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Sept 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to the first edition of Moor Green Growing Matters supporting the horticultural needs of plot holders, their friends and families. Peter, Mick Docker and myself will be working together with Kings Seeds, Singletons Nurseries and a trusted team of volunteers to meet your growing needs! We aim to publish seasonal information with regular updates as and when appropriate. Look out for additional information on the zone notice boards, in the Gardener’s Club House or on the closed MaDAHAL FaceBook forum where you can for search for related articles at #moorgreengrowingmatters

Meet the team:

As well as Peter, Mick and myself we have a number of volunteers without whom the Seed Store could not operate.

Steve Gwynne, our ‘maintenance man’, helping us keep what is essentially an old wooden building in as good a condition as possible; Paul Rooney and Henry Burrows helping to unload and set out stock ready for purchase; getting rid of old stock; Clara and Eve, Emma and her daughter, Roland Watkins, Stuart Whitehead, Phil Tyson and Maureen Westwood generously give their time, on a rotational basis, to open up the Store for a couple of hours every weekend from March to July. If you have similar time to donate, please contact myself or Peter - the more volunteers, the better. Meanwhile, Steve Peters and Oscar Cutts help out by filling the gaps, especially over bank holidays.

Open all Hours!

Well not quite, but we will do our best…

During October and November we aim to open up the Store at weekends between midday and 2.00 pm, but ahead of that you will be able to purchase supplies such as Japanese/Winter onions and Broad Bean seeds via the Club house. We anticipate Garlic becoming available at the start of October. Prices to follow. The Store will then be open by request across the winter months, then re-open every weekend and bank holidays from March through to the end of June and again by request during July and August.

Buy or hire?

We have a selection of refurbished and second-hand tools available to purchase and readily accept donations of, mainly, hand tools that we can sell. Blue water barrels are also generally in stock. Thanks to Rob Treadwell and his colleagues for making these available through Birmingam Tools for Self-Reliance/Toole for Africa Available to hire is a petrol rotavator and a couple of brush cutters. We have several plot holders qualified to use the brush cutters and can arrange this service for you. Brush cutters can also be hired out to anyone trained and holding the relevant health and safety qualification.

Seed Store Quite Interesting (QI)

Among the many varieties of garlic, are Solent Wight and Purple Wight. Garlic first arrived on the Isle of Wight during the Second World War when French soldiers, who were based on the island, brought some bulbs over from France in order to be able to cook their own cuisine. Due to the well-balanced chalky soil, high light intensity and unique climate on the island, the soldiers discovered that garlic grew extremely robustly, which leads us to today.

Colin Boswell has been growing garlic on the Isle of Wight ever since his mother planted the first crop in her kitchen garden in 1972. The success of those first bulbs sowed the seed for his infamous Garlic Farm in the Arreton Valley. Together with his family, this pioneering farmer has travelled the world, discovering new and rare species of garlic, which he has brought home to create his award-winning crops, renowned for their flavour, quality and beauty. Colin is now the UK's largest specialist garlic grower and his farm is one of the most popular attractions on the Isle of Wight

With its irresistible aroma, garlic has long been used as a flavour booster in recipes. From curries to pasta sauces, pizza toppings and dips, it has the power to instantly liven up any dish. That’s without mentioning its health benefits too. On the Isle of Wight, this much-loved Mediterranean staple is celebrated in a big way – there is even an annual garlic festival in its honour which is well worth a trip to the island in itself!

As well as being highly valued as a culinary spice, garlic has always been regarded as a well-trusted medicinal remedy throughout ancient and modern history. It is a powerful antioxidant with antiseptic properties – a great infection fighter against viruses, bacteria and fungi. Several recent studies also support the premise that garlic might have the potential to reduce the risk of heart disease and cholesterol levels.

How to Guides

One of the best ways to find out ‘How to’ is to wander around the site and chat with some of our considerably experienced allotment gardeners. Very soon they will be clearing their plots and cultivating the soil with leaves, grass, compost and/or manure, depending upon what they plan to grow and where. The answer to good crop growth really does lie in the soil. Preparing the soil on your plot over the next few months can lead to great yields next growing season. Oz will be running a Master Class in the Gardener’s Club House and on the Teaching plot (24) entitled ‘Winter Ready’. Join Oz and others to find out ‘How to..’ next month (details in the Club House and on MaDAHAL FB forum).

Meanwhile here are some hints and tips for getting going with Garlic, Winter onions and Broad Beans….

Peter, Jenny and Mick

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