Join us for a weekend of festive celebratons

Saturday 10 December Phoenix Community Centre. 6.30pm – 9pm

Join us for our annual Christmas feast and quiz.  Come with a dish to share and join in the Christmas fun.

Sunday 11th December 11am- 1pm Community Allotment, Weald Allotments 

Join us for a winter celebration with a bonfire, hot soup and mulled wine.  Being a dish to share. Come with friends and family to see the progress that has been made this year on the new addition to our allotment and chat about our plans for next season.

IMG_4951

Work in progress on the new addition to our allotment – come and see the difference we have made!

Guest speaker on Fungi

Learn about Fungi and Mushrooms – Wednesday  2nd November 2016

 

Fungi and foraging expert Geoff Dann’s book  Edible Mushrooms is about to be published.

Come and hear him talk about about fungi that can be identified with five senses, the uses of wild fungi and plants and his interest in science, ecology and sustainability.

Wed 2 Nov 7-8:30pm Phoenix Community Centre, BN2 9ND BHOGG members free; non-members £3.

Seed Saving Workshop

Sunday September 18th at the Community allotment on The Weald.

img_20160918_113643
Ruth led us in a practical session.
img_20160918_120151
It was fun searching for seeds in the allotment.

img_20160918_112916

img_20160918_113605

Then, to harvest seeds with care.

img_20160918_122103
There are several different ways to collect the seeds. Tomatoes ^
img_20160918_115510
For marjoram we used a colander.
img_20160918_112901
We stored our seeds in paper bags to keep them dry.
img_20160918_114708
We used seed packets to label our seeds.

img_20160918_113809

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Autumn Equinox BBQ Party

Another beautiful autumn day heralded a delightful Seed saving session, work day on the allotment with many chard seedlings planted out and ending with a relaxing Picnic, BBQ and  conversations that talked the sun down out of the sky.

Once again there were about 30 of us on the organic community allotment, with five children including baby Eve, the daughter of Su and Justin, who at 9 weeks old is our youngest daughter of the soil. She is as relaxed as her parents being able to sleep most nights! Wow ,what a strong case  for growing and eating organic food.

The pictures tell the story , a picnic to match any community picnic with new and old members coming together after the summer holidays.

Barcombe Farm Visit

About a dozen of us visited
Barcombe Organics, Mill Lane, Barcombe
for a couple of hours on  Saturday morning 6th August. It was a beautiful English summer’s day with an opportunity to see how organic gardening was done on a 10-acre farm , much of which was under polytunnels. It was a delight to see how the soil was so fertile and springy through the use of effective rotation of crops, green manures, and home made compost while avoiding any compacting, Somehow there were no slugs! We learnt how over 400 organic veggie boxed were sold each week; it’s not surprising with such fabulous and varied crops grown.
After wonderful hospitality, tea and cakes we retreated to Carolin’s smallholding to enjoy a picnic in the shady woods. We paid homage to the wildlife pond, the trusty steed, and the three rare breed pigs  while enjoying some of Sussex’s finest countryside and delightful hospitality.  Eat your hearts out if you did not make it, you missed a day to remember.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

barncomb organics map.png

Summer Party Celebrations

IMG_20160619_141355Our celebration to welcome in the warm season on Sunday the 19th June was a terrific success!

We had a delicious array of picnic dishes, two barbecues blazing, and an unusually forgiving day of weather. We were delighted to welcome new members, and those more seasoned, to come together and enjoy the Weald Allotment. It’s been a lot of work, but our plots (now converged into one super plot) are looking superb.

13432268_1159507787403684_6477096929239822634_n

Thanks to the 26 or so volunteers who came along to build fruit cages, strim, weed, and bring in a harvest of potatoes, broad beans, strawberries and more!

13494783_1159507677403695_7225951916810712398_n

Our Seedling Sale went down a treat!

It was an intermittently lovely day, with the cold winds and clouds permeated by spells of sun shine.

Regardless of this we had a fantastic time, selling a huge number of plants to raise funds for our organisation. The team was on hand to provide advice and information to the public, and we were joined by the food partnership too.

IMG_20160515_112956

Thanks to all those who came along to support us.

Happy growing!

IMG_20160515_101501

 

 

Beginners Guide To Indoor Seedlings

Growing Organic vegetables as a novice.

What you will need:

Seed Compost – New Horizon from Homebase is well reviewed

Seed Trays/Modules – with drainage holes and a tray to catch excess water

Lid – cling film or other plastic coverings also work

Water – rain water preferable due to pH variations in tap water

Organic Seeds – I used beetroot, kale and broccoli bought from Amazon

Labels – you can DIY with sticks, cellotape and paper. Or, 50 labelling sticks available from Poundland.

Method:

  1. Dampen the seed compost by mixing with some rain water in a bucket. Better to be on the dry side, I think mine was a bit soggy.
  2. Pour this compost into the seed tray but don’t push in as this will compact the soil – making harder work for the seeds
  3. Once the tray is full, tap against the table to settle the soil.

4. Labels your seed tray. Seedlings look almost identical, so if you don’t label them you wont stand a chance at knowing what’s growing where!

IMG_4939

5. Make depressions in the soil for the seeds to sit. A good rule of thumb is that depth should be twice that of the seed. Broccoil and Kale are about 1cm deep.

6. Sprinkle seeds into the depressions – usually about 1-2 per module. I may have got a bit carried away with the kale here, as the seeds are tiny and managed to get away from me! This caused a lot of pricking out weaklings.

7. Sprinkle with a little more compost, just to cover the seeds.

8. Cover – cling film works fine if you don’t have a plastic lid.IMG_4947

9. Leave in a warm space, preferably near a window and wait for germination. This depends on the type of seed. For the seeds I used it is about 1-2 weeks.

(Open the vents to allow for air circulation)

 

11/04/2016

The tray seemed too wet so I’ve uncovered this morning to prevent moisture problems – damping off etc. Putting lid back on tonight.

The Kale “Nero Di Toscana” is in the lead after only 3 days!

12/04/2016

Several seedlings sprouted in each module. I have pinched out the weaker looking ones, leaving only one per module. This removes the competition for nutrients and space.

IMG_4994.jpg

The kale and broccoli have come through, leaving only the beetroot which has a longer germination period.

Check the soil for moisture, rewater only if it drys out. Underwatering encourages strong roots which search for sustenance.

I will continue to keep the tray covered, rotating it daily to provide even light exposure.

13/04/2016

Potting on

What you will need:

Potting Compost/mix – mix your own, see details below.

Bucket

Rain Water

Stick to stir

Pots – Biodegradable preferable

IMG_5004

  1. You can move the seedlings to a larger container. Change container before roots become too established or they will be more prone to damage.

 

2. Use a potting mix/compost this time. This will provide the nutrients needed for growth.

I mixed my own, this can save money and provide a better result if done right.

  • 1 part Coconut Coir – soak in water (as per instructions)
  • 1 part perlite – I used organic rice husks
  • Potting compost – Organic Vermi Compost – To eye
  • Volcanic Rock Dust – Ebay (£4.99 per kg) – A couple handfuls

IMG_50073. Fill most of the way.

IMG_5009

4. Dig around your seedling to loosen it from the soil. Then, lift it by the leaves rather than the stem.

5. Place it in the pot and add more mix to secure it.

IMG_5014

6. Harden off – Gradually acclimatise your seedling to the outdoors by bringing it outside for increasing intervals.

17/04/2016

The seedlings are getting stronger, I’m bringing them out into the sun every day. They live indoors at night.

The beetroot has finally come through!IMG_5031

Progression of the new plot on the Weald Allotment.

Start

It looks like we’ll have our work cut out for us!

Allotment start

March

It’s cold, but a few of us are making a start on clearing junk and digging the beds.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

3/04/1016

First digging of the new beds is done. Apple trees are planted and the majority of the junk has been cleared. Good work volunteers!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

10.04.2016

Second digging of the community beds in South plot and the shed is cleared.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

17.04.2016

First earlies go in and measurements for the beds and paths are made.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

24.04.2016

Paths have been layed and beds are dug and weeded a final time in South plot. Makeshift cloches (tents) set-up in North plot. Phew! Time for some vegetables?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

01.06.2016

Individual beds were divided and paths laid in between.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.