Eyes down for spudulike

CSSG Potato day 2016

Thanks to Mick from the Cambridgeshire Self Sufficiency Group for getting in touch about their 7th Annual potato day on Saturday 13th February 2016 at Commemoration Hall, 39 High Street, Huntingdon PE29 3AQ.
It’s from 11am-3pm, with refreshments and a craft stand and more, all for FREE. How good is that? They’ll have over 60 (count them!) varieties of spuds alongside onion sets and shallots. What’s great is people can buy how little potatoes (10 grams or less) or large (as many kilos as they want) at £1-00 a kilo.
If you’re organising a potato day or even a seed swap (if it’s in London even better so we can go!) and you want us to mention it send us an email with all the details to onedeckpete (at) gmail (dot) com
There’s a mention about potato days and seed swaps in our Sounds From The South podcast from a couple of years ago below.
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Jumper clown

johnny-jump-upWe discovered our plant name of the week a couple of days ago while looking for some seeds on e-bay. It’s a Viola  (Viola tricolour) called Johnny Jump Up aka tickle-me-fancy, come-and-cuddle-me or love-in-idleness. And we were thinking of some bad boy ragga business! 

If you fancy looking for some seed bargains on ebay for next year or for the next seed swap, tap in something like “flower/vegetable seeds job lot” or “assorted flower and vegetable seed bargains” into the ebay search. Do check the “use by dates” on the ads though.

Zucchini and I

Paul's courgetteIt’s all gone a bit courgette-centric around here at the moment. A big shout to our good mate Paul W for sharing with us a pic of his first ever courgette (above). It was grown in a raised bed from a plant bought outside Charlton train station in May this year on his way home from work (four plants for two quid, a bargain or what?) Great stuff Paul! weeds courgettesOur courgettes are doing are doing well too (above) not bad from a packet of seeds from the seed swap earlier this year.

Last weekend another good mate was telling me that the two things on his allotment that never fail are courgettes and beetroot which incidentally are two great crops for someone who fancies starting out gardening. As long as you give them enough water and a feed every now and again you’ll get good results. In the case of courgettes, keep picking them when they are young (and watch they don’t turn into a marrow-like affairs) and you’re onto a winner. Don’t blame me though if you get a glut of the things though!

On the subject of gluts, anyone out there have any good recipes for courgettes? Send them to onedeckpete (a) gmail.com or leave a comment on this post.

Never mind the sell-by-date, feel the width!

Flaming NoraLast week I got a right old bargain from ebay, 30 odd packs of seeds (plus a couple of seed collections thrown in on top too) for £9.56 including P&P! The oldest sell-by-date was 2013 so it weren’t that brilliant but most of the use-by-dates were at least 2015 and there wasn’t that many duplicates. Not bad for just under a tenner though!

A mate from work has just got an allotment and this weekend was going to the allotments’ annual Cheese and Wine, Seed Swap Barbecue, (how’s that for a good idea?)  I gave her a massive handful to make a good impression and I still had loads for myself. Bargains, I love them! Remember this bargain related tune from many many moons ago?

The best things in life are (nearly) free!

Seed swap_1_Edit
A big thanks to Lewisham Gardens and Golightly Gardens for organising the great seed swap in Deptford yesterday. I got nearly everything from my wants list and there were loads of great seeds available. These events are always good for meeting fellow gardeners, getting growing advice and for picking up those odd varieties of seeds.

I got sunflowers, sweet peas, hollyhocks, poppies, foxgloves and gaillardia in the flower line. I wasn’t looking for too much veg as I’m happily sorted for those after getting a bargain of mixed veg seeds on ebay the other month.

I did get a couple of varieties of basil (bush and sweet genovese), french beans and a beefsteak tomato called Marmande which looked like it could be an extra from that silly 70’s film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.Seedswap deptfordI was on my way out when I met a lovely chap who was looking for the seed swap who worked for Lewisham council. He told me later after a long shift at the council all he wants to do is spend the rest of his day up his allotment. Great stuff! Back in the seedswap he shared a wide variety of seeds (and I don’t even think he wanted anything in return as far as I can remember) and I got a tomato called Black Krim from Russia!

When I finally left I visited the new and improved Dig This Nursery in Clifton Rise, New Cross after being ribbed by Mihaly (who was doing a talk at the seed swap about growing veg in small spaces) for not being up to speed about knowing that their shop has moved. Sometimes I find it hard enough to keep up with what’s going in me own small world let alone outside it! They’ve even opened a new shop in Rye Lane in the parish of Peckham too.

In the New Cross shop is a second hand record section where I flicked through some old reggae singles (£3 each) where they had a copy of the late great Nicky Thomas tune Love of the Common People (to hear the original jamaican version without the strings click here). On the B side of that well-known single is the tune below which I was reminded about by The Rhythm Doctor when he span it at one of our events at Limewharf last year.

And thanks to the excellent Dancecrasher website (from The Tighten Up Crew) here’s the vocal version of the above from Slim Smith. Well I never knew that!

Thanks again to Lewiham Gardens and Golightly Gardens for this event. More seed swaps please!

It shouldn’t happen to an (onion) set!

clean out the seedtinI was off all last week with the dreaded lurgy and some lurgy it was! I had no interest in gardening plus no energy so apart from sorting out my seed tin for the seed swap this saturday, last week was a total write-off!

Onions_sproutingYesterday I took another look at the onions that are supposedly stored in ideal conditions under the stairs which should have been put in in the autumn for overwintering. Oh dear!

And finally a quick reminder about the seed swap next Saturday in Deptford. It’s only a quid and you get three talks thrown in as well, so see you there! More details on twitter here.

Seed Swap 2015

Barefoot gardeners of the world unite!

This week’s podcast of The Dirt is now online, and features seed swapping, an interview with The Grumpy Gardener and our feature Sounds From The South which is at 24.30 minutes in here. Tune of the week is the excellent Victor Rice dub of Dubmatix featuring Jay Douglas  Celebrate my Love.