Autumn Newsletter 2015

Editorial

Cardiff Mind, a charity helping people with mental illnesses, has had its funds cut. The charity therefore has to give up its large plot on our site. We are being given a number of items of their equipment, which we will offer to the highest bidder amongst plot holders. We will return any money raised to Mind, and keep hold of the unsold items. The equipment consists of: Lawnmower, wheelbarrow, strimmer, hedgetrimmer, fruit cage, cultivator, polytunnel, ladder, a few forks, spades, rakes and an edger. Please contact Julian if you are interested in entering the fray.

Erecting Structures

In future anyone wanting to erect a structure on their plot: shed, greenhouse, fruit cage etc., will need to get an application form from the Secretary.

Good Housekeeping

We have spent good money clearing green waste dumped on several of our car parks. If you want to get rid of green waste please take it up the ramp opposite plot 121. Or take it home for the Council collection of Garden Waste. Or, better still, compost it.

It is also worth knowing that, under the new Local Management Agreement, we now pay for the mains water we use on site. We receive an annual grant (taken out of the rents we pay as plot holders) to pay for this. So we should harvest as much rain water as possible, reducing our water bill, in order that some of this grant can be ploughed back into paying for other improvements to the site.

Making Compost

Add nitrogen-rich (green) vegetation, and carbon-rich (brown) shredded prunings, thin cardboard, and paper, in equal proportions. (Don’t add piles of grass clippings by themselves. They will turn to slime). Cardboard should be torn up (don’t use shiny cardboard) and paper scrunched up. Loo rolls and egg boxes can be used as they are. Don’t let the compost dry out, but don’t drown all the insects that help to turn your rubbish into beautiful compost. Mix it up monthly. The compost is ready when it is brown and looks like soil. Don’t worry if there are a few bits of stick in it.

Homemade compost is one of the best things you can use to keep your soil healthy and your plants thriving. Adding composted organic material introduces essential organisms that may not be found in other soil improvers. It also helps to improve soil structure, water retention and drainage.

What can I add? Rhubarb leaves, comfrey, nettles, annual weeds (before setting seed), perennial weed tops (avoiding roots), plants with mildew, black spot and blight, scrunched paper, cardboard and wood ash.

What should I avoid? Large quantities if newspapers, large amounts of woody clippings, dog faeces, cat litter, large amounts of sawdust, plants suffering from viral diseases, coal ash, bread, cooked food, meat and dairy products.

The Shop

Thank you to everyone who used the shop this summer. Many of you brought in surplus seedlings that were immediately snapped up. Please let’s do the same next year. By the time this Newsletter is published we hope that Japanese onions, garlic and broad beans will be available. we'll try to open the shop on Saturday and Sunday between 12 and 2, but as any of you with children will know, you never know what crisis will face you next. Val Finch is usually on plot 56 (next to Roger Williams) on Wednesdays and Thursdays. So come and get her, she dosn’t mind opening the shop at any time

Half price seeds

We’ve had a half price scheme for a number of years now, using a reputable company with a wide range to choose from. Please pick up an order form from the shop. Deduct 50% from the price, and give the form and the money (cash only) to Matt Wass. Put your plot number on the form. We'll wait untill we have enough orders to satisfy the scheme. Please double check that you’ve got your sums right.