Hi guys :)
I am part of a community growers group, and over the next year or so we are going try and make our village look nicer and have an edible garden and flower beds.
Co Durham council are going to stop planting flowers in the flower beds on our main street, due to budget cuts, so we got the idea of putting things in the beds ourselves, including lots of herbs, and fruit bushes along the green. We want to really bring the community together and get them involved in growing things and generally making the village look nicer.
Yesterday, me and a two other members (and friends of course!) went on a wee jolly to Durham, for the Food Durham Annual Gathering.
It is a marvellous initiative called The County Durham Food partnership.More info here
"Launched in May last year, the purpose is to work together for a more equitable,sustainable, fairer food system for County Durham providing access to food that is healthy for people and the planet."
Doesn't it sound great?
As a relatively new group we were keen to learn about sustainable growing, seasonal produce etc
Neither of us had been to the place before, so we got slightly lost and were a wee bit late, so we missed the start.
The bloke below was from our village, and he had a very interesting talk on "Digging For Victory"
we missed the start of his talk, but the gist of it was about how food used to be grown during the wars, and how much families had to grow to keep themselves alive during shortages and rationing. It was really interesting learning about how much they had to produce, and how they went about it.
There was two workshops, the first of which was all about "Food For Free", and it was all about saving seeds, how to test if they were viable (really interesting actually, just drop them in a glass of water, if they sink they are still viable, if they float, they are dead/less likely to germinate)
The second workshop was called "Filling The Hungry Gap"
It was all about how to make the most out of the growing season, such as Succession Planting; Planting two or more crops in succession, after the first crop is harvested, another crop quickly takes that space.
Same Crop Successive Planting;
Where you have several smaller plantings at timed intervals so you have a constant supply of that crop, but you don't have to find room in the freezer for so many at once, you just eat the crop until the next lot is ready to harvest, which helps you have fresh veg without having to find various ways of preserving it.
He also mentioned how to extend the growing season for certain plants, as different varieties have faster cropping rates, such as leeks, you can plant a certain variety of leeks (i forgot to write down the names i'm afraid) in August, and then other varieties over the months up until feb/march and you have 7 months of that crop!
(i hope this makes sense, my notes got lost in translation a little as i had to write rather quickly and so i got quite a lot of unintelligible scribble!)
There was lots of different info on allotments, composting, recycling etc
There was also a mini marketplace, where lots of local business came to show and sell their wares, give out info and leaflets.
There was a wonderful stall from Durham Beekeepers Association, selling delicious honeys, waxes and candles, sadly i didn't get to buy anything as i had forgotten to put my purse in my bag before i left :( They had lots of great info on educating the public in the importance of bees in the environment.
I didn't get a picture of their stall as i was whisked away to the next one.
I came home with a rather funky little tote bag (which will come in handy for reuse when shopping, and for putting projects in for knit and natter)
A package full of leaflets, a recycled To Do list and a free packet of salad seeds!
Various leaflets on composting, what you can compost, a few recipes, information on the stallholders etc
and a wonderful reproduction leaflet from WW2 on growing all year round and crop rotation
Oh, and when i came home i got to puppysit this adorable little chap again for the afternoon
(I'm also puppysitting him tonight)
It's clearly hard work having your every whim catered to!
What have you been up to this week? :)