News April 2016

Our Visiting Edible Gardens season is taking shape. For all the trips we'll meet in Sainsbury's car park in Haltwhistle and share cars. There will be no charge, except a contribution to drivers' expenses. Full details for each visit will be published here every month, or pick up a leaflet at Haltwhistle's Plant Festival in the Leisure Centre on May 21st. If you wish to travel direct to the venue please contact me for times, directions etc. Here's the dates to make a note of:

May 25th Wednesday evening - Low maintenance, organic veg growing. Andrew Davenport has a plant nursery business to manage so his veg garden in Bingfield has to be productive with minimal work.
May 31st Tuesday afternoon - Veg growing as therapeutic work at Tynedale Horticultural Service, Ridley Hall.
July 2nd Saturday - Community projects: Transition Tynedale's community garden and Edible Hexham all over town. In the afternoon we've been invited to join a picnic with GoLocal, a Community Supported Agriculture enterprise in Ovingham.
July 30th Saturday afternoon - Kate Norris will show us her garden providing ultra fresh salads and herbs for diners at Battlesteads, Wark. Also a Peter and Mike's two-household allotments in the village: “Our garden has some rough edges and we're largely self-taught”
August 21st Sunday - Fruit day. Peaches and figs - yes, in Northumberland! And we'll join a work session at Wylam Community Orchard.
Sept 17th Saturday morning - Haltwhistle Harvest celebration

If you're already an accomplished grower, or buy a locally grown veg box every week, and could do with some new ideas for cooking all those fresh greens hear Pete Lawrence talk about his Allotment Cookbook on Saturday 23rd April in the Queen's Hall. (Somehow the organisers have scheduled this to overlap with Linda France on 'Reading The Flowers' so you'll be forced to choose between the two!). Full details:

Seeds of Time screened last month by South Tynedale Wildlife Group emphasised the risks to global food supplies of relying on an ever dwindling variety of food crops in the face of climate change and new pests and plant diseases. The hero of the film, Cary Fowler, was instrumental in establishing a seed storage facility deep in a frozen mountain which now holds some 750,000 distinct crop varieties. The film briefly featured an alternative to freeze-storing seeds which is to keep growing them and saving seeds every year. Many gardeners, for whom taste and interest is more important than maximising quantity and shelf-life, are keen to grow local or quirky varieties but, due to really daft seed trade regulations, the range of varieties which can be traded is strictly limited. However by 'swapping' or 'joining a club' one can circumvent these regulations and source varieties which may not be commercially available.
Check out:
  • STS seed swap at Haltwhistle Plant Festival, May 21st
  • Garden Organic's Heritage Seed Library 024 7630 3517
  • Real Seeds - all open pollinated varieties, so you can save your own for next year. And a members club for seeds which cannot be traded on the open market. 01239 821107

South Tyne Sustainability aims to reduce the impact of the community of Haltwhistle and surrounding villages on our environment. This will help individuals, families and our community save money and resources and ensure a more sustainable future for us all.

To join STS contact Sue Seymour, 016977 47359


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