. All I had to do was to wait until the pods turned bone dry and papery on the plants, then pick the pods and shell them. Some of the pods got a bit scorched in the recent heatwave, but they are fine inside. I checked that each bean is dry – if it is hard and sounds like a pebble when dropped then it’s ready to store. But just to be on the safe side I’m leaving them on a sunny windowsill for a few days.
|Catskill Brussels sprouts seeds were not so easy! There are huge bunches of tiny pods, each containing very small seeds. Collecting the pods and shelling them was not difficult, although a bit fiddly. The tricky bit was the passengers – tiny grey and yellow mites, still very much alive, which had to be separated from the seeds. The only way to do this was to carefully roll the seeds (like miniature ball-bearings) to one side of a white plate before storing them in a glass jar. I shall check them again, just to make sure that no uninvited guests are still lurking.
Photos of Mr Jones broad beans and Catskill Brussels sprouts by Jane
Layout and graphics by Jim
This Sunday, 4th August… what to do?
|It is the first Sunday of the month, so we will be sharing our allotment grown food. There is an abundance of crops at the moment; courgettes, beans, chard, onions and much more. I’ve just acquired a copy of Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book (thanks to a recommendation from Jane C), which is packed with recipes and peppered with historical references and anecdotes. For example, the former US President Thomas Jefferson was a keen gardener, and engaged in annual pea growing competitions with his neighbours. A far cry from a more recent President of the United States who famously hated broccoli!But as far as I am aware, no US President ever grew peas like these:,
Alison Foss shared these recipes on the website
Broad Bean Bake
Tomato late-blight research
The recent rainfall, although very much needed, has increased the chances of late-blight infection of tomatoes and potatoes. The most obvious symptom will be brown or black lesions on leaves and stems, without significant yellowing of the surrounding leaf. James Stroud, a Bangor University/Sarvari Research Trust PhD student, is investigating late-blight with the aim of developing new strains of tomato that have higher resistance to late-blight. If you would like to take part by examining potatoes and tomatoes, and sending James samples of infected plant matter, please let me know.
If you find a Lorus swap watch, lost on or around 7th July, please let Tom Greaves know
Time to relax?
It’s hot, crops are maturing, and maybe now is the time to be less busy on the allotment. Instead, aim to be mindful and observant. Watch the bees moving in and out of flowers, see which plants are prospering, smell the soil after the rain. Because the physical benefits of growing our own are obvious. The manual work, the nutritious fruit and vegetables. But being in the moment, and letting all of our senses engage with our environment, is beneficial too.
Mahesh has proposed a new management strategy which can be seen on the Members’ Documents page
Please read the document – it aims to share ideas about changes to coordinating task-based teams and to increases in plot rentals.
Graphics and layout by Jim