SLI April Newsletter

First of all, a big welcome to all our new members!

Don’t miss next week’s workshops on:
Scything – Tuesday 24th – 10am-2pm (Marlpit)
Shitake Mushroom Growing – Thursday 26th – 10am-1pm (Marlpit)


I’m sure most of you will be aware that Marlpit suffered a break-in over the Easter weekend leaving us without power tools and much of the equipment we need. After speaking to local businesses, and raising awareness through social media, we have received approximately £300 through donations which will help us replace some of what was taken.
For more info, see the article written by the EDP

Vacant Plots
We still have many vacant plots at Marlpit so if you know of anyone who would like to get involved then please put them in touch with Mahesh or Hannah.
Jam and Honey
We have now sold the final jar of delicious honey from last year but there are still plenty of jams available to buy for just £2.50 a jar.
Speak to Hannah or Mahesh
Training: Growing Vegetables Organically
with Jon Darby and Mahesh Pant


FREE for all SLI members with refreshments provided.

Learn about:
– Growing vegetables from seed
– Plant family and crop rotation
– Types of Seed
– Seed sowing techniques
– Seed sowing in modules
– Indoor sowing
– Sowing Seed Directly in the Ground
– Looking after plants: watering, mulching and plant protection
– Seed saving



Shed Painting
One of the tasks for a volunteering Sunday this year is to paint the big
shed, toilet shed and blue shed. However, this needs dry weather so it’s hard to predict when we’ll do this. Please take a look at the weather forecast if you’re coming to a volunteering Sunday from now on, and if dry, wear clothes you don’t mind getting paint splashes on! Extra paint brushes and trays would also come in handy, so please bring these if you have them available. We’ll be using a non-toxic water based paint so it should wash out of brushes.
Vacant plots at Bluebell
There are a couple of plots remaining from last year which are somewhat overgrown so are now available at half price (£10) for the rest of the year. The area down from the greenhouse (which used to be communal soft fruit) has also been marked out for normal plots. However, these plots are in a rather poor condition – very overgrown, in dire need of a *lot* of compost, uneven paths around them. They are therefore available free of charge this year for any member who wishes to tackle the work required to bring them into condition.
Please speak to Gillian or Christine if you’re interested.

Spring at last?
At last, fingers crossed, spring seem to have arrived, and there is plenty to go into the soil as it warms. If you haven’t done so already, clear the ground of weeds and rake in a layer of compost. There’s a heap alongside the path near to the Red shed. Broad beans, carrots, turnips, beetroot, parsnip, spinach, spring onions and peas of all kinds can be sown now. Seeds for these are in jars and small packets at the back of the big shed.

There are early potatoes, also in the shed, ready to go in the ground. You could even risk sowing a few dwarf French beans. However, for both potatoes and beans, once they show above the ground, be prepared to cover with fleece or similar if overnight frost is forecast.

There will be a few lettuce plants ready soon, with more to come in the next couple of weeks. Outside the greenhouse, there are strawberry plants ready for planting. These should produce fruit this year.
– Bridget

Annual Report
SLI’s Annual Report for 2016-17 has now been published.

It’s lovely to look back on all that has been achieved at both Bluebell and Marlpit and it allows us to see just how much we have grown.

Click the picture on the left to read.


General Volunteering – Every Tues. (10am-2pm) – Marlpit
Forest Gardening – Every Thurs. (10am-1pm) – Marlpit
Workshop: Scything – Tues. 24th (10am-2pm) – Marlpit
Workshop: Shitake Mushroom Growing – Thurs. 26th (10am-1pm) – Marlpit

General Volunteering – Every Tues. (10am-2pm) – Marlpit
Forest Gardening – Every Thurs. (10am-1pm) – Marlpit
Volunteer Day and Food-share – Sun. 6th (10am-1pm) – Bluebell
Training: Growing Veg Organically – Sat. 12th (10am-1pm) – Marlpit
– Note change of date from previous newsletter

General Volunteering – Every Tues. (10am-2pm) – Marlpit
Forest Gardening – Every Thurs. (10am-1pm) – Marlpit
Volunteer Day and Food-share – Sun. 1st (10am-1pm) – Bluebell
Training: Rhubarb Jam Making – Sat. 16th (from 10am) – Marlpit Community Centre
Open Day: MCG Open Day – Sat. 23rd (11am-4pm) – Marlpit