Tag Archives: organic gardening

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!

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

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

Ruth’s top tips for July & August: Yielding

  1. Keep on top of weeding and watering.  It’s hot and dry out there so water well once a week.  Water at the base of the plant and try and avoid waterting during the heat of the day.

  2. Harvest beans, peas, courgettes, cucumbers etc. regularly to ensure on-going production

  3. Lift early spuds and use the beds to either plant out leeks and winter brassicas or sow with green manure; lift garlic and autumn planted onions

  4. Sow lettuce, beetroot, chard, oriental greens, rocket, carrots Feed tomatoes and peppers with an organic seaweed tomato feed or diluted comfrey liquid; spray everything with diluted liquid seaweed

  5. Summer prune trained apple and pear trees and cherries and plums in late August.

Ruth’s top tips for June

1. Plant out seedlings such as beans, courgettes, sweet-corn.

2. Sow successional salads, dwarf beans, peas.

3. Feed with seaweed meal and organic potassium, homemade comfrey and nettle liquid or organic tomato feed.

4. Water well once a week in dry spells (little and often causes shallow roots).

5. Harvest first early potatoes, broad beans, salad crops.

Want to know more about planting out and successional planting?  Ruth will be running her Urban Gardening Courses: Planting Out and Successional Growing.  Saturday 2nd June for Planting Out & Saturday 16th June for Successional Growing.  Both 2-4pm at Phoenix Community Centre.

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

 

Warm Allotment Salad

Here’s a simple, easy and tasty recipe with all of June’s wonderful produce in mind!   Thanks to Bhogg Chairperson Jenni for the recipe.  I can’t wait to try it out!

Ingredients

Potatoes
Broad Beans
Peas
Lettuce
Radishes
Any other seasonal veg
Smoked Peppered Mackerel OR Goat’s Cheese OR smoked tofu /tempeh

Quantities will depend on how many servings you want (and how much produce you have!)

Method

Chop lettuce and radishes into a large salad bowl.  Prepare strips of mackerel /cheese /tofu (you can heat these if you prefer).

Shuck peas and broad beans and place in a steamer. Boil the potatoes until they are just off being fully cooked, then place the steamer over the top to finish. Add the potatoes, beans and peas to the bed of lettuce, mix carefully and place your choice of mackerel, cheese or tofu on the salad.

Add olive oil and lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste.  Serve with crusty bread and a glass of something chilled!

 

Salad June

 

Our annual seedling swap Sunday 6th May

Our annual Seedling Swap is taking place this year on the Organic Community Allotments at the Weald allotment sites (238 & 239) on Sunday 6th May between 11 am and 12.15pm.

We will then have our own picnic lunch in the peaceful setting of the Community allotment – as ever please bring a delicious contribution! It’s a chance to see our three beautiful community allotments cultivated by over 20 regular volunteers.  The seedling swap is for members only, and we need you to bring along any seedlings to swap – any leftovers will be found a good home and bed! Those who have little or nothing to swap should make a donation to BHOGG.

If you need to drop off plants by car, the Weald Allotment site can be located just off the Old Shoreham Road on Weald Avenue, BN3 7JN.  Once through the gates turn right and follow the lane East and North to drop off your plants. The lane is too narrow to cope with parking so please park either in the small central car park or outside the site.

In previous years we have had a great time with the chance to chat to over 30 of us. Fingers crossed for glorious weather as well as great company! If there is rain we have a polytunnel to retreat into, where it will be warm and cosy!