Letter to David Davis MP, expressing hopes for Brexit planning

Garden Organic, to whom we are affiliated, is one of 84 organisations who have signed a letter to David Davis, MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, and Theresa May, MP, Prime Minister, to stress the important implications of Brexit on food and farming. The UK government now has an opportunity to reshape the food and farming policies and subsidies. It is our hope that taxpayers’ money is spent on common-sense food, farming and fishing policies that are good for jobs, health and the environment.

The letter, co-signed by over 80 food, farming, fair trade, poverty, animal welfare, wildlife and environmental organisations, argues that good food, farming and fishing policies must be central to any post EU Referendum strategy for the UK.

Gozo Growing: July 2016

Back in March, I reported that Gozo was in the grips of a serious drought. This was confirmed shortly afterwards and 2015/16 was officially declared as the driest Maltese winter since records began. For us this meant employing some of the growing techniques we’d seen previously at Vincent’s Eco Farm, trial (trowel?) and error, and doing what most gardeners do… simply getting on with the job of growing and seeing what happens. Conditions certainly shortened the Spring growing season, and whilst some crops failed, it was still possible for us to cultivate others, albeit on a smaller scale or with a reduced harvest. On the plus side it did mean we didn’t have any snail or slug damage!

New post on Southend in Transition Community Allotment

26th June Taster Day Overview A beautiful day spent enjoying the sunshine and harvesting some of our produce.  The plot was buzzing with activity, with children watering every possible plant in sight and feeding them with coffee grouts.  A job much appreciated by the growing seeds and plants. With the grass cut, hedges trimmed and seedlings planted where necessary, the energy was flowing as was the delightful conversation.  Due to the wonderful turn out of attendees many jobs were completed, including decorating our tools with SiT logos and bright adornments. Of course, no plot visit would be complete without some tasty food bought along by attendees and washed down with several cups of tea and coffee.  A fine end to all the hard work and a time to get to know each other a little more.  Blissful. We look forward to seeing you at the next taster day on Sunday 10 July. … [Read more…]

Bumblebee Identification Courses: Chafford Gorges Nature Park, Essex

We thought the Bumblebee ID courses might be of interest to organic gardeners; indeed, all gardeners? They will enable anyone to undertake BeeWalks to record bumblebees in South Essex with confidence and feed into the national recording scheme, which we’re sure will appeal to many gardeners. Buglife are running two Bumblebee Identification Courses with the Essex Field Club, at Essex Wildlife Trust’s Chafford Gorges Nature Park. The Bumblebee ID course days will consist of a morning classroom session on bumblebee ecology and identification, led by the Essex invertebrate expert, Peter Harvey, followed by a walk around the site to practice the new identification skills. It will also include a session on how to use your new skills to help national bumblebee recording schemes. This is a great opportunity to learn some new skills and contribute to the conservation of bumblebees in the county. You don’t have to be a regular visitor to the site at all, as the survey methodology and recording can be used anywhere to produced valuable information for Bumblebee Conservation Trust The courses are £10, with all of this going to Essex Wildlife Trust’s Chafford  Gorges Nature Park. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided There are two workshops, but they will be the same content so you only need to go to one unless you’re especially keen! The two dates are Saturday 23rd July and Saturday 13th August, both running from 10am until 4pm To book, please call the Chafford Gorges Nature Park on 01375 484 016 … [Read more…]