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The Gallery / Re: End of September garden
« Last post by pumpkinlover on September 24, 2021, 13:28:22 »
It's starting to take shape now Eric, notice the mini crevice garden.
It might be smaller than the last one but it is still a very good size garden.
Edible Plants / Re: Leeks am I too late?
« Last post by pumpkinlover on September 24, 2021, 13:17:32 »
Wonderful, thank you all, I feel hopeful this will work.
Will get some more done this afternoon.

Edible Plants / Re: Leeks am I too late?
« Last post by gray1720 on September 24, 2021, 08:23:30 »
Absolutely! I often use them instead of onions as a base for dishes as they are ready when the onions are long gone, doesn't matter how big they are in a stew.
Edible Plants / Re: Seed Saving Circle 2021
« Last post by Vetivert on September 23, 2021, 21:41:08 »
Thanks for the link. They advise not to cut while the pods are still green. Some are starting to take on a more autumnal colour, so I'll remain patient.

It's a very tasty vegetable. Hard to describe - very tender spring cabbage with a slight hint of mustard perhaps? it has the rapid growth of other Asian brassicas. Why it was dropped from British catalogues is beyond me.
The Gallery / End of September garden
« Last post by Palustris on September 23, 2021, 20:49:35 »
Thought you might like to see our place at the end of the Summer.
Edible Plants / Re: Leeks am I too late?
« Last post by Tulipa on September 23, 2021, 18:22:07 »
Hi, I have done that and still planted them out and got good leeks by April although not as big. Really useful for leeks au gratin...roll in a slice of ham, pour cheese sauce over the top and bake in the oven.  And who knows what size they were when sautÚd or in soup... It is better to use them than throw them away now then have to go out and buy some :)
The Basics / Re: Plot secretary
« Last post by Tee Gee on September 23, 2021, 17:02:21 »
Ours was quite a simple chore in so far as the site secretary was basically a 'liaison' between the plot holders and the head of the Leisure Department of the council. If anyone had a problem, they would discuss it with the secretary, and hopefully it was settled there and then.

In the event it was more serious, the secretary would call in a member of the Leisure department's staff to resolve the problem (this only happened once in all my time on the plots). 

Having said that; a couple of secretaries we had during my 30+ years on the plot were somewhat officious and tried to boss us a round to how they thought the plots were run, which was sometimes contrary to the statutory rules and regulations as written in the contact documents we were given when taking on a plot/s. 

That meeting I mentioned was such an event, as it was agreed the secretary had overstepped his position, and the problem was amicably resolved.

The only concession the Secretary had was; his/her plot was 'rent-free' for services rendered.

The Basics / Re: Plot secretary
« Last post by Beersmith on September 23, 2021, 16:01:48 »
I think the answer is"it depends".

Some allotments are private. Some are council run. Ours is a slightly unusual type. It is a council site, but day to day running is done by an elected committee.

So the committee members have to organise rent collection, which is then forwarded to the council. They also have to ensure tenants adhere to various rules, and as and when necessary arrange evictions.  There is a shop on site so that requires stock, and a rota of volunteers to be organised so it can open each Sunday. Finally the committee have to hold meetings including an annual general meeting that all plot holders can attend, and get to vote on who is on the committee and other decisions about the running of the site.

Our committee has ten members in all, but most of the work falls to just four.

Field manager: Lettings, rent collection, gate keys and security.
Treasurer: All financial transactions, book keeping, everything financial, getting everything audited at the end of the year.
Shop manager: Buying stock, organising the volunteer rota, taking and supplying seed orders.
Secretary: All paperwork, all correspondence, both external and with plot holders, booking meeting rooms, taking meeting minutes.  Liaison with council.

My guess would be that most sites have to undertake a similar range of tasks and responsibilities. But I would also guess that defining exactly what is done by the plot secretary will vary enormously, and could be very different from one site to another.
The Basics / Plot secretary
« Last post by Lucylou on September 23, 2021, 14:44:00 »
Hi all and thank you for letting me join the forum.
I wonder if anyone can clarify the role of allotment plot manager, or does it depend on what site you belong too. Kind regards
Edible Plants / Re: Potatoes
« Last post by Paulh on September 23, 2021, 11:18:33 »
Scientific advances - whether in genetics, gene manipulation and propagation - have changed the breeding process and the transition to commercial production out of recognition. But the plant (or animal) still has to meet enough of the right criteria in the real world to be worthwhile.

There's something like 30,000 varieties of rose. A lot of the French ones bred 150 years ago remain gardenworthy. If you look at the hybrid teas / floribundas (or whatever these are now called) in the garden centre or on offer in the media, they are mostly varieties that were deservedly popular 50 years ago. Though plant breeder's rights may have something to do with that! The big developments are the strains of English / modern roses developed by David Austin, Graham Thomas and others which which produce roses that on the whole are more gardenworthy than most of the old varieties. But how many of those are really any better than the varieties they have already introduced? There's a Rose of the Year every season and I wonder how many of those have been successful sellers afterwards?

You see that most clearly with all the "fantastic new plants" on offer in the garden centres each spring and summer, in gaudy pots, mass produced and hyped up to hit the impulse buyer (guilty as charged). I bet you won't find any on sale anywhere the next year.

On the other hand, developments like surfinias are lasting because they are an improvement on petunias and meet a particular need well.

I suspect that climate change will have less effect on flowers than on vegetable breeding. Why spend time and money on adapting even a garden favourite when there are many other plants that will flourish that the public will buy instead?

Vegetables will be different, because there are fewer species and varieties in use and we are very dependent on some of them. We know that potatoes and tomatoes are being bred for resistance to blight which is difficult as blight itself mutates. If in the UK we will have more warm, wet blight-friendly summers, then we will need more of those new varieties soon (even if they are lacking in some other qualities). Runner beans and French beans are temperature / moisture sensitive too, will are current favourites suffice? And what will we do about windier weather which is predicted? Sometimes it may simply be a question of finding a related variety that grows in another part of the world in the sort of conditions we are heading for.

I'd also say that generally a good new variety of vegetable is "better" than the old varieties in general in some important way. That may be ease of commercial growing, processing and sale, such as more compact, heavier cropping plants, and it is not always taste (though that seems to be coming back in supermarket tomatoes and strawberries now). Heritage varieties are generally that for a reason - exhibit number 1 is stringy runner beans. I'm not saying that they shouldn't be preserved - the gene pool matters - but I'm not convinced they are the best thing for the family veg plot.

So I think we will soon see - and will need to see - some new varieties in our farms, allotments and gardens but that we will also grow more of some things that are less common or successful now.

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