The SLI Annual Report 2015-16 has been published.
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.
SLI was featured in the latest edition of The Citizen, Norwich City Council’s quarterly magazine.
“The Sustainable Living Initiative hosted successful networking events over the past two summers for those involved in looking after their local open spaces, woods and parks …”
the article said.
“Held at Marlpit Community Garden – a really special site which has allotments, bees, wildflowers, fruit trees, sheep and more – it provided a chance for people to meet over refreshments”, it continued.
The Citizen is delivered to households across Norwich.Tish
See our publicity pages for earlier “mentions”.
Compared to e-mails, Facebook is a very easy and convenient form of communication as long as one has a smart phone!
SLI has an official Facebook page which is hardly used and we can change that if we want.
So, if you use Facebook, would you like to join SLI Facebook? If yes, please follow this link : https://www.facebook.com/grow.ourown.1 to join.
Once we know how many of our members are using facebook, we can then decide whether to use GO2 Facebook for regular communication. We still have to use e-mails for personal messages such as “your plot needs attention”.
Annual Members’ Meeting
at 11:30 am followed by lunch at 1pm
All GO2 Bluebell and Marlpit Community Garden members, Grow-at-Home members and regular volunteers and ordinary members of SLI are invited to attend the meeting at the Marlpit Community Centre, Hellesdon Road, NR6 5EG
Lunch will be provided, so it is important you let us know if you are staying for lunch.
Marlpit on Mustard
On a cold, wet day, Tuesday, 26th April, a team of three from Mustard TV turned up with their cameras at Marlpit Community Garden. Our regular group of Tuesday volunteers was somewhat depleted because of the weather, but Stephen ‘Fozz’ Foster interviewed a few of us and put together a short cheerful piece showing different aspects of the project. It was shown on Mustard TV on Thursday, 28th April.
Click on the picture to see the programme.
Volunteers are still needed to help on the stall.
It promises to be a very interesting and enjoyable day. Please let us know if you would like to help. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. In any case, come along if you can and enjoy the event.
16th April – Training at Marlpit
Morning session – Soil preparation and Plot planning and plant basics with Jon and Mahesh – March and April session combined.
Afternoon session with Alex – SPRING TONICS – Nettles, cleavers – Cleavers tea, nettle soup, chickweed ointment or cream.
As a member of SLI, you are eligible to benefit by buying ethically sourced, organic, fair-trade food, drinks and cleaning products from SUMA. Normally, we make one order every month and our order is delivered to a single address – at the moment our office.
To know more about SUMA and the range of products available, please follow this picture-link. →
If you are interested in joining the group or would like more information, please contact me. Any products you buy through our group are 30% cheaper than the retail price.Mahesh Pant
Sustainable Living Initiative
Marlpit Community Centre
Norwich NR6 5EG.
Tel: 01603 920570
Registered Charity Number 1154190
One Planet – Norwich – 12/13 March 2016
One Planet Norwich held an event at The Atrium from 10am-4pm on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 March.
We were there talking to people about GO2 and Sustainable Living Initiative‘s projects at Bluebell South and Marlpit Community Garden. Several of us took shifts on both days and were kept busy answering enquiries about plots and training courses.
Postponed – Learning at Marlpit
The first sessions of the 2016 Programme of Practical Gardening courses at Marlpit Community Garden on Saturday 16th January 2016 was postponed – and will be combined with Part2 on 20th February.
In Part 1 of “Growing Fruit and Vegetables“, from 10am to 1pm, Jon Darby and Mahesh Pant will talk about “Growing soft fruit and tree fruit” and “Pruning fruit trees” and in the afternoon in Part 1 of “Growing and Using Herbs“, Alex Hobbs will discuss “Infused Oils and Ointments” and “What to grow, Where to get them, Where to plant them ” – see below to book a place in February or later.
The new programme of courses for 2016 is published. Two courses will be run on the third Saturday of each month. There are morning courses titled “Growing Fruit and Vegetables” and afternoon courses titled “Growing and Using Herbs“. To find out more and sign-up, click here.
Christmas Meal Reminder- do tell us if you are coming!
The Members’ Christmas Meal will have a festive menu including a choice of soups, chicken or vegetarian dishes with plenty of roast vegetables. Please bring a dessert if you can, and a bottle if you wish – soft drinks or alcohol – the premises are licensed. We’ll have collecting tins for voluntary donations to help with the costs.
We already have offers of help from the Food Team but we will need volunteers to help with clearing up afterwards.
Please tell us whether you are coming before Friday 18th,
– we need to know numbers in advance to plan how much to harvest and to cook – and let us know if you are vegetarian.
Email Moira on the link below or phone 01603 440444 or 07855 911331Moira – The Food Team
The two SLI projects, Grow Our Own and Marlpit Community Garden, received certificates for achievement in their communities at a Norwich presentation recently.
We were among over 100 community groups from the Norwich area who are encouraged each year by the Friends of Norwich in Bloom to enter the national RHS/Britain in Bloom ‘Its Your Neighbourhood’ campaign through Anglia in Bloom.
This year’s presentation was at Brook Hotel, Bowthorpe where guests enjoyed a buffet after receiving their certificates from Brian Thornton, President of Anglia in Bloom, and guest speaker Alison Findlay, of RHS/Britain in Bloom.
Mr Thornton, in his welcome, said of the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ scheme that it was to give people recognition for what they had achieved in their area.
Grow Our Own was represented by Moira Froud and Peter Anderson, and Marlpit Community Centre by Tish Kerkham. The Bluebell GO2 award was at Level 4 – Thriving. Last year’s GO2 certificate was at Level 5 – Outstanding.
Peter commented: ‘I was pleased to attend the event, especially as I was unaware what ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ was about. Perhaps next year we could do a little more and get back our Level 5 status.’
GO2 has further involvement with the Royal Horticultural Society through its Kew Gardens wildflower seeds project, which is ongoing.
Marlpit Community Garden’s award was at Level 3 – Developing. Tish said “I think this is a fair assessment of where we are now. As a new project we have done well to receive this award.”
Call for new trustees of Sustainable Living Initiative
We currently have four Trustees but there could be nine.
There are four meetings a year and the duties are not onerous. Laura who has a plot on GO2 Bluebell and is also a SLI trustee says – she enjoys having a strategic view and being a plot-holder; her role has enabled her to have a good insight into the organisation.
For information about the trustee’s role, please follow this link: www.gov.uk/…/the-essential-trustee-what-you-need-to-know-cc3
If you are interested in becoming a Trustee, please e-mail me email@example.com, along with a copy of your CV.Mahesh
GO2 Bluebell had a great Open Day on Sunday 4 October with lots of visitors and many new growers signing up. The weather was superb and the food excellent. We took over £100 in donations towards food and about £50 in money from selling jam and chutney. Many thanks to those who helped out with renewals in the shed, those who provided food, and those who helped generally. In eight years of open days, I would say it was the best.
In addition some people helped with pressing apples and pears and those who sampled the juice must surely agree that it was delicious. Click here to see some FaceBook photos.
Welcome to several new members to GO2: Tonia, David, Lucy and three children, Jenny H, Jeremy, Olivia, Natasha and her daughter, four members from Together UK with Sandra and Tammy as Peer Support Workers, Gavin, Jacqueline, Laraine, Maria, Philip, and William. We have recently returned two whole plots to the Council so we are now concentrated on 14 plots and we number about 90 growers at Bluebell.
GO2 is like John Lewis – it is owned by its members, so we hope to see as many people as possible, and new people in particular, on 1 November at Bluebell for the tool check from 10 – 12 noon and then for a few short introductions by team leaders of compost, seeds and plants, training and skill-sharing, land and water and food teams. The team leader of the team you put as your preferred choice on your form will be in touch. After all that, it’s Food-sharing Lunch so bring something to share for lunch. We still meet even if it rains!Christine
NB: the training sessions at Marlpit Community Garden have already been arranged for 2016 so look out for the publicity. In addition Sophie will be arranging Skills-sharing sessions at Bluebell.
Everyone will now have a membership card and if you haven’t got yours, please ask when you’re next in the Bluebell Big Shed on Wednesday or Sunday mornings from 10 – 1 pm.
Please make sure and read the newsletter which is now going out fortnightly and will be for all SLI Members, including GO2 Bluebell and GO2 Marlpit. It will have announcements, events, calls to arms (tools!), and what seeds are available for planting out.
Shed closure for the winter
Please note that the Bluebell Big Shed will not be officially open from 15 November to 21 February although anyone who fancies can go there and open up. We’ll probably have a Food-sharing Lunch on the first Sunday in December, and possibly January too. These events will be in the newsletter so be sure and read your newsletter.Christine PS
A first for GO2
– a misshapen but very tasty sweet potato grown in the polytunnel at Bluebell.
We hope to have cuttings for sowing next year.
URGENT! Your plot renewal
We have sent a personally-addressed renewal e-mail to all our growers. If you have not received the e-mail, please let us know as soon as possible.
Please remember, the deadline for paying by post / BACS is 30th September; and the last chance to pay in person was on Sunday 4th October, which was also our OPEN DAY.
We were saddened to hear of the death of Alison Foss unexpectedly on Thursday 20th August 2015. The funeral was at 2:15 on Wednesday 23rd September at Earlham Cemetery.
Alison has been active at Marlpit Community Garden since it started and was the accountant for Sustainable Living Initiative since April this year.
Alison wrote the Marpit Newsletter which we send monthly and regularly contributed to our Bluebell Newsletters, with recipes , reports and even a book review. We enjoyed Alison’s company last Saturday, cooking lunch at Marlpit Community Centre.
Our condolences go to Dennis, Alison’s husband – we’ll miss her.
SLI Annual General Meeting
was on Sunday 5 July 2015
at Marlpit Community Centre NR6 5EQ
We are planning an Open Day on 4th October 2015
Can you spare some food?
If you haven’t seen this email from Bluebell North, do take a look. It’s such a worthwhile scheme running during late July and August and I’m sure lots of GO2 people would like to contribute. I’ll certainly be digging up some spuds for them.
Even very small amounts add up. All best wishes Jane (click below to read about it)
We met for the first meeting of the Lunch Club on Saturday 28th March.
Sustainable Living Initiative is looking for a Part-time Finance Officer (one-day a month). This is a paid position.
Main responsibilities include:
• Maintaining the account spreadsheet and payroll;
• Preparing budgets and financial reports for the management committee
• Preparing end of the year accounts for the Companies House and the Charity Commission.
Good knowledge of Excel essential.
Anyone interested, please contact Mahesh (firstname.lastname@example.org)Mahesh
We are organising a mini raffle for our Festive Gathering on Saturday 20th December and we are looking for donations of small gifts. Could you please bring any items to The GO2 Centre at Bluebell Allotments (a large cardboard box in the shed marked ‘donations’) or get in touch by email? Many thanks.
Keep track of events on the website at www.grow-our-own.co.uk/events/#main
GO2 Christmas Party
on Saturday 20th December at 6 pm.
at Marlpit Community Centre
Food and soft drinks provided.
Families/friends welcome but you MUST tell email@example.com before 17th December.
They’re inspecting plots now (April). If plots are weedy and neglected the Council will serve an improvement notice. And if we don’t put things right in good time we’ll lose them; the Council will give the tenancy to people on their waiting lists. So please help us to keep our plots for the GO2 community, by making sure that your plot and the area around it is in tip-top condition.The City Council inspects our plots several times a year, to check they are in good shape.
We've already received an improvement notice for a badly neglected plot (148) and more maybe on the way. We'll be organising a working group very soon to get those plots back into cultivation and we'll need your help to save the plots for our GO2 growers.
A Quiet Month for Growers
January is a quiet month on the allotment but not a completely inactive one. See below for what you can be doing now.
|Please read our Annual Report 2012-13 which is available online from our website.
You can find out what’s been happening on both Bluebell and Marlpit sites as well as all the facts and figures about our membership, money raised and money spent.Currently we have 44 plots available to rent so if you’re thinking that you’d like some extra space: maybe for soft fruits, for example, then please let us know. Also spread to word to anyone you think might be interested in joining us. Now is a good time to start gardening so that you can dig over and prepare the plot for the hectic planting season in the Spring.
|SLI Annual Report 2012-13
Just click here –
January Newsfrom the Seeds and Plants Team
|Do check out our demonstration plot opposite the greenhouse, where we’ve sown onions, garlic, broad beans and peas. We’re also experimenting with hardy outdoor lettuce and we’re growing lettuce in the polytunnel.
Harvest: Vegetables: Celery, celeriac, brussels sprouts, kohl-rabi; roots –beetroot, parsnip, swede, green leaves –oriental salad leaves. Pak choi; leeks, kale, winter cabbages and sprouting broccoli.
Don’t forget the winter herbs: rosemary, sage and thyme.
It’s too cold to sow anything outside this month. Wait till February to plant broad beans if you haven’t already sown them.
It’s too cold to plant out any plants at this time of year, unless protected under glass.
This month: January is a quiet time, the ideal time to plan for your plot in 2014. We’ll start having new season seeds and plants from February onwards.
at The Fourways Community Centre
We are celebrating the festive season with a party on Saturday 14th Dec from 4pm until 8pm.
All you growers plus your family and friends are invited. Please bring some drink and a pudding. Savouries will be provided. If you want to help with food and hall preparation from midday, you’ll be very welcome.
Note this party is NOT at the Bluebell Allotments!
The address is: The Fourways Community Centre, Stevenson Road, Norwich NR5 8TN. Tel: 01603 920147
Please ring or email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know that you are coming and how many of you there are. Also let us know if you’re coming early to help.
Seeds and plants for next season
Food for thought …
Here’s a list of the seeds and plants we’ll be offering to all growers next season, to help you plan how you’ll be using your plot. All of these are reliable varieties, tried and tested – almost guaranteed to succeed.
Beans: climbing French, dwarf French, runners (scarlet and white); broad beans. Peas: traditional, mangetout and sugar snap. Cabbage family: purple and green sprouting broccoli, calabrese, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (autumn/winter and spring), Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, kale (three sorts, to take you through the winter months), kohl-rabi. Roots: beetroot, carrots (early and late sorts, to extend the season), parsnip, radish, turnip. Courgettes and winter squashes: courgettes (three sorts – green, yellow and stripey), Sprinter squash (butternut type). Onion family: garlic, onion sets (yellow and red), spring onions. Green/salad leaves: various lettuces, Swiss chard, oriental salads, pak choi. Other plants: sweet corn. Herbs: basil, coriander, parsley (traditional English moss curled and continental flat-leaf). Potatoes: a first early salad type (Charlotte); a maincrop for those who have the space (Lady Balfour). Flowers: a selection, including marigolds, nasturtium and cosmos.
For growers who fancy a challenge, we’ll also offer on request an assortment of additional plants and seeds, such as fennel, beans for drying and unusual types of squash (we’ll provide more details of these in the next few weeks). We’ll also offer small quantities of rare heritage seeds; we’ll ask you to save some of your crop from these varieties as seeds for our community seed bank – again, we’ll provide more details of these in the next few weeks.
The seeds and plants team will also be helping to look after fruit trees and soft fruit bushes for community cropping. More details to follow shortly.
If there’s a particular variety of vegetable that you’d like to try – or that you’d like us to trial on your behalf – do please give us your suggestions! Your ideas are important to us. And do let us know which varieties of vegetable have worked well for you.
Don’t forget to check out our demonstration beds near the greenhouse and polytunnel. The first one is planted up with kale varieties, all doing well. The second one contains garlic, onions, broad beans and some experimental peas – invisible at the moment, but fingers are crossed!
Wishing everyone a productive New Year on your plots and hoping you can join us at the GO2 Centre at Bluebell Allotments for Food-share Sunday on 5th January 2014.