A great little video from Gabriel – a regular at our Sunday Allotment Sessions. The Team Pollinate Workshop is Sunday 22, 11-1pm at Weald Allotments.
Scientists at the University of Sussex are looking for growers in Brighton & Hove to help them learn more about food grown across the city.
Approximately one fifth of the world’s food is grown in urban areas, yet we know surprisingly little about how it is produced. That’s why citizen-science project, Team PollinATE, is working with growers in Brighton & Hove to collect data on which insects pollinate crops in urban areas, how much food small city growing spaces such as gardens and allotments can provide, and the most common pest control methods used by urban growers. The project has also partnered with scientists in India, who are working with urban growers in Kolkata to collect similar data and give a global view of urban food production.
The project launched in April last year, and already volunteers have collected lots of useful data. After attending a workshop on pollinator identification, throughout the summer of 2017 volunteers conducted quick pollinator counts in their growing spaces (surveying over 17, 000 flowers in total, and spotting 850 insects!), as well as keeping a diary of any pest control methods used. To help us quantify how much food people are producing across the city, some volunteers kept a record of the food they harvested, and by using our handy ‘Garden Shop Calculator’ could find out how much their produce was worth- on average volunteers grew an impressive £425 worth of food last year, with some volunteers ‘saving’ up to £900 by growing their own.
This year the project is open to anyone who grows their own food, be that in an allotment, garden, window box or community growing space. So, if you’d like to learn how to identify bees and other pollinators, why not visit our website and register yourself as a volunteer or come along to our next pollinator workshop at the BHOGG plot (11-1pm, Weald Allotments- all welcome!). You’ll receive a pack with more information on how to participate and monthly updates on the findings.
We had an excellent illustrated talk by Joshua on 8th March at the Phoenix Community Centre. Joshua was inspired to develop his raised bed veggie garden for his Down’s syndrome son. The soil was covered with cardboard, straw, manure, compost in a 2” deep layer, replenished every year, growing fab veg. Worms and micro-organisms do hate to be disturbed; mulching with whatever is available is great for soil structure, preventing weeds, evaporation and keeping roots happy.
If anyone would like to take on the challenge of testing out their own ‘no-dig’ system, we’d be really interested in hearing about your experience. We’d especially be keen to have a mini write up and pictures documenting your trial. Let us know by email: email@example.com.
Review by Ruth.
Spring in the Air: Sowing and Growing Talk with Ruth Urbanowicz. Thursday 19th April, 7.30-9pm
Urban Organic Gardening Course: Transplanting Seedlings. Saturday 21st April, 2-4pm
For more details check out our What’s On page.
Kate Harrison’s talk on Growing, Gluts and Generosity posed some interesting questions around what we as gardeners can do to take responsibility for our own food production. We discussed sowing less, sowing successively, thinning out more boldly, choosing varieties with longer harvest seasons, or growing multiple varieties to stagger production. But despite these ideas, we will still be likely to have gluts during the year. Solutions to this could be inventive recipes, food fermentation (see Kate’s fermenting article from last month), gifting to friends & family or even composting.
There were some shocking figures around food waste, yet 8.4 million people in the UK struggle to afford a meal (source: Food & Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations).
Fortunately, many charities and organisations are working to ensure that the food waste meets the needs of those most vulnerable people struggling to afford to eat. FareShare (a national organisation) manages just 4% of the edible surplus food available, distributing food donated by supermarkets and food producers to frontline charities and community groups. Last year they provided enough food for nearly 25.8 million meals!
FareShare Sussex is based in Fairway Business Centre, Westergate Road in Moulsecoomb and is very happy to receive food donations from individuals. This means for those months when you’re grown too much there is another option: you can bag it up and drop it off to the warehouse where volunteers and staff will be genuinely glad to see you. Our community allotment volunteers delivered over a ton of apples to Fareshare in 2017.
To ensure your surplus stock is put to the best possible use, please contact:
Rachel Carless, FareShare Sussex Development Manager
Tel: 01273 671 111
Review by Jenni, and special thanks to Kate Harrison for use of her FareShare slides.
AGM & Talk: Growing, Gluts & Generosity
NOTE CHANGE OF DATE: Thursday 22nd February, 7.30pm at the Phoenix Community Centre.
Ever wondered what to do about a glut of fruit or vegetables from your plot? Are you concerned about the growing problem of food waste while people still go hungry?
FareShare Sussex is a Brighton-based charity working across the county to connect food that would normally go to waste with the people that need it. Learn more about how FareShare works, and find out ways you can help to reduce food waste while helping provide healthy food to those who need it.
Our speaker Kate Harrison is a BHOGG member and has gardened on the Weald allotment for 17 years. She is a member of the FareShare Sussex steering committee and is passionate about reducing food waste and helping more people eat healthy and nutritious food.
Come for the AGM, stay for the talk!
No dig gardening, talk by Joshua the Gardener, March 8th, 730-9pm. Phoenix Community Centre. Free to Bhogg members, non-members £5
Joshua the gardener was very popular at Seedy Sunday, with a huge line of people waiting to ask him questions after his talk. We are delighted to have him come talk to us at the Phoenix Community centre in a few weeks.
His talk is based around growing vegetables without the need to cultivate the soil so, no digging, forking or tilling. The no dig gardening method was made popular by Charles Dowding and having featured on gardeners world a few weeks back it is going through a rapid rise in popularity. It’s a process of adding organic matter in layers and growing almost immediately. Healthier plants, healthier soil and bigger yields.
The talk covers all aspects of how to get started, sowing and harvesting as well as design points. The talk currently is around 60 minutes with plenty of time for Q&A at the end.
There is a wonderful line-up of speakers, with a great range of talks including practical gardening advice from Joshua the Gardener and Pennard Plants, to a panel discussion about policy and legislation around selling seeds. The full speaker programme is available here.
There is also a fantastic range of exhibitors and stall holders this year: Along with familiar favourites, we are welcoming some newcomers, such as the Old Tree Brewery, Native Hands, FareShare Sussex and the Woodland Trust.
There’ll be some great children’s activities, including making vegetable print bunting, decorating seed envelopes, and the chance to have a go on a flour grinding bicyle!
Click here for the full Seedy Sunday 2018 Programme telling you what’s on and where. Paper copies will also be available at the event.
Seedy Sunday will also be hosting the BBC’s Gardeners’ Question Time again, with a panel of the best brains in horticulture: Eric Robson, James Wong, Bob Flowerdew and Anne Swithinbank. Tickets are available to Seedy Sunday visitors from 10.30am on the day – first come, first served. The price will be £4 to cover the cost of hiring the main hall at BHASVIC; this is in addition to the £3 Seedy Sunday entrance fee. Recording will start at 3.30pm.
Seedy Sunday is February 4th, and runs from 10.30 to 4pm. 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. Visit www.seedysunday.org for information on public transport.
Gardening Organically – Back To Basics – Wednesday 24th January, 7-9pm
Come along to hear BHOGG’s very own resident RHS qualified teacher talk about getting back to the basics.
Ruth Urbanowicz will explain the importance of the What? Why? and How? of gardening organically, and look at the history, context, and putting it into practice.
Free to paid up BHOGG members; £10/£5 donation non-members.
Meet at the Phoenix Community Centre, 2 Phoenix Place, Brighton BN2 9ND
With less than a month to go here is a round-up of what’s happening on 4th February.
Venue: BHASVIC, 205 Dyke Rd, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 6EG
Gardener’s Question Time Returns to Seedy Sunday
Once again, we are also hosting BBC’s Gardeners’ Question Time with a panel of the best brains in horticulture. Bob Flowerdew, James Wong, Anne Swithinbank and Eric Robson. Tickets available from 10.30am on the day – first come, first served. Price £4.
A Host of Interesting Talks
We have a great line-up of speakers talking about no-dig gardening, butterflies and the biosphere, the Brighton and Hove citizen science pollinator project, potatoes and the latest in seed regulation and policy.
The Giant Seed Swap
At the heart of Seedy Sunday is the giant seed swap table. Bring seeds to swap that you have saved from last year’s crops. No seeds to swap? Simply make a donation at the seed table. Volunteer seed saving experts and gardeners will be on hand to offer all the advice you need to choose and grow your seeds.
A World of Discovery in the Market Place
Visit more than 50 stalls from growers, seed merchants, charities and community groups and more.
For more information visit seedysunday.org