We’ve just heard from the Petersfield Society about a project to survey the trees in the town. Using software from the USDA Forest Service (i-Tree), they will be providing full training and any necessary equipment so it is a great opportunity to help your local trees and learn more about them. No experience or specialist knowledge required.
More information about the survey can be found by following this link: https://sites.google.com/site/petersfieldtreesurvey/home
Despite the changeable weather, fifteen of us were at the garden this afternoon for this year’s Big Dig.
We managed the first four of the seven tasks on the notice board, but also had time to sit round the fire and chat
I was asked for the recipe for the oat and blackberry flapjacks I brought. Its based on one on the Carnation website, but omits the extra sugar – its sweet enough!
350 g softened butter or similar (I used Yeo Valley spreadable)
350 g condensed milk (this stuff is 50% sugar)
300 g porridge oats
200 g wholemeal self-raising flour
100 g blackberries (I used ones picked at the garden last autumn & frozen. You can substitute other berries, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, or whatever comes to hand)
- Heat oven to 180deg
- Cream the butter and condensed milk together (tip: weigh the condensed milk into the bowl)
- Mix in the other ingredients thoroughly.
- Using two spoons, scoop 4cm diameter blobs of the mixture onto a baking tray, keeping well separated. You should get about two dozen.
- Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until they’re begining to brown. They will have spread into each other.
- Allow to cool on the tray and firm up before removing with a palette knife.
In case you didn’t know, we are taking part again in the Big Dig – a national event encouraging people to help get the new growing season started in their local community garden. It’s a great way to socialise and get to know people so do come along and invite others – no actual digging required unless you wish.
This year it’s on Saturday 16th April from 2pm-4pm at the Community Garden in Waterworks Road, Sheet, Nr Petersfield. For how to find us click here
There’s a list of jobs on the board in our shed, including planting potatoes and onion sets, sowing winter veg, sowing spinach and carrots, planting out peas, potting on tomato and artichoke plants in the greenhouse, making new beds (if you want to dig) or just come and do nothing in particular. As always, all welcome. Hope to see you there.
We’d become a bit concerned that the trees in the orchard area might be overcrowded when they matured, and decided to move one into the main garden. Our choice fell on ‘Arthur Turner’ a cooking variety that was in the middle of a row of four. (Apparently it won an RHS prize for its blossom) The trees have now been in place for three years, so its more of a disturbance for them than when we originally planted them, but they should still re-establish. This weekend was almost the last time we could do this while the trees were dormant.
Here’s Arthur before the move:
First we prepared the hole for Arthur’s new home, digging out an area with roughly the diameter of the branch-spread down to two spade depths and adding four wheelbarrowloads of compost to enrich the soil.
Next we removed the turf around the tree, and dug a trench down, carefully digging in until we came to the roots. We dug down and under, to free it, and rocked it onto a tarpauline. We then dragged it to the new planting position.
We replanted Arthur, taking care to plant to the same depth that it had been before, and then backfilled the hole, treading it down well to exclude any air pockets. Finally we put in a new stake, to keep the roots still while they reestablish, and backfilled the hole where it had been. Now to wait with fingers crossed!
More than forty people joined us for our third annual wassailing in the orchard area, with Sue’s apple cake, some cider made from fruit from the tree on the allotment boundary with Waterworks Road and other refreshments ably overseen by Amanda
The Petersfield Community Choir joined us again to sing a number of traditional wassailing songs.
Emily and Keith then gave a practical demonstration of pruning our apple trees, cutting out damaged wood and crossing branches, and trying to encourage an ideal goblet shape.
So here’s to our next growing season.
Just a reminder of a couple of events this week:
On Thursday, 14th January we are holding our Annual General Meeting at Winton House in Petersfield. 7pm for a 7.30 start.
Also, we are wassailing in the Orchard on Sunday 17th January from 2pm. Do join us for fruit tree pruning, singing with Petersfield Community Choir and apple-related refreshments!
With the onset of winter, things are dying down, though seed heads still give interest. However, there are winter crops, like these leeks planted earlier
and field beans