All posts by Sarah

Nature lover, mother, foodie, healthy living, photographer, wanderer

Seedy Sunday is tomorrow!

It runs from 10.30 to 4.00, at BHASVIC, 205 Dyke Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 6EG. See the map here. Please note there is NO parking for the public on site. For information on public transport click here.

Check out the brilliant programme this year, with details of the great line-up of speakers, including the local author of The Wildlife Gardener, Kate Bradbury; and a local Gardeners’ Question time.

There are fun children’s activities, lots of brilliant exhibitors selling and telling about all things horticultural and wild, and the lovely Infinity Foods will be upstairs with their café selling lunch and cakes.

At the heart of Seedy Sunday are the wonderful seed swap tables – here’s some more information about how it works. Come and have a browse whether you have seeds to swap or not – you can make a donation of 50p per packet if you don’t have anything to exchange. We’re also happy to have Betsy’s Bakes providing refreshments in the seed swap room.

Have fun and see you there!

One week until Seedy Sunday!

A big shout out to our fantastic range of exhibitors and stall holders this year:   All your familiar favourites will be there, including our lovely sponsors Infinity Foods with their organic seed potatoes and shallot sets, The Heritage Seed Library, The Seed Co-operative, Thomas Etty, Pennard Plants and Edulis Nursery.  

They are joined by some newcomers to Seedy Sunday 2019 including Solseed Landscapes, who offer organic edible and ecological landscaping services using permaculture design as their guiding principle;  the Sussex National Garden Scheme, who will be telling us about the Open Garden Scheme for 2019; and Vital Seeds, an independent seed company based in Devon selling open-pollinated vegetable, herb and flower seed for home-gardeners and small scale market growers.

We also have a wonderful line-up of speakers, with a great range of talks including Kate Bradbury, author of “The Wildlife Gardener” and our very own local Gardeners’ Question Time. The speaker line-up is here:

There’ll be some great activities for children with their parents or caregivers, including a fun new activity making Ecobricks; decorating seed envelopes, and face-painting.

Seedy Sunday is Sunday February 3rd and runs from 10.30 to 4.00pm. It’s at BHASVIC, 205 Dyke Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 6EG. See the map here. Please note there is NO parking for the public on site. See www.seedysunday.org for information on public transport.

Seedy Sunday is two weeks away! Here’s some more information about what’s happening on the 3rd of February.

Venue: BHASVIC, 205 Dyke Rd, Hove, BN3 6EG. £3 entry, kids free!  10:30am-4pm

Who’s speaking at Seedy Sunday this year?

We have a mix of old and new faces in the Copper Café at BHASVIC covering some fascinating topics associated with plants and growing:

  • Opening our speaker programme are local herbalists Alice Bettany and Jessie Martelhof. Learn about the medicinal values of numerous common weeds and cottage garden herbs that you will no doubt already be familiar with. They will be talking about the history of their use, how to safely identify, dry and make them into herbal preparations. Take home a few simple recipe ideas which you can make yourself as food, medicine or cosmetics
  • The wonderful Kate Bradbury, author of The Bumblebee Flies Anyway, a story about Kate’s experience creating a wildlife garden in her Brighton backyard. Kate will discuss foodchains and habitat creation, especially in urban areas like Brighton
  • Our local Gardeners’ Question Time, with a panel of experts ready to take your questions
  • Adrian Ely from the University of Sussex, who spoke last year, is back again this year presenting the development of Bioleft, an open and collaborative system for seed innovation that has been developed by a group of organisations in Argentina.  Against a background of increasing patenting of seeds and genetic resources, Adrian outlines one of the responses that is emerging around the world: open source seed systems.
  • Our closing speakers, Pesticide Action Network UK will be launching their campaign to address the use of pesticides used right here on our doorstep in Brighton and Hove. These pesticides are unnecessary and there are plenty of non-chemical alternatives. Lots of councils have already banned these harmful chemicals and it’s time that Brighton & Hove did the same. Nick Mole, Policy Officer, Josie Cohen, Head of Policy and Campaigns, PAN UK, will be joined by Steve Peters, the award-winning gardener at The Level to discuss the ways in which he has managed to maintain this very public, green space without pesticides for a number of years now. Come and find out more about the campaign to end the use of pesticides in Brighton & Hove and how you can get involved.

What’s going on in the Children’s area?

We have some fun and creative activities for children to enjoy with their parents or caregivers, such as pebble painting, making seed packets and ‘seedy’ bookmarks. There will also be facepainting, and the chance to learn about and make Ecobricks, the new craze to hit Brighton! This brilliant idea involves packing non-recyclable plastic waste into plastic bottles including bags, labels, cling film, tape, sweet wrappers, yoghurt pots, etc. When it is cut small and packed tight it becomes weighty and can then be used to build small home and garden constructions with.

Be inspired for the gardening year at Seedy Sunday!

A round up of what’s happening @ Seedy Sunday, 3rd February

Seedy Sunday is less than a month away! Here’s a summary of what’s happening on the 3rd of February.

Venue: BHASVIC, 205 Dyke Rd, Hove, BN3 6EG. £3 entry, kids free!

The Seed Swap

At the heart of Seedy Sunday is the giant seed swap table. Bring seeds to swap saved from last year’s crops. Seed saving experts and gardeners will be on hand to offer all the advice you need to choose and grow your seeds. You can collect Seedy Sunday envelopes from Infinity Foods in Brighton.

No seeds to swap? Simply make a 50p donation at the seed table. We have already prepared over 2500 packets of seeds to get us started on the day!

Learn something new with a diverse range of speakers and talks

This year we have herbalists, gardeners, authors, university lecturers, and an international NGO speaking about weeds as medicine, wildlife gardening, sustainable food production, and pesticides.

We are also hosting a Local Gardeners’ Question Time featuring:

Joshua the Gardener – after the popularity of his ‘no dig’ talk last year and the queue of people waiting to ask him questions, we are delighted to have Joshua join the panel.  He has lots of advice to share about no dig gardening, organic gardening and design.

Chris Smith from Pennard Plants – another Seedy Sunday favourite. Pennard plants specialise in heritage and heirloom seeds and Chris is a gold medal Chelsea flower show winner, accomplished speaker and potato expert.

Ros Loftin is our seed saving expert and is the heart and soul of the seed swap since 2012.  A trained horticulturist, she has been saving seeds for the past 10 years, and each year brings between 20-30 different varieties of open-pollinated heritage tomatoes to swap on the seed table.

The panel with be chaired by our very own Alan Phillips!  He has been involved with Seedy Sunday since the beginning (back in 2002!), including serving 5 years as the Chair.  He is an integral part of Brighton & Hove’s vibrant organic gardening community, providing expert advice to many novice organic gardeners on our Community allotment.

A world of discovery in the Market Place

Visit more than 50 stalls from specialist growers, seed merchants, charities and community groups and more.

Children’s activities galore!

As ever we have some fun and inspiring activities for children and their parents or caregivers. Making decorations, planting seeds and discovering how to make an ‘ecobrick’ from plastic waste, there’ll be plenty to keep young people interested on the day.

Infinity Foods and Cafe

A special thanks to Infinity Foods who generously sponsor us every year, display our posters and give away our seed envelopes in their shop on North Road, Brighton.  They run a fantastic stall on the day selling organic seed potatoes, and the award winning Infinity Cafe will be upstairs to serve teas, coffees, cakes and lunches.

Be inspired for the gardening year at Seedy Sunday!

Save our soil: Winter is a good time to think about nurturing our soil

FUNCTIONS of SOIL

  • Physical support for plants [anchorage]; rooting environment; holds air, water & nutrients essential to plant growth; houses organisms necessary for making soil suitable to support plants
  • Well­-structured soil both holds water & allows it to drain.

It may become compacted & waterlogged if walked on when wet: this stops air from being available to plant roots & soil organisms & they die.

Mulch protects soil surface, keeps it warm & moist, keeps weeds down & nourishes soil life & plants; apply to moist [not frozen] soil whenever you can.

Garden compost, leaf mould & farm-yard manure, mushroom compost, spent hops, composted bark/wood chips/prunings, municipal green waste, hay/straw, & worm compost are all good sources of organic matter & can be applied as a mulch.

Plants need a variety of mineral elements for healthy growth & development; soil with plenty of organic matter [ or clay] holds onto these in a form easily absorbed by the plant; lighter soils [not clay-based] lose some nutrients through LEACHING by rain: Nitrogen & potassium [K] are most vulnerable & may need replacing. Seaweed is a good source of trace minerals.

Humus is the end result of decaying plant & animal matter, broken down by soil organisms: worms, insects, fungi & bacteria. It can hold 90% of its weight in H2O; it attracts & holds nutrients available to plants & prevents leaching.  It binds mineral particles into crumbs, thus improving structure [pores > air, H2O]. It improves all soil types, & it encourages the presence of micro-organisms, worms etc.

Green manures: protect & feed soil, improve structure & provide habitat for predators; very good in winter [but too late to sow now], early spring & late summer when beds are empty.

Green Manu

Article By Ruth Urbanowicz

Save the date for Seedy Sunday! 3rd February 2019

Plans are underway for Seedy Sunday 2019!

Here’s a selection of some of the exciting things the Seedy Sunday team are working on:

  • Seed swap area with a huge variety of seeds
  • Seed saving experts offering advice
  • Market Place stalls with a range of plants, produce and community connections
  • Fascinating speakers from around the world
  • Tasty food and drink
  • Fun kids’ activities.

Venue: BHASVIC, 205 Dyke Rd, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 6EG

Urban Gardening Course 15th September: Seed Saving

Saturday 15th September, 2pm-4pm at the Phoenix Community Centre

We have been pleased with the good attendance and enthusiasm at the Urban Organic Gardening Course this year.

Our seed saving session this autumn will cover the basics of simple flower & vegetable seed collection, care & storage (including tomatoes).

Free to paid up BHOGG members and local Phoenix area residents, £3 donation for non-members.

Ema’s Chilli, garlic and ginger sauce

This recipe comes from Ema at De Tout Coeur, Limosin, France – home to relaxing retreats and delicious home cooking.  Makes about 2-3 jam jars.  You can scale the recipe.

 Ingredients

1 pound green/red chilli peppers de-stemmed and roughly chopped (use any combination of green/red chillies you like) 
1/2 pound garlic cloves peeled
2 oz ginger root peeled
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt

Method

Using a food blender or processor to blend all the ingredients together until they are a smooth paste. 

Pour the blended ingredients into a saucepan, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a low/medium. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the chilli sauce is thickened and reduced in volume. 

Take the cooked chilli sauce off the heat and pour carefully into clean, sterilized bottles or jars with a funnel. Seal with an airtight lid and leave to cool. The sauce is ready to use immediately. Once opened store in the fridge. 

Chilli