November Newsletter

Notices and information about forthcoming events. For information about what to grow, when and how, please visit members’ page on our website or contact us at sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk

Thanks to those members who attended SLI AGM on Sunday 5th November at Marlpit Community Centre. The minutes of the meeting are available to members (click here).

If you have a plot in Grow-Our-Own (GO2) Bluebell and would like to know what seeds and plants are available, please read the message from the GO2 Bluebell Seed and Plant team below. As this Newsletter comes only once a month, you will find the latest information and updates on the noticeboard on site.

If you are a Grow-at-Home member or have a plot in Marlpit Community Garden (MCC), please come and see us on Tuesdays from 10 am until 3pm.  Marlpit Community Garden also has a regular volunteering session on every Tuesday from 10 am to 1 pm, followed by home-cooked lunch. All welcome!

We still have plots available on Bluebell as well as on Marlpit sites, so please do tell your friends and families who might like to have a small plot.

Finally, may I ask all GO2 Bluebell and Marlpit growers including Growing at Home members to send me a list of 10 vegetables that you would like to grow in 2018? Good quality organic seeds are expensive to produce; minimising seeds/plants waste is good for saving our money and saving the planet as well.  So far I have received only two replies!


Forthcoming events
Saturday 18th November: Training on how to grow and prune tree fruit and soft fruit, by Jon Darby and Mahesh Pant at Marlpit Community Garden, from 10 am to 1 pm.
(Course-notes are posted here.)

Sunday  3rd December,  10 am to 1 pm  Composting, Coppicing and Food-sharing lunch, at GO2  Bluebell South Allotments.

COMPOSTING
The three composting areas we have need a good tidying up and sorting prior to the winter.  Please come along and lend a hand. I’ll be there from 10am and hopefully we can sort it out within two or three hours. If you can’t make it for ten, please turn up when you can.

We’ll be weeding, strimming, moving stuff around and covering up those bays which are now full.

Thanks for your help.
 Phil, Composting Team

COPPICING
Mahesh will be running a session on coppicing – how to get your bean-poles and pea sticks free and how to make frames for climbing plants using  hazel poles and branches. If you are planning to grow  beans and peas next year, please come and learn how to harvest your beanpoles and  pea-sticks. No booking required, just turn up at 10 am.

FOOD-SHARING
As usual, at 1 pm, there will be food-sharing lunch; please bring something, preferably home-cooked food.


Christmas meal, Saturday 16 December 2017 at 1pm
We have booked Marlpit Community Centre for our Christmas meal and get together. We plan to serve Helen’s fantastic soup followed by a main meal. There will be vegetarian options. Please bring a pudding and your choice of drink. We are licensed  to bring our own alcohol.

Some help will be needed to set out tables and chairs and to prepare food. Suggested donation £5 to cover the cost of food and hall hire. If you wish to come please let Moira know by phoning 07855911331 or email food@grow-our-own.co.uk as soon as possible.
Last year was good fun and great chance to meet up. (http://grow-our-own.co.uk/christmas-lunch-2016/)


Notices

Soft-fruit plants available for free to SLI Members
Fruit bushes – raspberry, gooseberry and read/write currants plants are  available. If you are interested,  please come to GO2 Bluebell on 3rd December or to Marlpit on Tuesdays between 10  and 12.

GO2 Bluebell Shed winter schedule
Please note that from Sunday 19th of  November to Saturday 17th  February,  the main shed will not officially be attended on Wednesday and Sunday mornings. However, if you have got the main gate key and know where the toilet and big shed keys are, you can still access all our facilities on site.

Marlpit Community Garden winter schedule
From Wednesday 20th of December to Monday the 5th of February, there will be no regular volunteering session on Tuesday at Marlpit Community Garden.


Last plantings and preparation for winter
Broad beans sown in autumn are one of the first vegetables to crop in early summer. There are seeds in the big shed, and still time to sow a row or two.  There’s garlic too, ready for planting.  Garlic needs a cold period in the ground so if the weather turns wintery, just think how healthy your crop will be next year.

Preparing the ground on your plot now will give you and the crops a good start next year.  Clear any weeds and cover the ground, first with a thin layer of compost or manure and then with a mulch – cardboard or straw are best as they rot down and add organic matter.  The worms will pull the compost or manure into the soil, aerating it as they do so.

Bridget for Seeds and Plants team

October 2017

Notices and information about forthcoming events.
Welcome
First of all, a very warm welcome to both the new and renewed members of Sustainable Living Initiative (SLI). Whether you are interested in growing vegetables, fruit and herbs, or in learning about bees, wildlife and forest gardening or in improving gardening and cooking skills, you will find a lot going on.

SLI is run by volunteers; the long-term sustainability of the organisation depends on your cooperation and active participation. We currently have four Trustee vacancies. If you are interested in becoming a Trustee, please e-mail me at sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk , along with a copy of your brief CV before the AGM on 5th November.

If you have a plot in Grow-Our-Own (GO2) Bluebell and would like to know what seeds and plants are available, please read the message from the GO2 Bluebell Seed and Plant team below. As this Newsletter comes only once a month, you will find the latest information and updates on the noticeboard on site.

If you are a Grow-at-Home member or have a plot in Marlpit Community Garden (MCC), please come and see us on Tuesdays from 10 am until 3pm. Marlpit Community Garden also has a regular volunteering session on every Tuesday from 10 am to 1 pm, followed by home-cooked lunch. All welcome!

We still have plots available on Bluebell as well as on Marlpit sites, so please do tell your friends and families who might like to have a small plot.

Finally, may I ask all GO2 Bluebell and Marlpit growers including Growing at Home members to send me a list of 10 vegetables that you would like to grow in 2018? Good quality organic seeds are costly; minimising seeds/plants waste is good for saving our money and saving the planet as well!

SLI evaluation

Dear All
Your responses to last year’s evaluation of our scheme have been extremely helpful. I am planning to send another evaluation to you all in October/November and will come and talk directly to people who are happy to chat, on volunteer days. The evaluation will be used to help Mahesh and the trustees plan for future developments and to support funding applications.
Many thanks for all your help and support with this.

Roberta Manners – GO2 Bluebell Plot holder and SLI Trustee

Forthcoming events

Saturday 21st October, 10 am to 3 pm.
Volunteers from the University of East Anglia are coming to Marlpit Community Garden. SLI members are welcome to join and stay for lunch. Please let Mahesh know if you are able to come and help: sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk

Saturday 28st October, 10 – 1 pm
Cooking Authentic Nepali food, Sel Roti and vegetable curry, by Champa Neupane, Marlpit Community Centre,
Please follow this link to read about Sel Roti : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sel_roti
Booking compulsory. Please book your place (maximum 10 person): sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk.

Sunday 5th November, 12 to 2:30 pm
SLI AGM at Marlpit Community Centre
What next for SLI? It’s your say about SLI. Lunch available. Please let Mahesh know if you would like to stay for lunch after the AGM.
NB – no food-sharing at Bluebell this day

Saturday 18th November, 10 – 1 pm
Training on how to grow and prune tree fruit and soft fruit, with Jon Darby and Mahesh Pant at Marlpit Community Garden.
Please book by sending an email to sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk

Notices

Growing fruit and vegetables: an introductory training course at GO2 Bluebell on Sunday 15th October
On Sunday 15th October, about seven new growers turned up for an excellent introduction to basic gardening techniques from Mahesh and Jon Darby of Easton Horticultural College. We covered preparation of soil, dealing with weeds, compost and muck, whether or not to go for raised beds (best not!), crop rotation and only planting ‘easy to grow’ crops in the first year. After that we had a digging demonstration which obviously helped a few people get going on their plots. Many of these subjects will be taken up later in the year at sessions at Marlpit so watch out for details, and don’t miss them!! Those interested then had an introduction to using the petrol strimmer.

The Bluebell Model Allotment Association has sent round notice that Bluebell North is seeing a lot of rats. If you notice rats on our site, please let us know.
Christine Wilson, GO2 Bluebell Admin Team

GO2 Bluebell Shed Winter Schedule
Please note that from Sunday 19th November to Saturday 17th February, the main shed will not officially be attended on Wednesday and Sunday mornings. However, if you have got the main gate key and know where the toilet and big shed keys are, you can still access all our facilities on site.

Autumn planting at Bluebell
Broad beans can be sown any time from now until November, to give a crop in late spring next year. There are broad bean seeds, Super Aquadulce and some heritage varieties, in the big shed.

Garlic and overwintering onions are also in the big shed. Onions can be planted from now until November. Garlic is best planted from late October into November. There are planting instructions for all in the big shed, on the window and in a file on the table.
Bridget for Seeds and Plants team.

September Newsletter

Notices and information about forthcoming events. For information about what to grow, when and how, please visit members’ page or contact sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk.

If you have a plot in Grow-Our-Own (GO2) Bluebell and would like to know what seeds and plants are available, please read the message from the GO2 Bluebell Seed and Plant team below. As this Newsletter comes only once a month, you will find the latest information and updates on the noticeboard on site.

If you are a Grow-at-Home member or have a plot in Marlpit Community Garden (MCC), please come and see us on Tuesdays from 10 am until 3pm.  Marlpit Community Garden also has a regular volunteering session on every Tuesday from 10 am to 1 pm, followed by home-cooked lunch. All welcome!

Forthcoming events

Sunday 24th September: World River Day organised by Norwich Rivercare Group, at Marlpit Community Centre from 12:30 to 4 pm.
Marlpit Community Garden will be hosting the visitors during the day and we need volunteers to welcome the visitors. Please contact Mahesh – sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk, if you are able to help.

Sunday 1st October: GO2 Open Day, Bluebell South allotments, 11 am – 3 pm
Time to renew your annual membership, apple pressing, stalls, refreshments; bring friends and family!

Would anyone like to help with renewals? We have one person each hour from 10 – 2 but it’s helpful to have a second person and we need people from 2 – 3. We may have visitors interested in taking a plot so they need showing round. Please email Christine if you can help: admin@grow-our-own.co.uk

Sunday 15th October: Basic gardening techniques and strimmer demo at GO2, 10 am – 12 pm
This session is a must for new growers!  it is free but booking is essential.
Basic gardening techniques and important things to know how to get the best out of your plot. Also for those interested: how to use the power tools such as petrol strimmer.  Please book your place by emailing to: sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk

Tuesday 19th October:  10 am to 3 pm.
Norwich Union (Aviva) team coming to Marlpit to help with the conservation work.  Any help from our members is appreciated. Members will get free lunch.

Saturday 28th October: Cooking Nepali food, Marlpit Community Centre, 10 – 1 pm
Details later.
Please let Mahesh  know in advance if you would like to come: sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk

Sunday 5th November: SLI AGM at Marlpit Community Centre, 12 to 3 pm
What next for SLI? It’s your say about SLI. Refreshments available.  Details later.
NB – no food-sharing at Bluebell this day

 Notices

IMPORTANT NOTICE, PLEASE READ!

All GO2 Bluebell and Marlpit Community Garden plot holders should have received a personal email about plot renewal. If you have not received an e-mail from Sustainable Living Initiative, please let me know as soon as possible.

Thank you for your cooperation.
Mahesh Pant
e-mail: sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk
Tel: 01603 920570

Autumn planting at Bluebell

There will be lettuce, red mustard frills and giant red mustard plants available from the covered stand outside the greenhouse.  Lettuces planted now will stay small all winter but, with fleece protection if possible, will start growing in early spring to give an early crop.  The red mustards should keep growing through the winter, giving leaves to pick in all but the coldest weather.

Broad beans seeds can be sown any time from now until November, to give a crop in late spring next year.  The trick is to get the new plants big enough to survive the cold, but not so big that they are rocked by the wind.  I’ll be sowing mine in mid-October, depending on the weather.  There are broad bean seeds, variety Super Aquadulce, in the big shed.

Garlic and overwintering onions will be arriving soon in the big shed.  Onions can be sown from now until November.  Garlic is best planted from late October into November.  There are planting instructions for all in the big shed, on the window and in a file on the table.
 Bridget for Seeds and Plants team.

August Newsletter

Notices, and information about forthcoming events.

If you have a plot in Grow-Our-Own (GO2) Bluebell and would like to know what seeds and plants are available, please read the message from the GO2 Bluebell Seed and Plant team below. As this Newsletter comes only once a month, you will also find the latest information and updates on the noticeboard on site.

If you are a Grow-at-Home member or have a plot in Marlpit Community Garden (MCG), please come and see us on Tuesdays from 10 am until 3pm.  Marlpit Community Garden also has a regular volunteering session on every Tuesday from 10 am to 1 pm, followed by home-cooked lunch. All welcome!

Forthcoming events

Saturday 19th August, 10 am 1 pm.  Indian cooking with Viji, at Marlpit Community Centre.
This session is free to all SLI members but booking is essential; there will be charge for non-members. Please e-mail sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk or call 01603920570 and leave a message to book.

Tuesday 22nd August, 10 am to 3 pm.
Norwich Union (Aviva) team coming to Marlpit to help with the conservation work.  Any help from our members will be appreciated. Members will get free lunch.

Sunday 3rd September, 10 am to 1 pm.  General maintenance tasks  and food-sharing lunch, at GO2  Bluebell South Allotments.
Just a reminder about our regular volunteering day, we would like more helping hands to carry out a number of essential maintenance tasks. At the last volunteering day on 6th August, hardly anyone came but there were over 20 people at food-sharing lunch!

Amy from the Food Team says, it would make everything easier if you could bring your own utensils and take them home with you. If you use the utensils from the shed, please wash up using the facility available on site.  Help with clearing up after lunch is always welcome.

Sunday 10th September, 12-30 to 3:30 pm, Vintage cycle rally at Marlpit Pub, Hellesdon Road.
SLI will have a stall at the event and will be selling  vegetarian food, cakes, jams and honey.  If you could help in cooking or running  stall, please let Mahesh know: sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk

Tuesday 12th September,  10 am to 3 pm.
Norwich Union (Aviva) team coming to Marlpit to help with the conservation work.  Any help from our members will be appreciated. Members will get free lunch.

Sunday 1st October, 11am to 3pm: GO2 Open Day, Bluebell South allotments

Time to renew your annual membership, apple pressing, stalls, refreshments, bring friends and family! There will be plots available. Please contact Christine if you can help: admin@grow-our-own-co.uk

Sunday 15th October, 10 am – 1pm: Basic gardening techniques and strimmer demo at GO2
This session is a must for new growers!
Basic gardening techniques and important things to know how to get the best out of your plots. Also for those interested: how to use the power tools such as petrol strimmer. Please book your place by emailing to: sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk

Saturday 21st October, 10am to 1pm: Cooking and preserving, Marlpit Community Centre
Cooking using seasonal produce. Please inform Mahesh in advance if you want to go: sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk

Sunday 5th November, 12 to 3pm: SLI AGM at Marlpit Community Centre
What next for SLI? It’s your say about SLI. Refreshments available.  Details later.
NB – no food-sharing at Bluebell this day

 Notices

Late summer seeds and plants at Bluebell
There’s still time to sow a few seeds.  If sown now, Swiss chard and red
mustard frills will both grow during the autumn and winter months and
provide you with cut-and-come-again leaves to add to soup or a stir fry.

It’s also time to get the soil ready for autumn sowings of broad beans,
garlic and overwintering onions.  Once the summer crops have been gathered, think about sowing a green manure.  If sown now the plants will germinate quickly and grow fast to protect the bare soil.  When dug in they add organic matter to the soil.  Digging in can be in a couple of months, ready for autumn sowing, or in early spring as the soil warms up.  There are packets of buckwheat and phacelia seeds on the table at the back of the shed.

There will be a few spring cabbage plants outside the greenhouse at the end of August and overwintering lettuce plants in early September.  Both will need protection, the first with netting to stop the pigeons, the second with fleece during the cold winter months.
Bridget, for Seed and Plant Team at GO2 Bluebell

June Newsletter

with notices, and information about forthcoming events. For information about what to grow, when and how, please click here.

If you have a plot in Grow-Our-Own (GO2) Bluebell and would like to know what seeds and plants are available, please read the message from the GO2 Bluebell Seed and Plant team below. As this Newsletter comes only once a month, you will find the latest information and updates on the noticeboard on site.

If you are a Grow-at-Home member or have a plot in Marlpit Community Garden (MCC), please come and see us on Tuesdays from 10 am until 3pm.  Marlpit Community Garden also has a regular volunteering session on every Tuesday from 10 am to 1 pm, followed by home-cooked lunch. All welcome!

Forthcoming events

Saturday 24th June, 12 to 4 pm, Marlpit Community Garden Open Day, at Marlpit Community Garden.
Our own honey and home-made gooseberry jam, summer fruit and plants for sale,  a tour of the forest garden and bee-hive viewing,  are some of the attractions.
Look forward to seeing you all tomorrow.

Sunday  02nd  July,  10 am to 1 pm,  General maintenance tasks  and food-sharing lunch, at GO2  Bluebell South Allotments.
Thanks to all those who helped with improving the path leading to small picnic area. We would like more people to join this time as well.

Saturday 15th July, 10 am to 1 pm, Practical Gardening Training on pests and diseases, by Jon Darby and Mahesh Pant at Marlpit Community Garden, followed by lunch at the Marlpit Community Centre at 1 pm.
This is a must for all organic growers and it is free for all our members. Please let Mahesh know (sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk)   if you would like to attend the training.

Saturday 15th July, 1 pm to 4:30 pm,  Food Production, Forest Garden Workshop by Aaron Wheaton at Marlpit Community Garden.
This workshop will start with lunch at the Marlpit Community Centre  followed by the workshop.  Topics for discussion include:

  • forest gardening as a sustainable food production system.
  • growing more edible perennials.
  • producing food within a self-contained low energy input system.
  • Tips and advice on plants that have more uses than you might think for you to use on your own plots.

Please let Mahesh know (sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk)   if you would like to attend the workshop. It is free for all our members.

Notices

Seeds and plants Team at GO2 Bluebell
Seeds
There is still time in June to sow seeds for a crop later in the year.  Beetroot, carrots, dwarf French beans, lettuce, Swiss chard and perpetual spinach seeds are all available in the big shed.   Water the ground before and after you sow and, when they emerge, keep the seedlings well watered.

Plants
When clearing broad bean plants, cut the stems to ground level so that the roots are left behind.  The tiny nodules on the roots will add nitrogen to the soil.   It’ll leave the ground a bit rough but, with the addition of compost, it’s an ideal place for planting kohl rabi, kale, purple sprouting broccoli or Brussel sprouts.  These are a limited number of these on the table alongside the greenhouse.  Later, in July, there will be fennel, pak choi and more salad plants.

Bridget for Seeds and Plants team

May Newsletter

with notices, and information about forthcoming events. For information about what to grow, when and how, please visit members’ page or contact us at sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk.

If you have a plot in Grow-Our-Own (GO2) Bluebell and would like to know what seeds and plants are available, please read the message from the GO2 Bluebell Seed and Plant team below. As this Newsletter comes only once a month, you will find the latest information and updates on the noticeboard on site.

If you are a Grow-at-Home member or have a plot in Marlpit Community Garden (MCC), please come and see us on Tuesdays from 10 am until 3 pm.  Marlpit Community Garden also has a regular volunteering session on every Tuesday from 10 am to 1 pm, followed by home-cooked lunch. All welcome!

Forthcoming events
Sunday 04 June,  10 am to 1 pm:  Central path improvement and food-sharing lunch, at GO2  Bluebell South Allotments.
Thanks to all those who helped with weeding and clearing various strips by the greenhouse on  first  Sunday in May. It was a very good turnout!

This time, we are hoping to improve the central path.  Also the grass is growing fast now and about to sends its seeds everywhere, so we all need to clear our paths.

Saturday 17th June, 10 am to 1 pm, Cooking using seasonal produce, at Marlpit Community Centre.
Please let Mahesh know (sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk)   if you would like to cook or learn how to cook.

Saturday 24th June, 12 to 4 pm, Marlpit Community Garden Open Day, at Marlpit Community Garden.
Please let Mahesh know (sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk) if you are able to make cakes, organise activities and help with general tasks on the day.

Notices
Admin Team at GO2 Bluebell
Rita will be arranging the next rota. If you’d like to help by spending a Wednesday or Sunday morning, please let us know: admin@grow-our-own.co.uk.   It is a nice thing to do as you get to meet people and find out what’s going on.

Water, water everywhere?? Not always. It’s very important for everyone that the hose is connected to the tap by the carpark and that the tap is on. Sunday the week before, some tanks were nearly empty and not filling. This was because the big tank behind the shed was not sufficiently full and so it wasn’t feeding through to the smaller tanks. If the dry weather continues we will all be using more water. When you arrive/leave, please check that the hose is attached and the tap is on, provided that another plot holder isn’t using it of course! Valves in the large tank will stop the flow when it’s full. There are instructions for the watering system on the small tanks and in the shed.
Christine, Admin team Leader

Seeds and plants Team at GO2 Bluebell
The very end of May and beginning of June bring the promise of frost free nights and so the time to plant the tender crops that have been sheltering in the GO2greenhouse.  If it stays mild, the first few courgettes and beans will go out onto the tables beside the greenhouse over the bank holiday weekend.  There will be many more to come during June, so there’s no hurry.  We’ll add butternut squash, sweetcorn, climbing French and Borlotti beans, leek and salad plants as they become ready.

Courgette and squash plants grow large so give them plenty of room to grow.  They are also hungry plants so add a good spadeful of muck or compost to the planting hole, and water in well.

Runner beans, Borlotti and climbing French beans are grown vertically, so take up less space.  A mixture of plants grown on a wigwam of poles will give colourful display, and a variety of tasty beans, over a long period.

If you’re not sure how far apart or how deep to plant, look at the grower guides displayed in the big shed.
Bridget for Seeds and Plants team

Finally, do you want to be able to use a petrol strimmer? If so, training will be available on Sunday 4thof June between 11:30 and 1 pm at GO2 Bluebell South Allotments (subject to enough people signing up). Please let Mahesh know (sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk)  if you are interested.

April News

 Dear SLI Members
This is your April Newsletter with notices, and information about forthcoming events. For information about what to grow, when and how, look here on the website or contact us at sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk.
If you have a plot in Grow-Our-Own (GO2) Bluebell and would like to know what seeds and plants are available, please read the message from the GO2 Bluebell Seed and Plant team below. As this Newsletter comes only once a month, you will find the  latest information and updates on the noticeboard on site.
If you are a Grow-at-Home member or have a plot in Marlpit Community Garden (MCC), please come and see us on Tuesdays from 10 am until 2 pm.  Marlpit Community Garden also has a regular volunteering session on every Tuesday from 10 am to 1 pm, followed by home-cooked lunch. All welcome!


SLI Evaluation Findings
Thank you so much for your views and ideas about SLI. What a positive response! The evaluation report can be found at http://grow-our-own.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/SLI-evaluation-report-by-RM.pdf
Some of your suggestions have begun to be implemented – particularly the ones that don’t need immediate additional funding.   For example

  • A monthly volunteering morning has been re-introduced at Bluebell
  • There is a permanent notice board at Bluebell
  • The email newsletter has returned
  • Information about the project went out in “The Citizen” and new leaflets have been designed.
  • There are training sessions for all members at Marlpit Community Centre on the 3rd Saturday of the month.
  • Plans for improved signage are underway.

If you have particular comments to make about the evaluation findings and/or ideas about tackling the “Challenges for the Future” of SLI please contact Mahesh or one of the trustees.
Roberta Manners


Forthcoming events
Sunday 7th May:  Maintenance and food-sharing lunch at GO2Bluebell
Volunteering morning helping with general maintenance around the site. We look forward to seeing as many people as possible. There will be refreshments at 11 and the food-sharing lunch will take place at 1 pm. If you intend staying for lunch, and we hope you will, please bring a dish to share. You can use some produce from your plot if you have any, or cook up some beans or grains, or make a salad or dessert. All contributions are welcome and if you’ve been coming for some time, you’ll know what culinary surprises can turn up! If you don’t know what to bring, good bread is nice. You can ask us for some ideas as there are plenty of things that are inexpensive and easy! See you then!
Christine Wilson

Saturday 20th May: Growing Vegetables Organically at Marlpit Community Garden, 10 am. – 1 pm.
Whether you are a novice grower or a grower with some experience, this session is a must. The session will cover topics like plant family, crop rotation, growing from seed, looking after you plants and seed-saving techniques.  This session will be jointly run by Jon Darby (horticulture lecturer) and Mahesh Pant.

Saturday 20th May:  Herbal Medicine Workshop at Marlpit Community Garden, 1 – 4:30 pm.
Dan Wheals, Medical Herbalist will run a herbal medicine workshop which will talk about herb growing tips and cultivating culinary herbs, making herbal remedies and take-home creams.

Both sessions are free to all SLI members; please book to reserve your place by sending an e-mail to: sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk


Notices
Admin Team at GO2 Bluebell
Welcome to several new members, the youngest being five weeks old! We still have a few plots if you have any friends who are interested.

Seeds and plants Team at GO2 Bluebell
The first salad plants – lettuce, mibuna, mizuna and red mustard frills – will be available for growers from Sunday 23rd April.  They will be on the open table alongside the greenhouse.  Take just a few plants; there will be more to come in the weeks ahead.
There are Lady Balfour potatoes to plant and plenty of seeds to sow now.  Small packets of radish, turnip, beetroot, spinach, carrot, spring onion and parsnip seeds are on the table at the back of the shed.
If you’re unsure about how to sow or plant ask whoever is on duty in the shed.  Or look at the growing guides available for each crop.  These are displayed in the window of the shed, or on the table at the back.
Bridget, for Seed and Plant team

Composting Team at GO2 Bluebell
Thanks to all who came and helped with the composting on 2nd April. This has opened up two compost heaps which have been labelled, so if your soil level is low, you can add to it.
Phil Young

Main picnic area – with planting-bathtubs.

WWW – wildlife welcomes weeds

Compost ready to be used – in the main composting area

Compost ready to be used – near the “crossroads”

Active compost heap near the Red Sheds

 

A small picnic area near the Red Sheds

Bluebell Grow Our Own

Shed Opening Hours

The centre shed is now not officially open on Wednesday and Sunday mornings until mid February, although some of us will probably be up there on those days. You can go in the shed with a key of course, but please remember to put the keys back in their place!

Strawberry plants:
We’ve been given a lot of strawberry plants. If you want some, they are outside the polytunnel. Help yourself!

Tools and sheds day in early November:
This seems to have been very good and thanks to all who turned up to help.

Vacant plots:
We still have some vacant plots. Please tell your friends and show anyone interested around. To be allocated a plot, please email admin@grow-our-own.co.uk or ring 920570 or 07969 996646.


PS

More news soon…

Plants for Marlpit growers to use

A lot of plants are now available; please come and see us on Tuesday from 10 to 3, or look out for plants left outside the greenhouse. Please do not take plants from inside the greenhouse without asking us.
Last chance to sow potatoes! We still have a lot of potato seed available – both early as well as main crop, but time is running out. If you need more space to grow potatoes, please let me know, I will find an extra plot free of charge.

Mahesh

Seeds and plants at GO2 Bluebell

If you haven’t already planted your early potatoes, now is the time. There are still plenty of Orla seed potatoes ready chitted available from the GO2 big shed. Main crop potatoes will arrive by the end of the month so save a space for a few of those.

There are seeds of the most popular vegetables on the table at the end of the big shed. Carrots, beetroot, turnips, radishes, spinach, parsnips and all kinds of peas can all be sown now, in well-watered drills. Don’t forget to give peas netting or chicken wire protection from the birds.

The first plants – lettuce, mizuna and mibuna – will be available outside the polytunnel on Sunday. If you miss them look on the shelves just inside the polytunnel where they’ll be put for safe-keeping at the end of the morning.

We’re busy sowing tender seeds – courgettes and squashes and the like – in the GO2 greenhouse. They, along with runner beans, sweet corn and climbing French beans, will be ready as plants once the risk of frost has gone, usually the last week in May or even early June. The tender plants on sale now in garden centres can be very tempting but be warned, with frost forecast next week, even cloche protection is unlikely to keep them safe.

For now, the sun is shining, there’s plenty to sow and plant, and to look forward to.

Bridget for Seed and Plant Team

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Planting Snowdrops

On Tuesday 5th April we planted 1000 native snowdrops at Marlpit Community Garden with the help of four young volunteers from Earlham Academy and C.N.S. school. The youngsters worked hard to prepare the ground which was thick with nettles and couch grass.
We chose sites behind the bugs hotel, round young apple trees near the container and under trees in the forest garden for the snowdrops.
As well as giving us a wonderful display to enjoy, the flowers will provide a rich source of nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinators on mild days in late winter and early spring – the time of year when flowers are scarce and food may be hard to find.

preparing the groundplanting snowdropsclearing couch grass

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Growing Information for March

General Tasks

Continue digging, cover bare grounds with compost or cardboard.
Mulch around the base soft-fruit using compost or dried materials.
Cover all brassicas and spinach plants with suitable netting (to protect from wood-pigeons)

Sow/Plant

Broadbeans, Beetroot, Onion Sets, Parsnips, Pea, Radish, Turnip, Spinach, Oriental Salad, Raspberries, Strawberries and First Early Potato (after mid-March depending on weather)

Harvest

Chard, Kale, parsnips, leek, Brussels sprouts, purple sprouting broccoli, spring greens.

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News from the Seeds and Plants Team at Bluebell South.

As the weather continues to be wintry the soil temperature is still too cold for sowing any seeds as they are unlikely to germinate.
Later in the month when hopefully the weather is more spring-like, the soil temperature should be warm enough to start sowing hardy vegetables like Beetroot, Broad Beans, Parsnips, late Garlic, Radish and Turnips. The seeds will be made available at the back of the Green Shed.
It is still a good time to plant soft fruit bushes – Gooseberries, red and black currants and autumn-fruiting Raspberries – see our Encyclopedia.

Tessa

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Local History

Cecile Bidet,  the owner of The Marlpit Arms pub, due to open later this year, planted a mulberry tree in our forest garden in memory of Mary Ann Cross who ran the Lower Farm, which included the site of Marlpit Community Garden, from 1854 to 1876

Cecile Bidet, owner of The Marlpit Arms, planting a mulberry tree in our forest garden in memory of Mary Ann Cross.


Cecile Bidet, the owner of The Marlpit Arms pub, due to open later this year, planting a mulberry tree in our forest garden in memory of Mary Ann Cross who ran the Lower Farm, which included the site of Marlpit Community Garden, for twenty two years from 1854 to 1876.
Cecile, who has been researching into the history of the pub, discovered that it was originally the farmhouse. When Mary Ann’s husband, John Cross, died in 1854, she stepped in and ran the farm until her infant son, James, came of age.
“Of the 7000 farmers in Norfolk at that time only 3 per cent were women,” Cecile said. “I think planting a tree is a good way to honour her.”

The pub was originally the farmhouse, and when Mary Ann's husband, John Cross, died in 1854, she stepped in and ran the farm until her infant son, James, came of age.

The pub was originally the farmhouse, and when Mary Ann’s husband, John Cross, died in 1854, she stepped in and ran the farm until her infant son, James, came of age.

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LOTS MORE TREES TO PLANT

The orchard is now quite extensive, with apples and pears on the south and plums and gages on the north. The Forest Garden is in the distance.

The orchard is now quite extensive, with apples and pears on the south and plums and gages on the north. The Forest Garden is in the distance.


Orchard and Forest Gardening Tree Planting

Nine people turned out on Saturday, 23rd January to plant trees in the orchard and Frest Grden at Marlpit Community Garden.
Lunch was rice, dahl and cake, provided by Amy, and was very welcome.

We made a good start, planting English varieties of apples, pears, plums and gages to replace those trees that had succumbed to attack by muntjac deer, or not made it from last year for other reasons. All the fruit trees have since been supplied with tree guards against the deer.

Leptospermum scoparium, Manuka Myrtle

Leptospermum scoparium, Manuka

Planting continued all week in the forest garden of more exotic trees and shrubs and is now complete. The trees planted were mulberry, peach, persimmon, almond, cherry, Siberian pea tree, sweet chestnut, yellowhorn and blue beans. Shrubs were chokeberry, goji, jostaberry, Worcesterberry, bog myrtle and manuka and also three varieties of grapevine.

Lycium barbarum, Goji Big Lifeberry - bears red fruit to be eaten fresh. The young shoots and leaves may be cooked as a vegetable

Lycium barbarum, Goji Big Lifeberry – bears red fruit to be eaten fresh. The young shoots and leaves may be cooked as a vegetable

The fruit and nuts from these trees and shrubs will provide us with familiar and new tastes which should result in some interesting additions to our dishes and preserves in a year or two.

The leaves and nuts from bog myrtle are used to flavour dishes and wax from the leaves can be used to make candles.

Tish
The first crocus to flower in the Forest Garden, 'Cream Beauty', photographed on 25th January.

The first crocus to flower in the Forest Garden, ‘Cream Beauty’, photographed on 25th January.

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Overwintering Vegetables at GO2 BluebellBluebell-members

There are a couple of weeks left to plant overwintering vegetables before the weather gets colder, Broad Beans and Onions are available in the Green shed, the Garlic is finished now but can be planted in spring, anyone who has missed out this Autumn please let me know and more can be ordered for spring planting.

icon-onions-guideicon-broad-beans-guideInformation on how to plant the broad beans and  onions is available on the website, in the Green Shed and in the Planting Manual.

Tessa

MCG Winter planting MCG-button-logo-icon

Broad beans, garlic and onions are available in the container at Marlpit Community Garden.

Tish

10th November 2015

Chris and Teresa planting trees
TREE PLANTING AT MARLPIT

Tuesday turned out to be a lovely mild day for the group that gathered to plant trees round the borders of Marlpit Community Garden. They were “whips” donated by the Woodland Trust. One team concentrated on clearing undergrowth and planting a mixture of hawthorns, rowans and cherry trees. Others focused on clearing round previously planted trees and planting dogwood near the entrance. We also have hazel trees to join those already established at the far end of the site and birches that we can use to start a small birch grove.

After a busy morning the group enjoyed a relaxing meal.
A welcome lunch break

LOTS MORE TREES TO PLANT…

TREE PLANTING DAYS

TUESDAY 17TH NOVEMBER

SATURDAY 28TH NOVEMBER (On this day please bring a dish to share)


MARLPIT MULCH

Cardboard needed for mulching in the Forest Garden at Marlpit Community
Garden. If you have non-shiny cardboard please bring it along after 10am
on a Tuesday or Saturday morning. Thank you.

Tish

SPRING BULBS

bulb-planting

Mark Sorrell planting bulbs

bulb-planting-Crocus-Cream_Beauty

Crocus vernus var. “Cream Beauty”

Volunteers at Marlpit Community Garden planted 1,500 crocus bulbs on Tuesday 3rd November. The bulbs, 1000 tommasinius and 500 cream beauty were chosen as being particularly appealing to bees and will provide our honey bees with nectar and pollen on warm days in early spring. Most of the bulbs were planted near to the bee sanctuary and others will brighten up the entrance to the garden.

bulb-planting-Crocus_tommasinianus

Crocus tommasinianus (Woodland Crocus, Tommasini’s Crocus, early crocus)

Tish

 

TREE PLANTING

A few of us met to plant trees at Marlpit Community Garden on Tuesday 10 November 2015.
Click on any photo and see a slideshow.

Trees ready for planting at Marlpit Community Garden

Trees ready for planting – the plan is Dogwood by the gate; Hazel in the coppice; Hawthorn, Rowan and birch in the hedges.

These are the spiral tree-guards.

Corylus avelana, Hazel to plant for coppicing in years to come.
Possibly Cherry?

Possibly Cherry?

Very young whips of Cornus sanguinea, Common Dogwood, to be planted near the gate.

Betula pendula, Birch will be used in the hedge and herbally.

Very young saplings are known as “whips”.

Sorbus aucuparia, Rowan – food for bees and birds.

What did I find in this discarded crisp bag?

Clearing up litter by the dung heap, what's this?

Clearing up litter by the dung heap, what’s this?

Lunch was provided by Mahesh and enjoyed by all present. As it was still sunny, we ate in the shade of the shelter and enjoyed the view of trees and horses and occasional birds (see Chris Keene’s item on the blog.)

Jim

Growing Information for October

General Tasks

Clear all plots without any outstanding crops and prepare the soil for overwintering crops.
Draw up soil around brassica (kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, purple sprouting broccoli) plants to provide support to the plant; mulch around the plant base using compost or dried materials.
Cover all brassicas and spinach plants with suitable netting (to protect from wood-pigeons)
Cover empty plot (plot without any overwintering crop) with layers of cardboard or black polythene sheet (not carpet).

Sow/Plant

Garlic, onion-sets, broadbean.

Harvest

French Beans, Runner Beans, Beetroot, Carrots, Courgettes, Cucumber, Lettuce, Marrow, Radish, Rocket, Chard, Potato, Sweetcorn, Swisschard, Turnips, Kale.
Fruit – Raspberries.

 

Bluebell GO2 Skills-sharing session, Sunday 18th October 2015, 11 to 12am

conundrumOur skill-sharing sessions are informal and friendly meetings where we exchange tips and advice. This time we’ll talk about what to plant this autumn and how to prepare the ground for next season. It will also be an opportunity to review our successes and failures of this summer, taking good note of them for next year.
Tea and cakes provided!calendars-page
You can’t make this date? Don’t worry, come to our shared lunch on Sunday 1st November. Many people will be there, able to answer your questions.

Sophie

Winter planting

Now is the time to plant overwintering crops  - any uncultivated areas can be sown with green manure, which might be part of your crop rotation plan).At Marlpit garlic, onions and broad beans are available in the container along with sowing information. At GO2, Bluebell South, garlic, onions and broad beans are available in the Big Green Shed at the back with sowing information. and the Planting Manual. Click here for more information on our website about planting. We have three types of green manure this year, packets are on the plastic hanger at the back of the Shed – ask if in doubt.

Tessa

What to plant on your plot in July.

Perpetual Spinach and Carrots seeds can be sown in early July but it’s really too late for the other crops.
Courgettes, Squashes, Sweetcorn, Brassica and salad plants are available outside the polytunnel and between the greenhouse and poly tunnel, new plants are put out weekly, so keep checking what is ready to plant.
When planting all these plants remember they grow much larger so don’t put them too close together. During hot weather it is better to give them a lot of water twice a week rather than a little often.
The Brassicas – that is broccoli, sprouts, cauliflower and kale – all need to be covered in net to protect them from the birds.

More information on the website and planting manual in the green shed.

Tessa

Help!

Dear growers, we need your help. Large numbers of plants have gone missing from the green house and poly tunnel area. We are not talking about the odd half dozen here; for example, we have sown 180 sweet corn, at least half of which have disappeared.plant-thief

Whole trays of lovingly sown and tended plants are being taken.

So, please, if you see anyone helping themselves to large amounts of our plants, do ask, politely, if s/he is a member of our scheme and explain what has happened.


Spare brassicas

Rochelle has some spare white cabbages, purple sprouting broccoli, and kale plants in her council plot and would like to pass them on.

They need to be lifted and transplanted at the same time, so if you would like some, please email her to arrange a time to do it: rochelle.wilson1@googlemail.com

Rochelle Wilson

Plants for your plot

Courgette seedling 3 weeksThis weekend (the last of May 2015) courgette, squash, runner bean, and sweet corn plants will be available for planting out on your plots There will be an ongoing supply of plants

runner-beanPLEASE remember there are over 160 other growers and only take 2 courgette or squash plants and not more than 4 runner bean or sweetcorn plants.

sweetcornFor a constant supply of beans during the summer, you can sow beans straight onto your plot, so prolonging your crop.

Check how far apart to space your plants on the shed window or in the plant manual, or ask someone on duty.

Tessa

Important message!

The plants between the greenhouse and polytunnel ARE NOT READY FOR PLANTING they are ‘hardening off’ and are very vulnerable to late frosts, those ready for planting are in front of the polytunnel.

Tessa