October 2014

KIRTON AND FALKENHAM GARDENERS CLUB

Thurs. 13th. November – Andrew Williams: Organic Vegetables and Farming
7.30 pm Village Hall

October meeting-John Burrows - Preparation and Presentation of Horticultural Exhibits
For our October meeting we welcomed a new face in the shape of the affable John Burrows from Frinton. John is a retired RHS show judge and still judges at local shows in particular the Great Baddow Hort. Society which stages three shows each year. Most show schedules have three main sections, flowers, fruit and veg.
John took us through the various classes, telling us what the judges look for and the lengths that exhibitors go to in order to impress the judge. Runner beans are straightened, potatoes polished, onions tied with raffia, flower heads padded out with cotton wool , in short whatever it takes to have produce in pristine condition for the judge’s eye. However in the veg classes nothing is tasted so those shiny, white potatoes with a best in show ticket slapped on them are probably tasteless on the plate. But all good fun and John gave 51 members an entertaining evening.
Our club has never ventured down the show route, the committee concentrating on good speakers and visits, and with a consistent membership over the years of 120 that policy seems justified. I recall the old Village Produce Assn. staging annual shows and that folded in the seventies. However if members like the idea of shows contact the committee and it can be considered.

November meeting – Andrew Williams: Organic Vegetables and Farming
7.30 pm – Village Hall.
For our November meeting we have local farmer Andrew Williams talking on organic vegetable growing and farming,. On the plots we all strive to be organic so I am really looking forward to hearing how Andrew does it.
Come early for this one to make sure of a ticket for the Christmas meeting!

Christmas meeting – Thurs. 11th. December - 7.30pm Church Hall
Nick Hamilton - Barnesdale after Geoff
We are in the Church Hall for Nick’s long awaited visit and tickets , £5, will be available for members at the November meeting. Come early though as even the Church Hall cannot accommodate all members.
Debbie and Karen will be masterminding our annual draw for club funds and they will appreciate any prizes you can offer. We will let you know about arrangements for refreshments at the November meeting. There will be a surprise Christmas gift for all members. So get your ticket this should be a great evening.

Int. Dept. ( aka Shaw’s Tours) France 21/24 May 2015
Further info at the November meeting, but don’t forget deposits, £70 per person, are due 31st. October as we have to secure our booking at the Ibis Style hotel in Troyes, our base for the trip to the scenic Aube region of France.

Treasurer - Brian Barker, 8, Rectory Lane, Kirton ( 448372) is now the club treasurer .
Maxine Kirk has kindly agreed to oversee refreshments on club nights, contact her on club nights if you can help.

If you are new to the villages and would like to join our merry band just pop along to our November meeting and membership will qualify you for our Christmas extravaganza.

Tales from the Allotments
Michaelmas day,Sept 29, ( the feast of St. Michael)has been and gone , an important day in the gardening world .
Traditionally this is when land tenancies change, including allotments and we now have a few new faces on the plots. This is also where the Michaelmas daisy (aster) gets its name because it flowers in the Autumn.
Michaelmas also marks the end of the gardening year when we look back and review the successes and failures of the past season. It’s always a battle with mother nature of course but overall it has been a good year - beans of all varieties have been ( that wasn’t intended as a pun) bountiful, soft fruit exceptional, and in the ground we still have all the root crops for winter use.
Butternut squash is fast becoming a firm favourite of mine, it will store into the Spring, and is good for roasting and soups. They are very easy to grow (sorry Roselea) and I let mine roam amongst the sweet corn, another good crop this year.
I have been able to supply a few nice pumpkins to friends with children for Halloween but I have one monster left which is really in the hernia class ( this is not a fisherman’s tale), ask Bob Price, he did manage to get it off the ground but went a bit red in the face. Should I cut it up and offer to friends for soup or pumpkin pie? Let me know if you want a slice of the action! Free to good homes.
So with Michaelmas behind us and our harvest safely gathered in we can start thinking about the new season. Bob is already soil testing and accumulating spirit levels and measuring sticks and we can get going with broad beans, garlic and Autumn onions. If you are looking to sow Spring cabbage or other brassicas get on down to Roselea Express where Steven will be able to set you up with some strong plants, however make sure they are well covered otherwise the pigeons will make short work of them. You don’t think Steven would – no, he wouldn’t, or would he?

Club members will soon be receiving their Dobies’ seed catalogues all ready for the new season – it’s all go!

Roy Mallett 616