July 2017 News

Notices and information about forthcoming events. For information about what to grow, when and how, please look here on our website or contact us at sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk (mailto: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 (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

Sunday 6th August, 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.

Moira, Food Team Leader, says there is plenty of produce to make some tasty dishes. The variety of recipes is always surprising and delicious. 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. (PLEASE DON’T LEAVE YOUR DIRTY PLATES ON THE TABLE AND EXPECT SOMEONE TO WASH UP FOR YOU!)

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 (mailto:sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk) or call 01603920570 and leave a message to book.

Sunday 1st October, 10 am to 4 pm. GO2 Bluebell Open Day
This is an advance notice!
We will be renewing our subs, enjoying food and apple juice from the press, and generally making visitors and new growers welcome. More later. Offers of help most welcome. Please email Christine at admin@grow-our-own.co.uk (mailto:admin@grow-our-own.co.uk)

GO2 Bluebell Car Park
There are clearly marked three spaces for Blue Badge holders and one space for first-come-first-served, but this must have priority for elderly people, those on shed duties, or immobile for some other reason. If people park on these spaces when they do not need to, they must be asked to move. Please note, this is a gentle reminder; if the problem of unauthorised parking persists, we will have to introduce more stringent measures.
Mahesh Pant

General Gardening Tasks , GO2 Bluebell
It’s seeding time – weeds are seeding all over the place – perhaps on your and your neighbours’ plots? Please cut or strim the grass around your plots and keep the paths tidy bearing in mind also that some of our neighbours are not in our scheme and may have things to say to us about this!

There have been a few thefts of veges from neighbouring plots. If you see or hear of anything, let us know. If you see people wandering around with bags and you don’t think they are bona fide plot holders, you can always ask if you can ‘help’!

Weeding – use a hoe to keep weeds down on your strip. Regular hoeing will keep the weeds at bay.

Another predator! – the Great White butterfly is around. They lay their eggs on brassicas and the caterpillars, lovely to look at as they are, will devour every leaf. Protect your brassicas with netting.

And don’t forget to pick your produce. Several plots have lettuces that are bolting and even broad beans. Please do not waste food!

Seeds and plants Team at GO2 Bluebell


There is still time to sow seeds. Carrots, beetroot, fennel, spring onions, Swiss chard and lettuce should all give a crop in the autumn. Sow thinly and keep seedlings as weed-free and watered as possible.

There will be pak choi and kale plants ready soon alongside spicy salad leaves – mizuna, komatsuna and red mustard frills. Again, all need to be kept well-watered. And, as birds find pak choi very tasty, covering with netting as soon as it is planted is a good idea.
Bridget for Seeds and Plants team

An urgent message has come round from the Bluebell Allotments Association
On Bluebell North a person has been spotted helping himself to produce from various allotments. To make it harder for people to do this, please can you make sure that you lock the allotment gates on arriving and on leaving. It is recommended that you do this each time you enter or leave however it is particularly important early in the morning and at times when there are only a few allotmenters around. (Anyone who is legitimately on the allotment site should have a key to let themselves out, so you needn’t worry that you will be locking someone in!)

If you do see someone acting suspiciously at any time or witness a crime being committed please report it to the police. They recommend dialing 999 if the crime is in progress.
If it is possible (and safe) to take a photo of either the person or their vehicle that may be helpful.

This Sunday, 5 March – Grow-Our-Own re-opens officially for the 2017 growing season!

Spring is in the air and the growing season is upon us once more! Please come on Sunday and help get the growing season under way.

We’ll start at 10.30 with the twice-yearly tools check and there are a few tidying-up jobs. You can discuss your planting plans for the year and find out what seeds and plants will be available and when. It’s a great time to meet other growers and welcome new members.

There’ll be refreshments mid morning and the food-sharing lunch will be at 1 pm, so bring a dish (savoury or sweet) to share and join this popular occasion.

Grass cutting at GO2 Bluebell South

Italian made - Emak Efcao LR 44PK Comfort Plus LawnmowerWe’ve recently purchased petrol-powered grass and brush cutting tools for GO2 Bluebell South.
Users of the equipment will need to demonstrate competence. If you have petrol strimmer experience or would like to gain knowledge and experience of using two-stroke strimmers contact Mahesh Pant on 07969 996646 or sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk


Welcome (once more) to GO2

We haven’t made membership cards this year: last year was just an experiment.
Remember “First Sunday Food” is on 6th November at 1pm
After the “Big Shed Tidy” finishes at noon, the other team leaders will take a few minutes to explain what their team does, before the Food Team start to set up for the 1pm food-sharing lunch. We hope you’ll stay, and if you can, please bring a dish to share.
Even if you cannot be there all morning, it would be useful to be there at 12 and it would certainly be nice to come to lunch and meet other members. If it rains we’ll eat inside.


Sunday 6th March, 10:00-12:30

Great Big Tools ‘n’ Sheds Day

All welcome to help and meet The Team

Spring is just around the corner and time to get all the tools ready for the coming season.

  • Cleaning the shed
  • Checking for repairs
  • Sharpening cutting tools
  • Inventory and re-distribution of tools
  • Colour coding the tools

11.00am Coffee Break
Finish 12.00-12.30 followed by …

Food Share Lunch

Hope weather is good and we look forward to seeing everyone.

Jane Graham
tool-rack in shedTea n coffee

Bluebell GO2 Great Big End of Year Shed and Tool Day.

Sunday November 1st 10:00-12:00

Happy secateurs!

  • Sheds cleaned
  • Tools inventoried
  • Tools inspected
  • Cutting tools sharpened
  • Minor repairs as needed

All new growers welcome as we will have a short “meet & greet” afterwards.
Everyone who has put their name down for Shed and Tools, please try to come.
Coffee, tea and cake will be served – maybe scones and jam!

Look forward to seeing you all.

Jane G

Tools and Sheds Team Leader



Last Volunteering and Foodshare Day we tidied the baths!

Sunday 3 May

Next Sunday is a work morning followed by Food-sharing lunch. Please come from 10 o’clock and help with some necessary tasks, especially if you haven’t yet given any time to GO2 this year.

Welcome to new members: Ian and Karen, Felipe and Kathleen and daughter, Sharon who is going to share plots with Tracy for a herb project, and to Sandra Smith and a group from TogetherUK. They are taking two of the boxes. Please say hello if you see any of them. You can see who your neighbours are on the chart in the Centre shed.

We have a patch of fruit bushes which urgently need weeding. If you can help, and possibly even do some weeding regularly, you will be able to have some of the fruit when it’s ready.

The Plant Team would like some help constructing their new raised bed, the old one is completely rotten and about to fall to bits!

Everybody welcome – starting about 10.

All bar two of our plots are now taken! We will be starting a waiting list.



During the last week it was noticed that tools were missing from the Blue Shed. A spot check on Wednesday 8th April showed that the following tools were unaccounted for

3 Forks, 3 Spades and 2 Rakes.

This is unacceptable and unfair to the members who use the Blue shed.
Could everyone please check their areas and return any blue handled tools to the Blue shed.

Jane G.

A great big thank you

to everyone who volunteered for the Spring Tool and Shed Day on 1st March 2015.

We had a great day and much was achieved.

All sheds cleaned.
Tools were checked and sharpened: inventories showed few tools lost.
Lawnmowers cleaned and sharpened.
Roof of Yellow Shed was mended.
Area between White Shed and Storage Shed was cleared and old plastic pots removed.
Water pipe from tap to tanks was replaced.

All this hard work was followed by the food share.
So, well done to everyone and we are all ready for Spring planting season.

Jane G

Sunday 1st March, 10:00-12:30

Great Big Tools ‘n’ Sheds Day

All welcome to help and meet The Team

Spring is just around the corner and time to get all the tools ready for the coming season.

  • Cleaning the shed
  • Checking for repairs
  • Sharpening cutting tools
  • Inventory and re-distribution of tools
  • Colour coding the tools

11.00am Coffee Break
Finish 12.00-12.30 followed by Food Share Picnic
Hope weather is good and we look forward to seeing everyone.

Jane Graham
tool-rack in shedTea n coffee

We had a Team Leaders Meeting

The minutes will be on the documents page, but here are some of the main points.

Who wants a compost bin?compost-bins-detail

Ask for one – there are several left by previous growers to be re-used.

Is Your Plot Too Fat?

By the end of the growing season, some plots may have spread and now take up much of the path alongside them, which need to be 60cm (2 feet) wide. They should not be more than 1.3 metres, (we lease 1.2 by 6 metre strips). Next time we check, if paths on either side are not wide enough, wide plots may be adjusted . This is a access and safety issue.

Training Team

The main training sessions at Marlpit are fully subscribed, except pruning.

Dano, the current Team Leader has said he’s moving to Suffolk, but may visit from time to time. We need another team leader to take over. We liked the suggestion of using the idea of “skill-sharing”, instead of “training”, ie anyone could offer a skill-sharing session. What skills can people offer and what do they want to learn. Could have a regular skill-sharing slot.


We’ll start the rota for the shed open hours from 15 February. If you are not on the admin team and would like to share the rota, please let us know: admin@grow-our-own.co.uk The open hours are Sunday and Wednesday 10 – 1 pm.

Who is to maintain fruit bush areas

We have two fruit bush areas – one near the polytunnel and one behind the shed. We desperately need volunteers to maintain these areas on a share-cropping basis. The bushes have very high yields and the produce is used for jam-making. Anyone who can commit themselves over the year to keeping these areas, or one of them, tidy by weeding, can have some of the produce for their own use.
Ask admin if you wish to do this.

Last Food-share Sunday

Gluten Free Chocolate Courgette Cake Recipe Beetroot and Chocolate Muffins Recipe
Gluten Free Chocolate Courgette Cake Beetroot & Chocolate Muffins
Chocolate Courgette Muffins Recipe Gluten Free Beetroot and Chocolate Muffins Recipe
Chocolate Courgette Muffins Gluten Free Beetroot & Chocolate Muffins
Recipes from Tracy Wright

Dates for the Diary

calendarClick here for public events, such as training.
The first Sunday in March is Tool-care Day – volunteers who do this will be fed!
AGM is planned for Sunday 5th July with food-sharing at Wilberforce Road Community Centre.

Tool and Shed Day

A big thank you to everyone who volunteered.
It was really useful as we found that most of the tools were in good order and all accounted for on the inventory.
The shears and clippers were sharpened and the sheds cleaned.
There are enough hand tools to last through the winter.
We will arrange another Tool and Shed Day before the next growing season in 2015.

The GO2 Tool and Shed Tidy - click to see some photos
The GO2 Tool and Shed Tidy – click to see some photos

Jane G.

First Sunday Food Share

Over thirty of us squeezed into the Centre (Big Shed) to avoid being soaked with rain at lunchtime last Sunday.
It was the first indoor meal after a long Summer of al fresco food. New faces and old enjoyed meeting and eating a very pumpkin-rich assortment of delicious dishes.
If you have any photos or recipes from last Sunday, send them to newsletter@grow-our-own.co.uk