Nick Bali’s Warre Beehive

Nick Bali’s Warre beehive on 29 August 2011. He said “it’s nearly finished; it just needs 4 legs (easy) and 3 windows (not so easy) – I’ve decided not to use paint. It’s just had its second coat of oil.” To quote from an article by David Heaf, the Warre beekeeping expert in the U.K., Permaculture Magazine No 61… ” Warre beekeeping is far less intrusive than the conventional method; the only time the hive is disturbed is for a few minutes once yearly when a portion of their honey is removed. This means that the hive maintains a constant temperature and, most importantly, ends the practice of robbing colonies of most of their valuable nutritional reserves and replacing them with sugar syrup, which lacks the minerals, nutrients and other bee health- promoting substances found in honey.” … [Read more…]

Leading insurer lends its support

Rural insurer NFU Mutual is delighted to announce a new affinity partnership with SE Essex Organic Gardeners. From 1st September 2011, NFU Mutual in Chelmsford will work with the SE Essex Organic Gardeners, initially sponsoring Apple Day in October.  Clare Withall, Agent for NFU Mutual comments, “We are thrilled to work more closely with SEEOG.  NFU Mutual recognises the need to play an activity part in community life and we hope that SEEOG members will find the relationship of real benefit. Ron Bates, Chair, SEEOG said, “SEEOG is pleased to enter a partnership with NFU Mutual, who have a fine tradition of providing comprehensive home, garden and other insurances.” For more information contact NFU Mutual today.  Call Clare on 01245 464984 for a quote, or visit www.nfumutual.co.uk/chelmsford   … [Read more…]

Potato Day 2011

THE  FIRST SE ESSEX POTATO DAY! Leigh-on-Sea Allotment & Leisure Garden Association in association with SE Essex Organic Gardeners and kindly hosted by Trust Links Fifteen years ago, as part of the HDRA’s (now Garden Organic) commitment to biodiversity, the first Potato Day was held, the brainchild of Jackie Gear MBE. It has now grown to a major event attracting thousands of visitors to Ryton. Several local organic groups (and latterly allotments, other gardening groups and garden centres) have picked up on the idea. Ours was a joint effort, both financially and otherwise, organised and run entirely by volunteers from the Leigh-on-Sea Allotment & Leisure Garden Association, in conjunction with Julian Turner, organiser of the East Anglia Potato Day, and kindly hosted by Trust Links. Julian warned us straightaway that the first lesson we would learn would be the weight of the stock and that we needed to accept that setting up took time and oomph! We offered over thirty varieties (one third organic), which we sold by the tuber. Well, it rained persistently all day, and the gazebo was challenging at the beginning, but everyone was pleased with the result. On the day, we took £45.00 on Alan Romans’ booklets, £112.00 admission fees (112 people), £320.70 on potato tubers, making a total of £477.70. Anji Stratton, Trust Links’ Training and Employment Co-ordinator, very kindly supplied welcome refreshments during the event. As our ‘residual stock was significant but not intimidating’ we decided to try our luck at the Leigh Farmers’ Market, followed by a few more gallant efforts during the next few weekends at the Leigh clubhouse until Robert Wiseman carted the remaining tubers off to his local car boot sale for us! We say THANK YOU TO everyone who made this happen, especially Audrey, Barbara and Alan and, of course, to Phil Cooper for including our event in his website potatoday.org Carole (Click thumbnails to enlarge)   … [Read more…]