The Garden Organic team enjoyed three busy days at the weekend for the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show. It was great to receive visits to the stand from so many of our members and it was a pleasure to be supported by volunteer members from in and around Harrogate. The trip was topped off by winning a five-star award for our Trade Stand for outstanding presentation and originality!
A new report by Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN UK) reveals that the fruit and vegetables given to four-to-six year olds via a government scheme aimed at promoting healthy eating habits contained residues of 123 different pesticides. These include suspected endocrine disruptors which interfere with hormone systems, known carcinogens, and organophosphates that can negatively affect children’s cognitive development.
A fascinating study has shown that different pollinators can affect a plant's development. Brassicas pollinated by bumble bees became taller and with more fragrant flowers than those pollinated by hoverflies. This implies that different pollinators will rapidly affect a plant's evolution. It then became evident that bumblebees preferred bumblebee-pollinated plants over hoverfly-pollinated plants. Could the plant have adapted to the bumblebees’ preferences?
Allium leaf miner (Phytomyza gymnostoma) is a serious pest that affects all allium crops. It first arrived in the Midlands in 2002, and since then, has rapidly spread around the country. Garden Organic last did a survey of allium leaf miner with the Organic Growers’ Alliance in 2011. The survey showed that there were many siting’s around the Midlands but it had spread to other areas of the UK as well.
The phrase ‘you reap what you sow’ certainly rings true in August and suddenly I’m drowning in courgettes, this really is the plant that keeps on giving and I am struggling to stay on top. It has opened up a new front on my allotment activities though and it’s at home in the kitchen, where my culinary skills have been in action in order to make use of the five marrows I collected last week. I would not describe the marrow as the tastiest of my produce but stuffed they do go down well.
Chase Organics, best known to gardeners and horticulturists for their extensive range of organic seeds, seaweed plant nutrition products and garden supplies, has been granted the Royal Warrant to HRH Prince of Wales.