It’s a bit previous but…

Talk about looking into the future! We’ve just found out that the dates for next year’s London Potato Fair are 9th and 10th February 2019 11.00am-2.00pm, yes it’s over 2 days! The venue is the same as this years: Roots & Shoots, Walnut Tree Walk, Lambeth SE11 6DN.

Not sure if it will include a seed swap but you they’ll be more info nearer the time on the Roots & Shoots website here and for details of all potato days in the UK next year are at http://www.potato-days.net

If you’re organising anything like a potato day, plant sale or seed swap, do give us a bit of notice and send us the details and we’ll post it up!

In a Lionel Ritchie style

Three tunes for that “Easy like Monday night” feeling. The first (above) from Jura Sound system called Udaberri Blues (dub version) is a nice breaky number complete with the soothing sounds of the sea. What better tune to soothe those nerves on an Monday!

Next is the Chandeliers with High Diamond a slice of electronic funk with a slice of atmospherica then follows a slow mo dub affair with Joe Ariwa with King Moses at 33rpm. Tunes to wind into the week to!

The seedy side of swapping

We at Weeds like to mix it up when it comes to getting our seeds. We purchase them from our local garden centre, have more than a fondness for a ebay “vegetable seed job lot” (if it says “rare” or “unusual” then all the better) and do we love a seed swap. What’s nicer than passing on something you got a few of and exchanging them for something else.

Organised seed swaps are fun events to attend, you’ll meet like-minded people (great for exchanging gardening tips and information) and you’ll probably bag yourself something that you’ve never thought of growing before or some heirloom/heritage varieties you rarely come across.

One of our favourite seed swaps was in a pub in Hither Green on a Sunday night; a small crowd of gardening enthusiasts gathered to drink, chat horticulture and flick through boxes of interesting looking seed packets (some customised and hand-decorated, much more interesting than your average pack). That’s how a Sunday evening should be spent rather than having to put up with the likes of Highway and Antiques Road Show.

We never like to go to one empty handed and try to bring things as interesting as possible, these have included: chitted seed spuds, Egyptian walking onion sets and a couple of packs of night scented stock as we’re always trying to turn people onto growing those.

Once at a seed swap we saw a girl (dressed in a steam-punk style) pull out of her pocket a list of “what she had” consisting of 2 double-sided typed A4 sheets. Her black gothic style rucksack (with metal bits and all sorts) was filled with tons of numbered “dealer bags” full of seeds which came complete with home made labels and even sowing instructions. That’s a bit over the top for us here but that’s how passionate people are!

Sort of related are the annual potato day/seed fairs arranged by Pennards plants that combine a seed potato sale, heirloom/heritage seeds and sometimes have a seed swap section. Have a look at www.potato-days.net for your local one.

So save your own seeds this year (there’s lots of sites online that’ll give you pointers on how to do it) or see what you may have left over in your seed tin and next year have a look on google/facebook/twitter for a seed swap near you and go down and participate and see what you can bring home! Why not make a weekend of it and go to the big annual Seedy Sunday in Brighton (Sunday February 3rd 2019). Also have a look online as there’s numerous sites that encourage the art of seed swapping without even leaving your own home. Good luck! #onaseedswaptip

Respect to Mr Reel

It was very sad to hear about the passing of the reggae writer Penny Reel this week. Today we listened to the excellent Worldwide FM show from last year with Paul Bradshaw that featured Penny playing some excellent tunes from his massive record collection, reciting some poetry and reading passages from his books.

There’s some fantastic music on the show including the one above by Hy Mann called The Lord’s Army. It’s a killer and sounds not unlike one of our all-time favourite tunes M Robinson‘s Follow You. Both are from the same producer Ossie Irving/King Ossie, from the same year and sound very similar to us (the guitar parts are almost identical and so’s the horn bit at 1.17), are they even from the same session? More mentions on both the tunes here. Listen to the Worldwide FM show for more musical inspiration. R.I.P. Mr Penny Reel.

No tyres, no fires, no fridges

When passing a builder’s skip do “keep ’em peeled” (as Shaw Taylor used to say) as you never know what you may find. We at Weeds have bagged all sorts over the years including a collection of terracotta pots complete with a bag of multipurpose compost, a nearly new IKEA table and even a carrier bag full of Happy Hardcore singles (also this lot in the bottom of the picture below). Some things will come in handy in the garden but if not, they can be stuck on ebay and any profit made can be put towards buying plants/seeds etc. A win win situation!

Be clever when looking through a skip though, don’t jump up and down in it like an excited child, a sly glance when walking past then a quick swiping movement (in and out) with the hand will suffice. Alys Fowler in The Thrifty Gardener mentions if she sees something of interest she will always ask the owner of the skip first out of politeness before actually taking it. She may have a point.

Once while driving past a skip with our good friend “The Portuguese man with a van” (number on request) we noticed some lovely pieces of timber suitable for making a raised bed. We got out and inspected the wood which was ideal width-wise but far too long to get into the van. Our man then disappeared into the back of his vehicle and procured a saw, problem solved! Whilst he was perched on the top of the skip just about to make the first cut, a very irate man came out of the house opposite shouting at the top of his voice “WHAT THE XXXX ARE YOU DOING?” with his wife in tow trying to calm him down. It turns out the wood had just been delivered and was going to be used the next day for his loft conversion. Thank god we found out just in time or that would’ve been an expensive raised bed! Ask first if unsure.

As well as skips, do have a lookout for stuff left out for the binmen and items left outside houses attached with a note saying “take me” on it. Remember rifling through other peoples dustbins is illegal and if caught you will end up on some sort of register and certainly be given an ASBO. 

Seek and you will find! #getstuckintoaskip