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…]

From Plot to Pot – planning what to grow: Tuesday 1 November 2011 – Walthamstow School for Girls, London‏

Dear Colleague, We still have five places available on our Free Food for Life Partnership all day CPD Event ‘From Plot to Pot – planning what to grow’.  This is taking place on Tuesday 1 November 2011 at Walthamstow School for Girls, Church Hill, Walthamstow, London, E17 9RZ. This is a free event for schools professionals.  It is an opportunity to plan what to grow in a school garden, from seed sowing to harvest, including vegetables and herbs.    Suitable for new school gardeners.  This will  support schools working  towards the Food for Life Partnership Bronze and  Silver awards. Bookings will be taken on a first come, first serve basis, so please book early to avoid disappointment.  Bookings can be made  via email at: fflp@gardenorganic.org.uk or telephone: 02476  217747. Many thanks Garden Organic Education Team, Wolston Lane, Coventry, CV8 3L

Compost Heap Invertebrate Survey‏

Dear Colleague, Relatively little is known of the Invertebrates that live in our compost heaps and no systematic survey of compost faunas has been conducted in the UK.  Garden Organic has joined forces with the University of Plymouth in a project to catalogue the fauna of our compost heaps and bins in order to gain a better understanding of their role in the composting process.  We are inviting schools to take part in this process. If you would like to be involved in this exciting project, please go to http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/composting/survey/ for details of how to register your interest, and download the intsructions and survey form. Many thanks Heather Jackson Project Co-ordinator, Sustainable Waste Team Garden Organic, Wolston Lane, Coventry, CV8 3LG … [Read more…]

Apple Weekend

Saturday 15 October: 10.00am – 2.00pm St. Laurence Orchard, Eastwoodbury Lane, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 6RH Andrew Tann’s apple display from Crapes Fruit Farm, Aldham, near Colchester, see http://www.england-in-particular.info/goods/g-case1-22.html Apple pressing, apple tasting and buying, apple tours, BBQ Apples for tasting are- Pearl – Essex -ripens Oct/Nov maybe Dec – medium yellow, heavily streaked bright scarlet, flesh yellow sweet, chewy crisp, slightly aromatic, flavour excellent Tun apple – Essex – med large, conical, red russet patches, flesh sweet, flavour rich,  good ripening Oct-Dec Suntan – Kent -ripening Dec-Feb – medium, flatroundedgold, flushed orange red, striped red, some russet -fles deep cream, sweet juicy,firm, aromatic, flavour rich, vg Apples for sale include: Arther Turner, quick use, bake, puree Blenheim Orange – Sept-Oct, eat, juice, cook Cox – for now, eat, juice, cider Kidds Orange Red Lobo – Sept-Nov, eater Michaelmas Red, for apple bobbing/toffee apples Orleans Reinette Ribston Pippin – ripens 0ct-Jan, eat, cook, juice, cider Suntan – for now, eat, juice, cider Pruning demonstration, apple stories, wildlife trail and scavenger hunt (Parking at new car park for St. Laurence Park on new road going west from Eastwoodbury Lane, left at roundabout)   Saturday 15 October: 5.00pm – 9.00pm St. Mark’s Centre, Princes Street, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 1QA Educational films, locally grown vegetable soup, apple quiz Engagement and discussion, bring and share apple deserts and recipes Tickets need to be bought in advance.   Sunday 16 October: 10.00am – 12.00pm Manchester Drive Allotments, Manchester Drive, Leigh-on-Sea, SS9 3EZ (opposite Cricketfield Grove) Essex orchard and WEN allotment   Sunday 16 October: 2.00pm – 5.00pm Growing Together Community Gardens, 47 Fairfax Drive, Southend-on-Sea SS0 9AG (corner of Fairfax Drive and Prittlewell Chase) Andrew Tann’s apple display from Crapes Fruit Farm, apple pressing, apple related food, apple bobbing, toffee apples Cider making, apple tasting and buying, crafts and cards, apple stories Tea and coffee, , scavenger hunt, face painting   Apple Weekend is sponsored by NFU Mutual Chelmsford and organised by SE Essex Organic Gardeners, Milton Community Partnership, Southend in Transition, community mental health charity Trust Links and South East Essex Women’s  Environmental Network. For more information, please call 01702 213134 or visit www.seeog.org.uk or www.trustlinks.org   … [Read more…]

South East Essex Seed Potato Day 2012 Updated Sunday 19/2/12

Go potty for potatoes at SE Essex Seed Potato event! In association with Leigh-on-Sea Allotment & Leisure Garden Association and SE Essex Organic Gardeners – please make a date in your shiny new 2012 diaries and help us to promote this Spud-tastic event in February. You can Chip In, Mash it up and spread the word by Facebook, Tweeting or simply telling people and/or displaying our poster – which can be downloaded here*. SE Essex Seed Potato Day’s event dedicated solely to spuds will gear up for its second consecutive year in 2012, promising a real treat for potato growing enthusiasts! Potato Day on Saturday 25 Febrary makes potatoes a ‘must grow’ for many a local resident’s gardening year. As a result, more of us are growing our own portion of the average 500 potatoes we eat each annually. With over 40 varieties, one-third organic, SE Essex Seed Potato Day at Growing Together Community Gardens will give budding growers the chance to buy seed potatoes by the tuber, meaning anyone with enough space for a potato grow bag, or an entire allotment plot, can get started right away. SE Essex Organic Gardeners’ Secretary, Carole Shorney, said, ”Potatoes are a simple crop to grow and ideal whether your garden is large or small. The taste of home grown, freshly dug spuds is a taste hard to beat.” At the event, visitors can buy seed potatoes by the tuber and learn all about spuds with tips from the members. SE Essex Seed Potato Day will take place at 47 Fairfax Drive, Southend-on-Sea SS0 9AG (corner of Fairfax Drive and Prittlewell Chase) between 10.00am and 2.00pm.  If gardeners need to drive, they are advised to park in Prittlewell Chase and use the Fairfax Drive entrance. Admission is £1.00, with refreshments available on the day. Call 01702 201914 for more information. Thanks in advance for all your support – we look forward to seeing you there! These are the varieties that we have ordered for 2012.  However, we cannot guarantee that all we have ordered will be available on delivery. Look out for Alan Romans’ ‘Guide to Seed Potato Varieties!’ Growing Together will run cafe-baked potatoes, cakes and drinks – they will also host a Seed Swap initiative, potato printing children’s activity, sell art and craft products, honey and plants; also office computers set up to enable carbon footprint assessment for people visiting as part of the LEAF initiative. FIRST EARLY Bonnie Dundee Epicure Foremost Home Guard Lady Christl Rocket Swift Ulster Classic Vanessa Winston SECOND EARLY Anya Bonnie Carlingford Gladstone Kestrel Marfona Sherine (NVS) Shetland Black Stroma Toluca Wilja EARLY MAIN Amour (NVS) Blue Belle Highland Burgundy International Kidney King Edward Majestic Maris Piper Nicola Pentland Dell Picasso Rooster Stemster LATE MAIN Kerr’s Pink Ryecroft Purple ORGANIC FIRST EARLY Colleen Pentland Javelin Red Duke of York Sharpe’s Express SECOND EARLY Charlotte EARLY MAIN Desiree Orla Salad Blue LATE MAIN Arran Victory Cara Golden Wonder Pink Fir Apple Sarpo Mira Valor *You will need some form of PDF … [Read more…]