Not in my loaf! Take action against the proposed GM wheat trial

A new application for a GM wheat trial was announced in July 2011. The Soil Association will be submitting information to the consultation highlighting how the trial is potentially risky, unnecessary and a waste of public money. The GM wheat has been engineered to repel aphids, using a technique which has already been shown to work using non GM methods. If you agree with us, you can register your objections in the Government consultation which is running until the 19th August 2011. Here are some points you might like to include in your response: There is a risk of cross-contamination with other plants The inclusion of an antibiotic resistant marker gene may contribute to a rise in resistant infections in humans and animals There is no market for GM wheat – citizens have voted no to GM in their food There is a lack of data on potential health risks of these crops Possible impacts on natural aphid predators  have not been investigated Likely impacts on non-GM farms as a result of displaced aphids There are already effective ways to use the ‘aphid alarm’ system using non-GM techniques Comments can be sent by email to: or by post to: The GM Team, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Area 8A, 9 Millbank, c/o 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR, stating the application reference number 11/R8/01 For full details of the application see the Defra websiteFor further details regarding the trial, please see this GM Freeze briefing paper   … [Read more…]

Organic Vegetable Growing Course 30 September 2011 at The Growing Together Gardens

Hello Again to all our Friends and Supporters, I am delighted to tell you that we are now able to run the above course starting on 30 September and look forward to receiving enquiries and bookings. Would you please share this with your friends and colleagues? We are also planning to broaden the range of short courses/workshops that we run at Growing Together and would welcome feedback/suggestions on what we may add to the programme. Also please watch this space for Apple Day events in October! Thank you all for your continuing support – for all our latest news please visit our website at With kind regards, Anji Stratton Trust Links Training and Employment Co-ordinator 01702 213134 47 Fairfax Drive Westcliff-on-Sea Essex SS0 9AG … [Read more…]

A Good Scythe at Work

My name is Beth Tilston and I am a scything tutor.  I am writing to gauge your interest in joining forces to run a one or two day scything course in your area either before the end of October this year or from May onwards next year (due to grass growth).  Scything, as I am sure you know, is a way of cutting grass and weeds using a blade and human power rather than power tools such as strimmers and lawnmowers.  A scythe is useful for lawns, allotments, community orchards – all the way to meadows and mountainsides.  I am looking for appropriate areas in which to run courses.  An appropriate area would be somewhere which had access to a reasonable amount of grass which isn’t regularly mown short, plus somewhere with nettles, docks, thistles etc to provide variety. I teach groups of up to six and can work with another tutor for larger groups.  I provide all the equipment (including safety equipment) necessary and am fully insured.  I am also available to do demonstrations. The course will cover:  The history and uses of a scythe, how to set up your scythe, health and safety when using edge tools, how to scythe grass and weeds and keeping your blade sharp by peening and honing. Please email me at  

Leigh-on-Sea Allotment & Leisure Garden Association

High Summer ‘Get Together’ at the new clubhouse Sunday 14 August, starting at 1.00pm Hot food, refreshments, BYO drinks, raffle prizes with ticket, plant and produce swap, and sell by donation, cake stall, bring and bake Please come along if only to say Hello!  Bring the children!  Everyone welcome! £3.50 adults, £2.00 for children Entrance fee includes free food and raffle Entrance can be found between Nos. 81 and 83 Manchester Drive [NB: Some pictures, taken at this event, have been posted here]   … [Read more…]