There are still generous supplies of last year’s fallen leaves left in the yard for laying down for leaf mould. Supplies of wood chip have also been arriving quite regularly. Both these materials are free to AVAA members.
As most of you know, AVAA hasn’t had a functional shop for quite a while, but members regularly tell us that they valued the old shop and would like to see some form of shop operating again. Our longer term idea is to work with the Farm to resource a shop jointly, but in the mean time I am building up a series of bulk-buy deals to help plot holders get hold of common materials cheaply. Municipal compost deliveries will therefore resume soon. As before, I will buy it in bulk and sell it on in builders ‘dumpy’ bags. Each bag holds approximated 0.75 cub metres (which is about 8 large barrows of compost). The price should be similar to the price last year. I am currently waiting for some space to become available in the leaf bays before I order a delivery, but this could be quite soon if there is enough demand.
I have also acquired supplies of garden lime and of blood, fish and bone manure (organic) purchased from another allotment society with a surplus. These are in 20 kg bags which are £10 and £16 for the lime and BFB respectively. I can make up smaller bags of BFB if necessary. Regular liming is important to keep the PH (acidity level) of your soil in the range that most vegetables require. While some species react adversely to fresh lime (e.g. potatoes) all vegetables like a PH between 5 and 7 and also benefit for a supply of available calcium in the soil. Over time, most garden and urban soils slowly become more acid due to the effects of acid rain and other atmospheric pollutants. Blood fish and bone manure provides basic supplies of the three major plant nutrients – nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus – from organic sources, and is helpful wherever plants flag or soil is short of nutrients.
I am also considering buying several sacks of seed potatoes of varieties that grow well at Ashley Vale but are hard to find in shops – like Sarpo Mira (very blight resistant), Nicola and Picasso (waxy main crops) and a good second early like Orla or Vivaldi. I could sell these by the kilo (12 -25 seeds depending on variety) for about £1.70 (or about half the retail price).
Contact Keith about any of these things using the contact link above on the linkbar above