Food & Gardens Group Meeting 3rd April 2014

LAGS Workshops

Seed sowing workshop will be held on Wednesday 16th April 4-6pm at the LAGS garden on campus. Following that is the sign making workshop 26th April from 1-3pm, where James, a design-tech teacher, will be showing people how to make signs for the plots. Paul suggested making some signs for the types of beds on the TLCA to replaced the ones Jon and Steve lashed up quickly last year.

Last Workshop Report

Well attended and generally successful. Jon said that he’d had a mild complaint from one new person that the afternoon workshop wasn’t focused on what we told people would be covered: we need to be careful of that in future. The rain was a bit unpleasant but there was lovely food – thanks to Martha, Kathy and John for soup and BBQs. Getting students from campus down was good and hopefully they’ll visit again – it is good to get inter-generational attendance and skill sharing. Steve said we should plan future work days out a bit more in advance so that we’ve got a range of jobs to make the range abilities present. Discussed layout of fruit cage so that some beds are accessible for disabled users (as well as the raised beds outside). Kathy is writing report on fruit cage project to submit to the council and asked for input from group members of points we’d like to include (including photos).

Fruit Cage & Allotment

Need to finish fruit cage. We’ve got 4 sacks of top soil that we need to move from the entrance – need six or so people with shovels and wheelbarrows to move. The raised beds in the fruit cage are in the right place and just need plastic fitting, a middle timber fitted by Ken and then filled with compost (not just the top soil!). 2 bags of the top soil will be used to level out the access track to make access to the site easier.

Jon and Steve are picking up a second hand polytunnel from one of Jon’s friends tomorrow morning. We’ll need to decide where this goes after we’ve finished the fruit cage.  Barry suggested recovering the greenhouse frame with plastic as well.

Martha suggested Wednesday evening work sessions should restart from next Wedneday (9th April) from 5pm. Moving the top soil will be the main job on that Wednesday (continuing from work Steve, Paul and Jon will be doing tomorrow), but there might also be time to plant potatoes. There’s another working day on Saturday 12th April from 9am until midday.

Exotic Plant Workshop

Steve suggested we cancel this as the site isn’t ready and its a lot of money. This was agreed by the group, possibly as something to consider for next year when we have the site more organised.

Invitation to Peter Marchant Trust

Steve suggested inviting them to the general meeting in May. Jon suggested instead that we invite them to the plots one Wednesday evening – 7th May has been pencilled in but will depend if they’re free that day.

Grant Money

All the fruit cage/raised bed grant money has been spent:

Fruit Cage (Harrods Horticultural)   : £ 684.08
Fruit Bushes                         : £  55.10
Jewsons/B&Q (raised beds materials)  : £ 281.40
Slabs & sand                         : £ 357.91
B&Q cards (for chairs, compost, etc) : £ 243.44
Total                                : £1869.13

Apple Pressing

Jon suggested having a training workshop in June to show people who want to run apple pressing workshops in the Autumn. Martha suggested hosting it at the LAGS garden. We’ll plan for that later in the Spring. Jon said he’ll be taking apple pressing bookings using the same system as last year.


Paul said Harry on the corner of Forest Road and Epinal Way has made a great willow seat. Willow working could be a good workshop and/or fund raising in the future.

Date of Next Meeting

June 5th at LAGS TBC (missing out May as the general meeting is in May and we’ll be meeting informally on Wednesday evenings from now on). Also talked about visiting the organic farm in Long Whatton later in the summer – Steve to make enquiries.

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