Grow Greener with Garthdee Field Allotments Association

Category: Advice Page 1 of 11

Bonfire!

It will be bonfire day again very soon. Make sure you don’t miss the big burn. Drop off your unwanted timber and brush this week. No plastics, carpets, netting or the like please – wood only.

One potato, two …

Dear Plotters

As a token of thanks for using the polytunnel last year, One Seed Forward (OSF) is to give Garthdee a 20kg bag of Accord seed potatoes, a First Early all rounder, which will be bagged up into 1kg lots. We will receive these at the start of March, if you would like a bag please get back to me giving your plot number and they will be set aside for you. First 20 responses secure a bag.

One Seed Forward (OSF) are also carrying out a Potato Project, they are trying to record all the varieties of potato being grown in the North East this year. They have managed to get a variety of small packs of seed potatoes that will be given to people to be their Tattie Testers.

If you take a bag of First Early Accord potatoes or take part in the Potato Project it would be very much appreciated if you could give some feedback on how you got on, did you get a good yield, how did they taste? There is more information in the attached flyer about the Potato Project so if it is of interest OSF would love to have the Garthdee Allotmenteers take part.

Best regards
Anne Arthur
Secretary GFAA

Thought-provoking

Happy New Year to all our plotters, volunteers and friends of GFAA. Good growing to you all in 2022!

I think this short, but powerful article will be of interest to all. It certainly got me thinking. Available via this link.

Best Ever Dobies Scheme Discount

A cheque arrived with us today.

A cheque for £112.23. This marks the best ever annual bonus from the Dobies Group Scheme for our GFAA Funds. It means that our plotters and volunteers together spent over £1000 this year on seeds and sundries from the Dobies Catalogue – while saving themselves around 40% on each order at the same time. A win-win-win I think you will agree.

Thanks go to everyone who bought from Dobies by catalogue, post or online using our code and so contributed to this very welcome addition to our annual income. The £112.23 has now been deposited in our GFAA Account.

Copies of the New Season Dobies Catalogue and necessary Discount Code are available NOW in the Octagon.

A Food Forest in your Garden by Alan Carter

It’s a real pleasure to review this title from a local Aberdeen author, Alan Carter. Alan is a plotter here in Aberdeen and this is (I believe) his first published book.

A few years ago (2018) I attended a Forest Gardening course Alan hosted on his allotment. It was a hugely enjoyable day, but a challenging one. I was a traditional plotter and the Forest Gardening approach undermined most of the ideas I had about growing vegetables.

Alan Carter in his Forest Garden allotment

I came away from the course keen to try out the methods I had seen, but since then I have struggled to make them work for me. I needed a “roadmap”: Alan’s new book will provide just that.

Spoiler alert: I think, “A Food Forest for your Garden” is an exceptional book. I am not alone: the book has attracted a bevy of admirers from within the community of food forest and permaculture growers. Alan has lived, breathed, trialled and adapted these methods for years and this shines through in his writing. The book is part bible, part manual and part memoir with all the authenticity and authority you could ask for. Oh, and with a rich dollop of humour thrown in for good measure.

I only have one reservation about the book – and that is its using the phrase “Food Forest” in the title. It may confuse some and put others off. Don’t be put off by it. Alan does a great job of explaining where it comes from, what its history is and how it works for gardeners. Everybody who has enjoyed lifting a shaw of tatties, or lamented the failure of their parsnips will enjoy reading this book and learn from it.

So what does it offer us plotters? These are the take-aways that stand out for me.

  • It will take your no-dig gardening practice and understanding to whole new heights. Conserving soil structure lies at the core of forest gardening.
  • If you are interested in adding more perennial veggies into your beds you could not find better advice. Alan lists a directory of hundreds of edible plants chosen because they are suitable for growing in Scotland.
  • It will help you extend the growing season beyond the short Scottish Summer and show new possibilities all year round.
  • You will be freed from the chore of endless weeding and trying to keep black earth black and weed-free. In the established forest garden annual weeds can’t find much a foothold.
  • There is money to be saved too through saving seeds and encouraging volunteer plants.
  • Alan provides a kitchen’s worth of personal recipes and advice on how to get the best out of each harvest.

Look on the book as an encyclopedia of how to design, create and manage your new garden. It is also lavishly illustrated with excellent photos, many taken by Alan on his own plot.

So, what’s not to like? Nothing. Do yourself a favour and ask Santa to pop a copy into your Christmas Stocking. It will make for a delightful dip-in read over the Christmas hols, then take its place on your shelves for years to come as a much used reference book.

Copies are available via Alan’s Own Website

Or from Amazon via this link.

Or for all good bookshops: Published by Permanent Publications in 2021 with IBSN 1856232999.

Garden for your health’s sake

Val (Plot 23) has been back in touch to suggest this edition of the Gardeners’ World Podcast.

Michael Moseley reviews the evidence of the health benefits of gardening

Description

Can we boost our immune systems and wellbeing through gardening? We hear from TV medic Michael Mosley how gardeners can benefit their health every time we’re in the garden.


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