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BOG Newsletter of the Bath Organic Group Winter/Spring 2013 Victorious Dig FLOUR FOLLIES MUSCULAR VEG PILFERING PAST ALL THE BOG NEWS Never knowingly undervalued


What about the workers?

B

og needs more volunteers, more hands, and new faces at the Tuesday and Saturday sessions. After the foul weather of summer 2012, which did so much to promote the undergrowth and weeds, and so little for the enthusiasm of gardeners, parts of the community garden are not looking their best.

In the certain knowledge that 2013 is going to be a brilliant gardening year, ploys are being investigated to turn the situation around. One is to attract newcomers to the area, people living across the river in the new houses and flats (without gardens) of Western Riverside. Kate has made contact with the selling agents so that we have a

presence in the welcome packs they give to new residents. She is also in touch with Curo, (formerly Somer Housing) who have a significant slice of the new housing on the Western Riverside. With luck this could provide us with a new supply of gardeners within easy walking distance of the community garden.

Let’s tell them what we do Every gardener knows that early spring is the best time of the year. For a few precious weeks anything seems possible. Along with our Growing Green Day in May it is also the best time of the year to recruit new members. All too often visitors who have stumbled upon the community garden via Growing Green say that they never knew we existed. It is time to fight that ignorance.

So it makes sense for everyone to try to recruit new members over the next few months. Do you have a friend, colleague, or family member who might be interested in joining us? Do you belong to a group where there might be potential members? Do they have a noticeboard where you might put an advert for BOG? Or does someone read out notices at the beginning of a meeting? All

The Big Dig is coming

On February 21, Seb Mayfield, from Sustain, the alliance for better food, will be at the community garden discussing ways in which we can increase our active membership. It’s all a preliminary for Big Dig Day on March 16 when, along with 200 other urban community gardens, BOG will be strutting its stuff. The Big Dig Day is all about getting people down to their local community garden to get growing. Whether you are new to gardening or an experienced gardener we need help to make our community garden grow. Nationally the Big Dig will provide training and advice to over 5,000 community food volunteers across these areas, as well as engage 5,000 other volunteers through corporate social opportunities and work with schools.

you need to do is ask for a mention for our work and offer yourself as a person who will introduce newcomers to the rest of us. A steady stream of new members is vital to the continuing success and growth of BOG, so identify yourself as someone who will make it easy for newcomers to blend in. There is also going to be a new push to promote ourselves via our website and Twitter.

By the time you read this the new website should Volunteers will be recruited through be up and running at high profile events, and we will be www.bathorganicgroup.org particularly focusing on attracting That’s almost the same people from deprived areas who as the old address, traditionally do not volunteer. The and the content will be project will also aim to engage with the public through a range of open mainly the same, but I days and events reaching over hope our new provider 13,000 people nationally through will help make it a bit this work. more easy to use

Our aim is to involve local people, in creating vibrant community food gardens, which can reduce anti-social behaviour, provide fresh, healthy food and put pride into communities. We will need several volunteers to help out at BOG, so put your hand up now to the nearest committee member if you can help on the 16th. And of course you are welcome to drop in on the meeting on February 21.

If you are interested in having the best eggs in Bath join the chicken club. Contact Ria on 07875288283 or ria_gane@yahoo.co.uk


Diary dates for 2013

Saturday, February 16 Thursday 21 Saturday, March 2 Saturday March 2 Sunday 16 Saturday 23 Sunday 24 Saturday April 6 Saturday April 20 Saturday 4 Saturday 4 Monday 6

Garden development meeting Seb Mayfield, (see Big Dig story) Trading Hut opens Seedy Saturday Big Dig (see news story) Garden development meeting Seedy Sunday First farmers’ market Garden development meeting Farmers’ market Tidy-up day for Growing Green Growing Green, with BAGS

Saturday 18 Saturday June 1 Saturday 29 Saturday 6 July Saturday 13 Saturday July 28

Garden development meeting Farmers’ market South Stoke plant sale Farmers’ market Midsummer madness Last opening (till September) of the Trading Hut Farmers’ market Farmers’ market Farmers’ market Farmers’ market Annual General Meeting

Saturday August 3 Saturday September 7 Saturday October 5 Saturday November 2 Saturday December 7

Community garden 11am Community garden 11.30-12 10-12 Saturdays till end July. banes-allotments.org.uk/trading-hut/ Memorial Hall, Farmborough 10-2 11-3 see above St Margaret’s Hall, Bradford on Avon 11 – 1 see above

10.30-1 Setting up and shared lunch 2-4 Garden open see above Old Brewery, 2-5. Volunteers needed Bring food to share

Claverton Down Community Hall: Lunch at 1pm : please bring food to share : AGM starts approximately 2pm

BOG is hiring a gardener Part-time experienced gardener required for four hours per week for three months to be paid £12.50 per hour. You will be required to clear a specific area of the garden which contains well-established perennials. These need dividing and some replanting. Applications, CVs and references to be recieved by March 1. For more information contact Kate Mills 01225 311699 or katemillsbath@gmail.com

Start mini plotting Some of the mini-plots at the community garden are currently vacant, usually because people have moved to a permanent plot, or just moved on. If you would like to be considered for one, or know someone who would like to introduce themselves gently to vegetable gardening, get in touch with Dan Smith. Mini plot gardeners have to be members of BOG but don’t have to pay rental for the plot. The plots are different sizes and are in the orchard at the west end of the garden.


This was once a productive allotment...


and now it is going to be again Jon Oates and Simi Rezai tell the story of their resurrection of a plot near the community garden

T

hough we had started work on our bit of the allotment — cutting back overhanging foliage, and the overgrown hedgerows and pathways surrounding it — in the space of one or two sunny late August afternoons, we didn’t really set about it until Jon completed his studies in the first week of September. The plan, having revealed the rough lay of the land, was to instate the main divisions and boundaries of the site, before removing the main hedgerow running north to south — about two metres deep— and turning, weeding, and feeding the soil, before winter. In the event, the deadline was an unscheduled appointment with a surgeon in mid-November — trivial, except that further allotmenteering, at least, anything onerous, was prohibited before Christmas. It was a useful hurry-up. We were both very excited to work on a larger scale plot, having tended a BOG microplot for a few years. Jon was glad to be outdoors and wrestling with nature after pushing a pen around all summer, and we both put our backs into it. It

is very satisfying to see some sort of pattern emerge from the wilderness, but, with manual tools (spade, fork, shears, loppers, saw — thank you Pauline), it is a lot of hard work. The final border — all wooden planks (thanks Ria) — went in after tackling some rather well established tree roots, the single most stubborn obstacle, though the extensive bramble and ivy undergrowth running around the perimeter of the plot ran it a close second. A couple of good fires along the way — including one on Bonfire Night — helped clear the brushwood as we went. Weeding was for the most part straightforward, though we didn’t expect to have to learn how to crush the slugs’ eggs we found between stones. Nor did we expect intimidation from the local squirrel mafia. We must have cleared something like 24-30 square metres around the main beds, some of which will be planted up, but most of which will be used for access, elbow room, and, at the rear of the plot, a des res, composter, and 3-sided store. Not bad for 100 hours between us over ten weeks or so. ____


People have been very obliging, free with materials (planks of wood, recycled shop fixtures, plants), and advice, and friendly, with enquiries from children at play, and holidaying allotmenteers in Royal Victoria Park Playground. Now for the fun part: Simi has already planted onions, broad beans, and spring bulbs, and is thinking about the planting scheme and the transfer of plants from our microplot. We are looking forward to the Spring, the first indications of the quality of our weeding, and signs that Brambly Hedge and Don Squirrel Nutkin got the message. Jon and Simi

A better newsletter Late last year we asked everyone, via Peter’s email newsletter, for their views on the best way of providing this newsletter. We can’t afford to print and post it (because of cost) except where members don’t have email (currently only 15). The online alternatives are the Issu. com method, which many people find unwieldy, a PDF document, which may take a long time to download, or possibly, a weblog version which would be produced a bit at a time. This could be printed out and posted to the few members without internet access. They will get the

same service as before. After a discussion at the annual meeting it was decided that this edition would be available in both PDF and Issu. I am currently taking over the website that Dan has diligently hosted for many years, and hope to blog as well. If all this succeeds it will mean that you will get an updated website and that the online newsletter can be much more dynamic with possibly even video. And most importantly it will be much easier to read, even on a smartphone. You will get an email if/when it happens. Geoff Andrews

Meet two stars of a brilliant new Dry Arch venture — and a bargain organic offer This year Tim Baines, Dan Smith (and volunteers) at Dry Arch are offering to grow your Christmas dinner. The plan is a 6kg turkey, porky trimmings

Smaller portions by arrangement. All this for £100 —if you pay a deposit by April, because they need firm numbers. Anyone prepared to help look after the

(bacon, sausages, sausagemeat), some

animals (morning and evening visit, once a

pork (a roasting joint or ham/gammon) +

week) will get a piggy bonus or a discount

associated veg (and maybe some cider).

(depending on take-up).

Contact Dan for more details at dantherandom@hotmail.com


Flour bed 2012

an entertaining failure L

ast spring I was contacted by Iva Cardus, who runs the Vegmead bed in Hedgemead Park. She had been asked by the council if she had any similar ideas for a bed available in the Botanical Gardens. Being civic souls (and wanting to save the council the expense of looking after the bed) we threw some ideas around until we decided on growing grain and then processing it and eating it with volunteers. The first outing was in April and a group of about six of us dug over and raked a kidney shaped bed about 6 metres by 3 and then laboriously sowed wheat in curvy rows parallel to the edge of the bed, and 6-row barley sown in the middle. Tea, cake and photo opportunities with the local press followed. By late May the shoots were up and weeds beginning to show so Iva did some solo hoeing. By June the barley was suffering from the weather and was 'lodging' - leaning over and looking scruffy. An imminent visit by the Britain in Bloom judges meant this could not be countenanced so the barley was removed and beans and some kind of flowers (borage and something inedible) planted instead. By late August the ears were wellformed but the weather conspired to delay harvest. It didn’t stop the pigeons and squirrels from taking all the good stuff, so the harvest was disappointing. The bed was dug over and green manured ready for next year (the council are taking it

back) and the harvest hung up to dry in BOG's smaller polytunnel. A plan was hatched to allow the day of processing and eating to go ahead by the twostage method: 1   me bringing my wheat harvest along to thresh and winnow and 2   buying some wheat grain to grind and bake (I am very precious about conserving my seed-corn for next year). So come a reasonably sunny Saturday afternoon maybe 20 people gathered at BOG to grind the grain (discovering that the two different grain mills were of two very different types. One was quick to use but produced grits rather than flour and the other made flour, but slowly. Thankfully Iva had bought some sneaky flour to top up the fresh ground stuff so pizza making went ahead. With one other volunteer I spent a merry (cider-fuelled) couple of hours stamping the wheat to separate the grain from the stalks then doing a rough winnowing in the garden. The flour bed crop was also stamped upon but more as a dance and a curse against thieving rats (both flying and tree varieties). If you happen to be near the Botanical Gardens in Spring 2013 do watch out for clumps of freshly sprouting wheat as it's likely the squirrels won't have found all their caches. Top tip: don't grow grain in area surrounded by ravenous beasties. Dan Smith


A bigger crop, but these 1,500-year-old ‘new’ plants have muscles G

rafted vegetables?

Carrots spliced to peas sounds interesting, and potatoes with cabbage would be good for a modern house with a patio garden, but that’s not the way it works. These grafted veg are tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, cucumbers, melons and squashes, where a tasty and productive variety is grafted onto a very vigorous rootstock so that you can get more produce earlier, and possibly extend the season too. Although comparatively new on the market here veg grafting has apparently been going since the 5th century in parts of Asia. Now it is being done commercially so that anyone can buy the plants at garden centres. Last spring, rather than sowing tomato and cucumber seed (and being left with loads of plants that no-one wanted), I opted for buying plants from Hilliers in April to plant out in the bed in my greenhouse. Space is limited so I have normally had a maximum of six tomato and two cucumbers. Because grafted plants are about twice the price of conventional plants, and because of the warning that they needed extra space above and below ground, I bought four tomatoes and one cucumber plant. They were lusty plants in big pots. One was a double graft (providing twice as much of one variety, rather than being a two-variety plant).One of

the plants was a beefsteak type, and the others were the standard type. No variety names, not just because I have lost the labels, but in any case they were commercial names rather than varieties I had ever heard of. Having had no success with aubergines I avoided that in favour of a cucumber plant, about the same size as the tomato and just as glossy. Once in the ground the four plants immediately began growing at a great rate, and by June I was picking several small cucumbers a week. By mid July the single cucumber plant was in overdrive. I gave up counting at 56 but it didn’t take the hint and carried on producing until some time in September,

long after we ran out of things to do with them and friends to take them. It needed a series of significant additions to the initial supports I had provided. A tripod of canes was supplanted by lengths of two by one and lashings of twine and wire. The tomatoes were not far behind. The fruit formed earlier than usual although the lousy sunless weather meant they didn’t ripen early. When they did they weren’t particularly tasty, but it would be unfair to judge the taste of any new vegetable on the experience of last year. Given the crop most people seemed to be getting these were fruitful plants(left). On three occa-


sions I picked 5lb from the three plants, with the single graft conventional type scoring best. The skins were thin, there was no cracking or disease of any kind, and pollination was good. In the absence of bees during the downpours they received a little assistance from a paintbrush. We ate the last fruits at the beginning of November, ripened on the vine, uprooted and hung upside down in the greenhouse. There were a few more that went to compost because they had little taste by then. These four plants vigorously outgrew their supports and needed a jury-rigged scaffold of steel and wood to hold them up, but with each carrying at least 12 lb of fruit at all times that’s hardly surprising. Judging by an RHS survey on Twitter of people who grew grafted veg last year, these experiences are about typical for last year’s crop, the first in which the plants were widely available to us plebs. Downsides? The ones on sale here aren’t strictly organic, although there is nothing inherently contrary to organic principles in the idea, organically produced grafted vegetables of all kinds are being produced in the States, and it has been going on for 1500 years. The size of grown plants can be daunting, so think Forth Bridge rather than the one that

And don’t buy two. The double grafted tomato was such a monster that it became impossible to see and rub out the sideshoots. I usually lose this battle, but this time it happened much earlier than usual, so I left it to do its thing, sprawling along the greenhouse staging and engulfing anything in its path. Next time I will be prepared. Probably. If you are buying grafted plants do believe the instructions. We may all have become a bit jaded with the promised performance of bought plants that then sulk and die but in this case be prepared for everything it says on the label. It will happen. My order this year will be for one single beefsteak type and one single ‘normal’ tomato. No cucumbers. I’d like to try a squash plant though and maybe a melon. GA

fell into the Tay, when you put in the supports. Then add a bit. The cucumbers are trouble free but do need to be nipped to prevent them rambling everywhere.

If you want to try growing grafted vegetables there is a very clear instruction programme at http://breeze.wsu. edu/howtograft/. A razor blade is the most sophisticated bit of equipment you need.


Digging into the past Looking back over old Bath Chronicles about gardening and allotments in Bath, in one way very little has changed in the past 100 years, and in others everything has. Throughout the period pilfering has been a constant complaint. The man from Monk-

ton Combe who had 32 broccoli stolen overnight in May 1932, is typical. Vandalism too, then described as ‘wanton mischief’, was almost as widespread as today, it would seem. Here are summaries of some of those stories.

January 1943 Allotment theft Bath Man sent to prison William Lansdown, of Upper East Hayes appeared in Bath Magistrates Court charged with stealing vegetables worth 1s (5p if you are that young), the property of Albert Deacon. Percy Cartwright, of Upper Midsummer Buildings had been in the shed of his allotment at Eight Acres in Fairfield Park on Christmas Day (which itself sounds a little strange) when he saw Lansdown trespassing on several plots picking greens which he put in a basket. When he

took Brussels sprouts from Mr Deacon’s plot Percy challenged him, and then reported him to the police. Mr Deacon would have been happy if the thief had put 10s into the hospital box, but the police were not happy with that so he came up before the Bench, who told him in no uncertain terms that the 2,000 allotment holders in Bath (remember this was the middle of the war) had to be protected and sentenced him to a month of hard labour.

It’s August,1931, high summer, and indoors at the TA drill hall in Upper Bristol Road, but that wasn’t a good enough reason to take off one’s hat, as the allotment stars displayed their best

August 1947 ALLOTMENT ‘OUTRAGES’ Bloomfield Tenants lodge complaint Straying cattle said to have come from ‘the direction of the Moorlands Estate’ were blamed for damage to garden produce on the Bloomfield Allotment site during the weekend. It was the third occasion in a few months that such a thing had occurred, and on Monday evening an informal meeting of allotmenteers expressed indignation at the ‘outrages’ and decided to lodge an official complaint. The report goes on to say that the cows had got into the allotments via an iron gate, recently renewed, which had been left open ‘the previous gate having been destroyed by mischievous children.’ The seven cows which got in during the Sunday raid had destroyed cabbage patches, carrots, and beans. ‘Recently horses have also made merry in the allotments, when even more damage than on Sunday was committed,’ the report continues (sounding


more and more like the writer was one of those affected by the raids). The owner of the cows had already been prosecuted for allowing his beasts to stray, he adds (there were no women reporters on the Chronicle for another 10 years), pointing out that it could all have been avoided if the gardeners hadn’t left the gate open in the first place.

April 1949 During a discussion at the Small Holding and Allotments Committee of the council a Mr Jones raised the recurring

topic of non-tenants taking a short cut through the Englishcombe Lane allotments. But he dismissed the suggestion that this might be cured by moving the trespassers will be prosecuted sign to a more prominent position with the grumble ‘notices never stop anywhere for more than a fortnight.’

April 1947 Night raid Mr Alfred Hull, of Beech Grove, Englishcombe Park wrote in June 1947 warning fellow plotholders in Englishcombe that he had lost

When the judges and Committee were photographed at the annual show in 1928 most wore waistcoats and ties. That oik in the back row with an open neck learned his lesson, and was wearing a tie at the following year’s photocall 60 runner bean plants, four dozen aster plants and two dozen zinnias, and offering a £2 reward (equivalent to about £65 today). Elm Place allotment-holders, who had reported four cloches stolen a few weeks before, had had a fifth stolen that week.

The annual allotment holders dance at the Weston Hotel in 1928 was sufficiently smart that some of the revellers turned up in evening dress


NEWS IN BRIEF Vandalism, part 93 There has been more light, but annoying, vandalism at the community garden. Kate is liaising with the police and the committee is considering what additional measures we can take, even CCTV. Missing co-ordinators Saturday co-ordinators are still thin on the ground, a simple task to take on if you are coming to the garden anyway. Call Sheila Blethyn if you’d like to volunteer ­— and make a friend for life. Stopping the rot The Steel shed is to get a new

ramp, replacing the existing steps, which are rotting, making it more accessible with wheelbarrows etc. The wooden shed is also leaking, and our signboard at the entrance to the garden is rotting. Another thing to blame on the weather. A matter of opinion B&NES seems to be laying the foundations for self government of allotments, something which has already happened in Wiltshire and other places as a cost-cutting measure. What part should BOG play in these changes? Opinions differ widely.

Bottles of sunshine for just £2

2012 wasn’t the best year ever for apples but we had a decent crop of tasty fruit on the community garden and it has been turned into some exceptionally tasty apple juice using Ian Wood’s commercial apple press and pasteuriser. These bottles of premium juice cost £2 for a 75cl bottle, and will last until the next apple harvest — if you can resist the temptation. They flew off the table (£176 worth) at the annual meeting in December, and as stocks are limited, buy now from Tim, or from Harvest, in Walcot.

Headlines you are never going to see

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co G w -or se ai d ts ‘I th am tin in t e e s e ge up er t a ’ s pe tin g o t ay p g s le fed lis or C w ha a up n ir ti w t n i

Editing the BOG newsletter is not much like being at GM Pigeons the helm of a newspaper. Hours sometimes go by will eat without a major story breakonly slugs ing. Months more often. To pass the time, and tone and snails the vital journalistic exaggeration muscle, I sometimes practice the ancient red top art of thinking of a headline and then making up some facts to go underneath it, the kind of thing you will be familiar with from papers like the Daily Ex***ss and the M**l, or Liar’s Gazette as it is known in the trade. s oy But I’m not very good at b ge it, and the only headlines a n I can come up with are Tee ones we’d love to see on real true stories. You read it first Further suggestions will be welcomed.

va y sa

And then there are the stories we know are true that will just never be written

in the Sun!

Climate change really is happening


Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Bath Organic Group held on Saturday December 1, 2012 at Claverton Down Community Hall ACTIVITIES IN THE PAST YEAR Kate asked if everyone approved the venue and it was agreed to book it again next year. We usually have five committee meetings in the year and if anyone wished to attend they were very welcome. Kate also confirmed that the postcode for the community garden was BA1 3AR. She thanked everyone who helped with the group, particularly Sheila for membership, Ria as Treasurer, Geoff for the newsletter, Peter Andrews for the e.news and Pauline and Tim for running the Farmers Market and Trading Hut. Gemma Bolton has resigned from organising the Saturday Rota for the garden, but no-one came forward for this job. Sheila will take this on for the time being. This year the community garden started well but the weather has caused problems and we do need more people to do physical work in the garden. Peter and Geoff will be asked to put an article in the newsletters for more volunteers. John Gibbons was paid to build the new bower which everyone is very pleased with. This was partly paid for from donations. Virginia has set up BAGs [Bath Area Growers] which has drawn together many like-minded groups in the area . The garden has been regularly used by Liz Clarke’s Forest School, and several people have held parties giving a donation of around £10 per hour for its use.

There were no school visits this year partly due to the weather and because of the plethora of events held throughout the country and the fact that many schools were now using their own land to garden. The schools will be circulated again this year. We took part in the Community Garden section of Britain in Bloom this year and were given the award of ‘developing’. The men did the first Farmers Market in April. We had concern shown by the Trading Standards because of the word ‘organic’ in our title. We give out a flyer with all produce sold saying that whilst it is locally grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides, it is not organically certified as the cost is too prohibitive. We have had a good crop of apples this year and Tim has cooperated with Ian Wood who has a commercial apple press and pasteuriser and they have produced apple juice which is available for £2 per bottle. We are still having problems with vandals and we inform the police every time this happens. There was a serious attempt on the steel shed and the tin shed has been breached three times. We think it’s mainly youngsters as they left graffiti and ’tags’ which were photographed and given to the police. Some of the chicken keepers have seen people in the polytunnel. Tim and Dan did a “Starting Gardening” course which was

excellent. We have £500 earmarked for training if anyone has any ideas. Jon Lucas asked if there were any guidelines about this. The general feeling is that we need to keep it on site and the idea is that someone within the group will be able to pass on training skills to other members. Bath College is holding an Adult Teaching Training Skills Course in 2013 from, it was thought, February to June/July. This will be considered. The Soil Association also run courses and we may be able to find a course through them as Gill Christie is a lifetime member. Tim has recently had a Soil Association apprentice and wondered if any other group would be interested in sharing the cost. Membership : We have 107 families, 39 pay by standing order and 14 are life members. Four members have left. TREASURER’S REPORT Ria presented the accounts which are up to 31st August this year, so do not reflect the income from the Farmers Markets after that date. Expenditure included purchase of scaffold planks for the raised beds and ‘Memberships’ were for Garden Organic and FCFCG. ‘Insurances’ are for Employer’s Liability insurance and to cover market selling. Jon Lucas queried the rent just for the orchard. We do not pay rent for the community garden, we only


have to pay water rates. When we applied for lottery funding we had to apply to B&NES for the garden’s use for more than one year and B&NES supplied us with a letter of intent for five years.

lunch to share, had proved to be popular with a lot of work done, ie pond lining, making the earth oven. This will be discussed at the next committee meeting. ACTION: COMMITTEE TO DISCUSS

APPOINTMENT OF AUDITORS

Although the areas where crops are grown are generally well maintained, this still left large parts of the garden badly in need of some TLC, ie the area by the pond, under the fruit trees, the town garden and the flower garden. The question was asked if we sell flowers at the market and it was confirmed that we do and they are lucrative. The town garden is a difficult area as it is surrounded by fruit trees. Dan suggested asparagus which once planted would be productive and easy to maintain.

Lyn Barham has kindly offered her services. ELECTION OF COMMITTEE The following officers who are willing to stand again were proposed and seconded Chair: Kate Mills Treasurer: Ria Gane Membership Secretary: Sheila Blethyn Newsletter Editor: Geoff Andrews Minuting Secretary: Sylvia Hudnott Committee members who are willing to stand for another year are Pauline Macgrath, Sim Rezai, Tim Baines and Peter Andrews. No-one came forward to take Gemma Bolton’s of Saturday Rota Organiser and Sheila has kindly taken on this role. ANY OTHER BUSINESS Garden: following on from Kate’s earlier mention of the garden, a discussion took place about doing work in the garden and the rota required for Saturdays. Kate said that the Saturday garden opening was for members who worked who could not come down at any other time and a rota was needed for someone to meet and greet any newcomers as well as providing refreshments. Tim said that someone has mentioned that it’s rather cliquey which surprised us. If this sort of remark is made, it would be good to have it passed on. However, several members thought that the special action days, when a group met to do a specific job with

The committee will discuss the idea of paying a gardener for a limited period to work on a specific area, ie the cut flower garden which needs a complete overhaul. A vote was taken about a part-time gardener and it was unanimously agreed to advertise for a part-time gardener for four hours a week for six months for general maintenance [hopefully from within the group]. A contract will have to be drawn up and someone needs to be the main contact for the employee. ACTION : COMMITTEE TO DISCUSS Mini-plots : Dan said that most of these were now free. Their availability will be put into the next newsletter. Any members may apply for one and if a non-member, they have to join BOG. ACTION : TO BE PUT INTO NEWSLETTER Chickens : Ria said they are doing well. More members are needed to cover Sundays and also to make it easier to cover holidays. ACTION : TO BE PUT INTO NEWSLETTER

The coop has been made rat and squirrel-proof so the hens are a lot happier and a green roof will be put on soon. Newsletter : Geoff said that Peter had carried out a survey about the newsletter after criticism of the use of the ISSU website to deliver it. The results were inconclusive. He said that reverting to a printed newsletter for everyone was prohibitively expensive [and this was confirmed by a unanimous vote against returning to p&p]. However we do post it to those members who do not have email addresses. Geoff is happy to offer alternative delivery systems, such as PDF. The suggestion was that we publish via our website. Although we have a good website it’s not our own. Geoff said he will investigate. ACTION : GEOFF Dan : our Garden noticeboard needs renewing as it is dissolving. ACTION:COMMITTEE He also announced that for 2013 Dry Arch are producing pigs and turkeys and if anyone is interested please contact him. Virginia Williamson had contacted B&NES to promote local food growing. Whilst they have no agriculture policy they are going to fund a Food Officer. Several members had advice about encouraging volunteers and this will be pursued. Close of Meeting 4.10pm An auction then took place which raised £ 12 and we had donations of £13.61. £176 worth of apple juice was sold.


I N C O M E

Treasurer’s report Farmers’ Market

817.29

Growing Green

263.46

and

plant sale

Membership

810.00

Donations including Forest School Bower donations

375.90

TOTAL INCOME

460.00 £2,726.65

BOG

people

Kate Mills, Chair 311699 katemillsbath@gmail.com Ria Gane Treasurer 07875288283 ria_gane@yahoo.co.uk Sylvia Hudnott Secretary shudnott@hotmail.com Pauline McGrath Farmers’ Market 464697 shirleymagrath@yahoo.co.uk

s p e n d i n g

Newsletter Seeds,

production

tools, plants

52.92 541.76

and garden sundries

Memberships Building Sundry

the new bower

administration

75.00 1,421.00 254.93

and expenses

Rent (for

the orchard)

TOTAL EXPENDITURE

Balance

138.25 £2,865.26

of account

£2,823.87

Balance of account 2010-2011

£3,090.34

Tim Baines Community Garden and Trading Hut 312116 timjbaines@yahoo.co.uk Sheila Blethyn Membership, co-ordinators 866150 sheilablethyn@yahoo.co.uk Geoff Andrews Newsletter 484422 g.andrews@mac.com


MEMBERSHIP FORM I wish to become a member of Bath Organic Group Name Address Telephone No. Email You can take the completed form to the community garden on Tuesday or Saturday between 10 and 1pm or send it to: Sheila Blethyn 9 Winsley Road Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1QR 01225 866150 or email your details to

sheilablethyn@yahoo.co.uk Post with a payment of £10 per household per year. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Bath Organic Group’. If you email it please complete the bank transfer form below

bathorganicgroup.org.uk

And here is a bank transfer form, with the information you will need if you prefer to set up an online standing order STANDING ORDER MANDATE - BATH ORGANIC GROUP PLEASE PAY: Bath Organic Group The Co-Operative Bank Sort Code: 08-92-99 Account Number: 65363203 The amount of £10 (ten pounds) Commencing from (Date): And thereafter every year until further notice. ACCOUNT TO BE DEBITED: Account Name: Bank: Sort Code: Account Number: Signature:


Bath Organic Group newsletter winter 2013