Newsletter Number 11 – 26th February 2016
The training courses at Marlpit Community Garden both offer fantastic opportunities to learn more for our members and the general public.
Those who attended the course on Growing Fruit and Vegetables last year know they should expect interesting and informative sessions, and this proved to be the case again on the morning of 20th February when Jon Darby kicked off with the first session. Read Christine Wilson’s account.
New for 2016, Alex Hobbs’ afternoon session on Growing and Using Herbs also proved fascinating. You can find out more about it in Teresa Emmett’s write up.
Lunch in the Marlpit Community Centre, cooked by Amy, gave an opportunity for both groups to meet over a delicious meal.
These courses run on the third Saturday of the month. Don’t miss out on this chance to extend your skills at either or both sessions. For the schedule and entry form click on the link.Tish
Amy of the Bluebell Food Team will demonstrate how she cooks Indian dishes.
Chicken Saag with rice, dahl, chapatti and tomato chutney, followed by mango ice cream.
Contact email@example.com or phone Moira on 01603 440444
Sophie will run a skill-sharing session on Sunday 28th February at GO2 Bluebell on fruit bushes with a practical session in the fruit bush area. 11 – 12. Do come and find out how to look after fruit bushes.
This follows lastSaturday’s training at Marlpit Community Garden on the same subject.
Here’s what we learnt about Soft Fruit Pruning in February 2014
Accommodation available. Everything from luxury five star suites to hostel dormitory accommodation. Will appeal to a wide clientele – from woodlice to centipedes and spiders – not forgetting ladybirds, lacewings and solitary bees. Hedgehogs particularly welcome. No need to book – just turn up at the brand new Bugs Hotel at Marlpit Community Garden.
The first to view the property was a frog that hopped into the ground floor of the four-story hotel as soon as the pallets were put in place. He was carefully lifted out of the way as fifteen children, parents and volunteers moved in to construct the hotel on Sunday 21st February.
Ursula Juta, who led the activity, had children into gardening gloves and busy foraging for natural materials and stuffing them into the gaps in the structure as soon as they arrived. Materials included canes, hogweed stalks, sunflower stalks, straw, wood with holes drilled in it, holey bricks, rolled up corrugated cardboard and fir cones. Roofing felt and tiles were placed on top and ivy planted to add a touch of greenery to the property.
Have you a Membership Card?
If you missed earlier news read here…
A Supplementary-newsletter with more imminent events.
Have you seen us on Google recently?
If you missed earlier news read here…
1. From 10 am to 1 pm: Growing soft fruit and tree fruit and pruning fruit trees.
Please book in advance.
2. From 12:30 to 3:30 pm: Infused oils and ointments and growing medicinal and culinary herbs.
Please book in advance.
Future Radio broadcast a live interview with Tish Kerkham on Tuesday, 9th February. Alistair Nicholl chatted to Tish about the upcoming Marlpit Community Garden Bugs Day.
Marlpit Community Garden from 1 to 3pm, on Sunday, 21st February, at the end of half term.
The main activity of the day will be to build a large BUG HOTEL using recycled pallets and materials, supported by a range of activities on the theme.
If you have any ideas or would like to help, please contact Tish on 01603 662363 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
6th February from 10am until 2pm.
Bridget will be running a workshop at her home, sharing her marmalade methods.
Could you find clean jars and help us by bringing them to Bluebell or Marlpit. Every time we raise money by selling preserves we need to acquire more jars.
Kitchen space is limited, so if you already know all about making marmalade, give a novice a chance to learn, otherwise if you want to join in contact the Food Team,
Remember those little domestic allotment jobs you promised to do but haven’t had time to do. February is prime time to Spring clean around your manor. Take away and dispose of any non composting material you no longer can find use for – glass, metal, brick etc. Carpet is no longer to be brought or used on council leased allotment with the exception of 100% wool including backing. GO2 rents from the council so the rule applies to us. There is a place to put carpet you are no longer using. To find out where please email email@example.com for instructions.
Whilst spring cleaning please redefine paths between strips and boarders adjoining neighbours. A minimum of 60cm for paths and boarders need to be maintained.
Maintenance of paths and boarders to all sides is part of strip/ plot agreement with GO2.
Over the years GO2 Bluebell has gained a fine collection of wood from all parts of the scheme. Much of the collection lies hidden behind sheds, end of strips, and forgotten out of sight. Each year more gets added, like many garages and lofts, until …
… what can be done? Ideas are requested, but here are a couple for discussion.
A. Make a bonfire of unwanted and decaying hard and soft wood, planks, broken-forgotten whatever it was. Left neglected to be put to flame.
B. Make a Hugelkultur bed. This is a permaculture method of cultivation where rotting wood mixed with other organic material such as kitchen waste and leaves, are put in a trench and covered with soil to grow veg.
Peter Anderson with team help constructed a Hugel on GO2 some years ago. The Hugel raised bed grows vegetables for the Food Team.
Information on Hugelkultur construction can be found on our website or use GoogleKultur to find out more!.
Help make the decision :
(A) Bonfire for a quick fix- paraffin, matches. Up in smoke.( bring potatoes to bake. Let’s have a party).
(B) Hugelkultur – digging, carrying, covering. Long term cultivation. All familiar to allotmenteers.
(Ok not an instant fix, but enjoying the vegetables of our labour in following years).
Let the Land and Water team know your thoughts and suggestions on this by replying through the newsletter.
Building on Bluebell is to recommence. It cannot be said that all has gone to plan. I’m reminded of the motorist lost asking for directions being told “you shouldn’t be starting from here”. The journey has had its detours not mentioning wind, rain, Christmas and New Year. Team players on the Tin Shed will be emailed in the next fortnight.
If you would like to be an occasional helper on the team or need information re Spring Clean GO2 email firstname.lastname@example.orgMark Newman – Land and Water
The wet weather we have had over the past few months (December was the wettest month ever recorded in Britain) has now resulted in a sizeable pool of water lying permanently in the eastern corner of the field, and a flock of gulls can frequently be found there, consisting largely of our commonest gull, the Black headed. The name is something of a misnomer, for the head is in fact a deep chocolate brown, rather than black, and this is only in summer; all that remains in winter is a dark smudge behind the eye. Continue reading