Work and Food Share Sunday this weekend, June 1st.

We’re going to continue clearing and sorting the compost areas and weed the herb beds.
Please see Phil and Juyna anytime between 10.00 and 12.30.weeding-thI0WH9XYB
Afterwards, our usual feast. Please bring some food and/or drink to share.


Plants

We’re providing plants for 120 growers this season. To ensure that every grower has a chance to get their plants out in good time, we need to allocate them. So, if you have one strip, you can have two courgettes, six beans and so on. If you have two strips, you can have twice that number, etc, etc – but not all at the same time. Take your first lot and then come back a few days later for the next batch. We’re doing it this way so that everyone gets their choice of plants and we can keep up with demand. Planting in succession, means you’ll avoid the summer glut and ensure a steady supply of veg for a longer time. If you’ve got a special request (eg you’d like a yellow courgette) do let the Seeds and Plants team know by pinning a note to the notice board at the back of the shed or having a quick chat with Tessa and her team.
Tomatoes We’ll have some spare heritage tomato plants available this weekend, on a first-come, first-served basis. Do be aware that we can’t guarantee success with tomatoes on the allotment because of the prevalence of blight, so you might prefer to take them home to grow in a pot.
Herbs
We’ll have herbs ready for planting out over the next few weeks. There’s parsley now but also some less usual herbs along with several varieties of basil. Salad burnet, garlic chives, dill and summer savory are the first to be ready to plant.
There will be enough parsley and basil for everyone to have one or two plants. However, there’s just one tray of each of the more unusual herbs. Some of the plants will go into the baths and containers in the family picnic area, and in the bed alongside. Once they are producing plenty of leaves anyone can pick them; they’re available for all to try. If you would like to try to grow a particular herb on your own plot the remaining plants will go outside the polytunnel for you to take one or two.


Herb Walk

And if you want to know more about herbs, join Bridget for a herb walk on Sunday June 22. We have at least twenty different types of herbs scattered around the allotment. We’ll take a map of the site and attempt to plot them all, identifying those that anyone can take, and discussing their uses in cooking. Meet at the shed at 11am for about an hour’s tour.


Training

This might sound like sarcasm, but our next training session will be on how to water your plot more effectively. Just wait until the summer gets here! Carolyn Batch has grown fruit and veg in Greece so she knows a trick or two about efficient use of water. She’ll be sharing her knowledge with us on Sunday, June 8th from 11am to 12pm and will include a tour of her full size allotment.Watering_Can


Dates for diaries

calendar
Sunday 8th June 11-12 Training on targeted watering. Meet at the shed.
Saturday 21st June 6pm Summer begins so please come & help us celebrate at the allotments with our annual evening gathering. It’ll be just like the 1st Sunday food share but it’ll be in the evening from 6pm onwards! We’re also fundraising then so any kitchen utensils/cookery books you’ve to spare would be gratefully received. Please bring to the big shed & leave under the long table to your right as you come into the shed. Many thanks.
Sunday 22nd June 11am Herb walk with Bridget.
Saturday 28th June 12-4pm Marlpit Community Garden OPEN DAY. Marlpit Community Garden has completed its first year and it is time to celebrate!
Any offer of help would be appreciated, please contact: Mahesh at marlpit@grow-our-own.co.uk
Sunday 6 July 10am-2pm GO2 AGM and food-sharing at the Wilberforce Road Community Centre instead of the allotment.
Saturday 27 September 12-4pm 2 Open Day and 10th anniversary


If you have anything you’d like to submit to 2 News, please send it to newsletter@grow-our-own.co.uk.

The sun has got his hat on…

… so we can safely hand out lots of lovely tender plants.

We’ve got courgettes, beans, squashes and sweetcorn all ready for their new homes. If they’re not on the bench at the front of the polytunnel you’ll find them outdoors between the side of the greenhouse and the polytunnel. And if we’ve run out, don’t worry – we’re growing plenty more in the greenhouse. Don’t take anything from inside the greenhouse yet, because they aren’t quite big enough to go out.
sun-wink Do give your tender plants plenty of water if it’s hot and sunny, because they need a bit of pampering to get established.

The Seeds & Plants team has cleared the polytunnel ready for the summer growing season. So this weekend we’ll be planting lots of interesting things in there, including an assortment of rare heritage tomatoes, a Green Nutmeg melon, some unusual cucumbers and a tomatillo (we grew those last year, a weird Mexican fruit rather like a tomato).

We shall probably have some spare tomato plants for anyone who wants to give them a try, but we recommend you grow them at home, not outdoors on the allotment because of the risk of blight.

We’re also starting to plant out an assortment of unusual squashes in the bed prepared specially by Peter A along the side of the polytunnel. And we’ll soon be planting a demonstration bed of different types of beans and courgettes, where kind volunteers have already started to clear away last season’s kale plants.


Visitors to GO2

Swaffham Community Allotments and Leisure Gardeners Association want to visit us on Sunday 13 July arriving about 10.45.

Please could some members offer to be present to show them round, talk to them, and make them tea and coffee. Please let us know if you can do this by emailing us at admin@grow-our-own.co.uk


Sociable volunteers needed

As you know, we are open for enquiries at our big shed on Sunday and Wednesday mornings, 10 – 1. We have two people on duty to help with whatever is needed and currently we have some vacancies. You don’t need to be experienced, as all the information is written down and you will be with one other person.

It’s a lovely way to meet other growers so if you can help out with one or two slots, please get in touch with Christine at admin@grow-our-own.co.uk


Dates for diaries

calendar

  • Sunday 1st June – Come & share the sunshine & lunch. Please bring a dish/drink to share.
  • Saturday 21st June at 6pm – Summer begins so please come & help us celebrate at the allotments with our annual evening gathering. It’ll be just like the 1st Sunday food share but it’ll be in the evening from 6pm onwards! We’re also fundraising then so any kitchen utensils/cookery books you’ve to spare would be gratefully received. Please bring to the big shed & leave under the long table to your right as you come into the shed. Many thanks.
  • Sunday 6th July – AGM and food-sharing at the Wilberforce Road Community Centre instead of the allotment
  • Saturday 27th September – Open Day and 10th anniversary: more info later.

If you have anything you’d like to submit to GO2 News, please send it to newsletter@grow-our-own.co.uk.

Watch out for Jack Frost!

We’ve got lovely sunny weather and plenty more on the way. But don’t be tempted to put out tender plants just yet, because we’re still getting frosts and they will kill your precious plants!

Keep your potatoes protected. If they’ve only just emerged you can earth them up, covering over the early growth. If they’re a bit bigger you’ll need to cover them with straw or newspaper. If you use fleece, make sure it does not touch the potato leaves.

Plants available now outside the polytunnel: early purple sprouting broccoli and brussels sprouts.

We’ll be offering tender plants from 25 May, but not before: courgettes, beans, sweet corn.

Training this Sunday

May is the busiest month for planting. Find out the best way to do it with Jane Chittenden on Sunday, May 11th from 11.00 to 12.00. A practical hands-on session that will help you get the most from your crops.
Meet at the big shed.

Clive’s Tips

Sweet corn – try sowing a low growing green manure, such as trefoil, around the base of these plants. It will help to provide ground cover, and may be left to grow over the winter once the sweet corn has been harvested. It will also help to fix nitrogen in the soil, aiding the growth of the corn.

Potatoes may be earthed up once they begin to emerge from the ground. This helps to protect them from any late frosts, and ensures that any tubers near the surface remain in the dark. Tubers that are exposed to any light turn green, and become inedible. As the season progresses I place grass and nettle cuttings around the growing potatoes to retain moisture, suppress weeds and provide nutrients.

Fruit: I have noticed a few gooseberry sawfly caterpillars (see picture) on my gooseberry bushes. Check the bushes at least once a week, and remove any caterpillars by hand.

sawfly-larvae-on-gooseberry
Straw may be placed under strawberries to prevent the growing fruit from touching the soil. All fruit trees and bushes will benefit from regular weeding, and grass cuttings, straw, newspaper etc placed on the ground around the plants as a mulch will help their growth.

Clive

On your plot this month:

This is probably the busiest month on your plot. You’ll need to get ready for sowing and planting out tender things after the last risk of frost has passed – normally by around 15th May here in the city.

Harvest: 0103455-harvest

It’s the Hungry Gap, when there’s not much left from winter crops and the new season things aren’t ready yet. Radish and lettuce from early sowings; spring greens, perpetual spinach, Swiss chard; rhubarb. Herbs: rosemary, sage and thyme; early mint.
Seeds: 030214-children-sowing-seeds-Sergiy-Bykhunenko_94b1690a

Sow these now: broccoli, beetroot, carrots, lettuce, peas, radish, spinach, spring onions, swede, turnip, herbs. Later in the month you can start sowing tender beans (runner, borlotti, French).
Plants:010213-digging-Mis-TiKa_62616d75  

Ready now: Brussels sprouts, calabrese, kale, maincrop potatoes (last chance for these). After the middle of May: courgettes, pumpkin/squash, beans (French Climbing, French Dwarf and Runner beans), sweet corn.
Next month: We’ll have plenty more of the tender plants, so don’t worry if you’re not ready yet. There are also some rare heritage varieties of bean seeds if you’d like to try those.


Work Sunday

This Sunday we’re looking for some help with sorting out the compost. Phil will be at GO2 from 10.00 to 12.30 and would appreciate any help you can give, even if it’s just half and hour. It will be followed by Food Share.


Foodie Things

This Sunday 4th May come and discover how to use, prepare, cook & store rhubarb. It’s all happening between 10am – 12pm at West Earlham Community Centre, 10 Wilberforce Road, Norwich NR5 8NE

Rhubarb-lemon Bars

Limited spaces – maximum of 6 people. To book, please contact Juyna Lewis (food team leader): 01603 504121 or food@grow-our-own.co.uk

Then from 1pm it’s all back to GO2 for Food Sharing Sunday and more food!


Dates for diaries

calendarAGM and food-sharing: Sunday 6th July at the West Earlham Community Centre instead of the allotment.

Open Day and 10th anniversary: Saturday 27th September.


If you have anything you’d like to submit to GO2 News, please send it to

newsletter@grow-our-own.co.uk