No Enthusiasm for Verve

With my two local suppliers no longer stocking ‘Vital Earth’ Peat-Free and Organic composts and a continuing aversion to ‘New Horizon’ products, for ethical reasons – last week, I purchased a sack of B&Q’s latest branded ‘green’ compost – ‘Verve’ peat-free multipurpose. Big mistake! Of course my first mistake was assuming this was an organic compost – how many times have I told people “if it doesn’t say it’s organic, it most likely isn’t” – and this certainly doesn’t say it is. However; being faced with a trip back to B&Q to return it, I thought I might as well open it and give it a try, just to see what it was like. Second mistake! If there was a prime candidate for the ‘pro-peat lobby’ to use as an example of why they think peat-free is bad – this has to be it. Of course I’ve no idea what it will perform like; but what a truly horrible product to use. It basically has the texture of shredded wood; complete with sizable chunks of partially decomposed wood – the largest of which I have found so-far, was about 3 inches by one inch. I have generally (and of course wrongly) ignored the warnings to wear gloves that are printed on compost bags. But in this case, I’m certainly not putting my hands in there, without protection! Checking B&Q’s website for further information, produces two customer reviews; one saying “its nice and fine ideal for seed sowing and striking cuttings” and another saying “quite probably the worst compost I have ever purchased. Very disappointing” and “It is rough with some very large pieces of shredded wood and twigs in it”, according more with my own findings. Given that one of the regular criticisms of peat-free is ‘inconsistency’, I wonder if it may perhaps be the case that I (and the second reviewer) had a dud bag and the ‘norm’ is otherwise. So, the question is, whether anyone else has bought Verve peat-free and what they have found? Certainly, the rest of mine is going to end-up as mulch in a corner somewhere and I really do not see myself recommending it to anyone else, for anything. … [Read more…]

Subscription Renewals

Your subscription is due on 1st July. The Committee have decided that we will continue to give no receipt but we do now request that you complete your renewal form and either give to a Committee member or give or post to Graham, together with your cheque or cash. To avoid problems with members saying they have paid cash but Graham has no record of it, no subscription will be accepted without the completed form. This can occur on Group nights when there is a rush and he forgets to write down the details. If you lose your renewal form, Graham will have spares available on Group nights – or one can be downloaded here. To avoid these problems, we have now decided that we will now offer the facility of Standing Orders (STO). If you wish to take advantage of this, please complete and return the STO form with your membership Renewal Form to Graham and you will be renewed automatically by your bank. There is no trouble with cancelling your STO like there is with Direct Debits. Just notify your bank that you wish to cancel it and notify Graham that you have cancelled your STO. If you use on-line banking, you can set up the STO yourself (as well as cancel it). The bank details are on the STO form and your reference will be your name. … [Read more…]