August 2019

KIRTON AND FALKENHAM GARDENERS CLUB

Sept. meeting - Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses - Jason Salisbury
Thurs 12th. September - 7.30pm Village Hall

August visit - Shawsgate Vineyard & Winery, Framlingham.
Les, owner, welcomed us to Shawsgate on a warm & sunny evening. He bought the vineyard in 2013 & many vines are nearly 50 years old – but can go on fruiting well over 100 years. Les had structured the evening to an audience of gardeners so we started with his talk before going over to the serious business of tasting and then going on a tour of the vineyard and winery. Les demonstrated the various pruning methods in all cases going back to old wood. This takes place from December to March and harvesting is first week in October and takes around 7 days when around 35 tonnes of grapes are produced, sufficient for 35,000 bottles of wine.In all there are 17 acres of vines and there are plans to expand. So a great trip to round off the summer programme and in fading light 35 members had the chance to purchase Shawsgate produce in the shop. The shop is open 10 -5, Mon to Sat, May to Sept and Fri to Sat, Oct to April

Summer Outing
This is the month of our long awaited Summer Outing, Wed. 4th. September, when we travel to RHS Wisley for a visit to the famed gardens and late summer flower show. Our coach departs from the Green at 7.30 am , no, that’s not a typo, and we are scheduled to leave Wisley for the return trip at 4.30pm.

September meeting
Our autumn meetings get underway on Thursday 12th. September , 7.30pm at the village hall when our guest speaker is Jason Salisbury and the subject is Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses. Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses is a family run business established in 2004 by Jason and Katharine Salisbury who produce fine hand made cheeses from milk produced from their own herd of pedigree Guernsey cows. This will be Jason’s first visit to the club and I guess there will be a chance for tastings. So, we look forward to the start of our autumn programme. Also at the September meeting we will have tickets on sale for our Christmas meeting which is Thursday 12th. December at 7.30pm in the church hall. Tickets are priced at £5 for members and £10 for guests.

Advance notice
Our Christmas party is on Thursday 12th. December , 7.30pm at the Church Hall. Our guest speaker will be the popular Nick Bailey from BBC TV’s Gardeners’ world whose talk will be on ‘ The Make Do & Mend Gardener’ . Nick is in great demand as a speaker and we expect a full house so make sure of your ticket at the September meeting. We will have the usual buffet , mulled wine and soft drinks, and our special Christmas grand draw.

Produce Stall
We will be experimenting with a produce stall for the autumn/winter meetings in the village hall with a view to raising club funds. Please bring along any surplus produce , plants , seeds or whatever and I will do the rest. Also a good friend has donated some garden tools to the club and these include garden spades and forks , rakes trowels and hand forks, shears, edging tools, amongst other items. It is not practical to bring them along to club nights but if you are looking for anything let me know what you need. There is no charge but you are invited to make a small donation to club funds.

Garden Party
Our garden party this year was 20th. July and around 30 members enjoyed strawberries and cream plus cakes in the lovely garden of Carol and Les Long. We were fortunate with the weather which cleared for a sunny afternoon and we are grateful to Carol and Les for hosting the event.

Tales from the Allotments - courgettes , 24/7 !
Courgettes are very easy to grow, I don’t like them but my other half expressed an interest and I started growing the m a few years back. They are very easy to grow but are somewhat unpredictable in cropping. They ripen very quickly and one plant can produce several fruits a week. They have strong foliage which hides the fruits which, if left, can reach marrow size within days. In short just a few plants can produce a lot of courgettes. To complicate things some people prefer the smaller fruits, others medium etc! So it all gets a bit hectic come the summer months. I now put them outside the house, initially this was for neighbours but it has got a bit out of hand. Neighbours has now extended to near neighbours and now dog walkers have joined in. The milkman obviously likes them ( 4.00 am!),our newspaper man who is from eastern Europe helps out, and the recycling bin men also help themselves. To complicate matters my wife , where this all started, has now lost interest! Help is at hand however as the autumn cold nights will reduce fruiting to manageable levels. Recently on the plots I found half a chicken complete with feathers and my neighbour Bob a loaf of bread on his side. I guess the chicken has been brought there by a fox but the bread is a mystery! With the July rains all crops have made strong growth, some of the autumn raspberry canes have reached six feet in old money. All in all autumn crops, especially roots, are looking good.

Roy Mallett 616