This blog shows my activities and other people's initiatives. There are also articles that have been contributed.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

New Pages

Wishing everyone a Happy and successful New Year.
Just worth giving a thought to those who don't have it so good .If we can do that little bit to help and towards stopping climate change.

Whats New.
There are  pages on this blog. By clicking on the pages link on the right hand side (half way down) you will find a variety of articles. Though there is a strong emphasis on growing vegetables I am keen to receive articles on non political subjects.

 The Internal Martial ARTS
Sessions are at my house with Dr Mark Green (Green Tai Chi). In order to know more about Mark see below; 
To view 
Mark  focuses on Wing Chun and can accommodate students who want to learn other aspects of The Taiji system such as large San sau or The Yang Long Form privately . 
Separately some of the ex students of Paul Brecher will meet in the area of East Finchley or my house (depending on weather) to practice the syllabus taught by Paul Brecher. 

During the intervals between the sessions students meet up to train. for more details please make contact  or for private lessons with Mark directly with him.

Kun fa training with Mark Green

Re training sessions with Mark . Training sessions have ceased due to Covid 19 . We had an initial social on Zoom . Mark suggested we purchase Wing Chun Butterfly knives which a few of us have done so . 
Update : I have not been on the site for a number of months. Meanwhile Zoom sessions have continued learning the basics of Wing Chun Butterfly Knives. Hopefully the situation will improve allowing us to meet up again . Sorely missed

               Grow Your Own
U3A members can join me for sessions at Gordon Road Allotments for sessions on 'Grow Your Own'. These will restart in March
I would also like to use this page to encourage readers to look at the work of St Mungo's and other such charities in helping the homeless. They are grateful for any donations.

I am seeking  contributions of non political articles for the blog. They can be sent to my email.

We are collecting clothes for asylum seekers but they must be washed folded and marked according to gender. Page 5: Contains articles by the blog author. The latest is: The secrets of Drip irrigation.

Page 6
I have added a new page showing some of the paintings of Matan Peles , a resident of a community for adults with learning difficulties on Kibbutz mahanayim, Upper Gailee, Israel.

I recommend looking at these photos which can be purchased online. Every painting purchased is more support for the community. You can see more of his paintings  on their  url:   The site is in Hebrew but there is a translate button on the right hand side.
Under this article there is an article explaining The Israeli Kibbutz

Page 8 There is an explanation of the Shaw Trust, a Horticultural Project for Adult with learning difficulties.
A brand new page has been added 'Poems by Mark Shuck' .  Anyone who has been troubled by squirrels in the garden will surely relate to the first in a series.

More articles wanted on a variety of subjects. I hold the right to refuse articles I consider
inappropriate and likely to cause offence.

Go to the following link to watch my neices Tanya and Lauren Seifert performing a beautiful performance of Theatrical Pole Dancing

The Seifert Sisters can be seen on 
See an amazing array of skills . Tanya Seifert also offers private English lessons to foreign students.
Tanya is also a singer. She has her own band and also sings in a group called 'Women in Rock@
They are my nieces 

Exciting new addition on Page 7
There is an in depth explanation of how to grow sweet peas by Professor David Young. Having spoken to him has stimulated me to 'Have a Go'.

On the Plot and the Rest

Earlier entries have been erased to provide more space for the New Year

17th Sept 2019
Prepared area behind polytunnels for Brassicae . Cleared potatoes and rotavated . Plant onion and garlic sets at he front of the plot. Took a risk and moved fruit bushes adding supporting poles for some.

29th Sept 2019
I have been too busy to update the diary . Lots of changes including Planting Brassicae plants which I ordered in from 'Cornish Cabbage' and the sowing of Garlic an wasn't so keen on Heligan apart from their veg garden. Triboh was fantastic . Also visited houses. The Highlight was Jamaica Inn the setting for Daphne Du Maurier's book 'Jamaica Inn' Purchased two of her books.
I have been preparing soil for horse manure which is due to arrive soon . I am still harvesting a lot of vegetables including Cucumbers which are still growing outside! Dug out some soil in one of the  beds in back polytunnel and replaced it with new soil . I transplanted some cauliflower seedlings in the greenhouse and sowed some salad in the raised bed.

 10th October
I removed the middle path that separated the larger section from the smaller section on the upper plot . It was a risk factor. Easy to stumble on .

16thNovember 2019
Rotavated one of my plots yesterday and a fellow plot holders. Gradually removing Tomatoes from the polytunnel. . I will refill the beds with new compost and manure.

Yesterday turned my compost pile . Moved the box to a new position and turned  the compost in , Filled half a wheelbarrow with compost. I also worked on the communal compost box. Sowed some parsley in trays  in the greenhouse.
 26th  oct
Moved manure previously and dug up parsnips. I then dug over the soil. I have Brassica seedlings. I think that I need to change tac

31 rst December
I have been onsite every few days including today. Mostly maintenance . I did however clear some of the plot belonging to the chap whose greenhouse I am using as he has heating in his which I don't have in mine, Amazingly I managed to burn some branches in the fire area despite the drizzle . I have also done some edging around the top plot. Obviously one can grow Brassica seedlings earlier . They are not growing particularly but they seem to be stable. it was a bit of a gamble to start so early contrary to standard advice. I have also been testing the soil which I have not done so before. So far it's showing alkaline to neutral.
7th January 2021
Continued digging out compost from the compost heap by the raised beds. Left the wheelbarrows for people to take . I have been trying to burn branches. Still rather wet.

12th January 2020
I have been too busy to log in but I have been busy. Yesterday repainted the frame that surrounds the lower plot with wood preserver. Today dug to more trenches for potatoes. Sowed a tray of aubergine. A bit early but the literature talks of their need for a long season,

15th January2020
Yesterday organized a net supported by poles over the strawberries.

16th January 2020
Finding the Udemy online course on drip irrigation very good . Today brought chippings for the path behind the polytunnel. I dug over the area behind the polytunnels as I discovered potato slips peeping through despite having dug the area before. I emptied wheelbarrows full of compost on the same area

23rd January 2020
A few days ago one of  the neighbouring plotholders asked for help clearing metal from the plot as she can only come on weekends I cleared it all and then invited in a scrap metal person to collect it.
Today cleared a path through rottinkg chippings in the communal compound to enable fresh deliveries. I have also been trying to arrange a delivery of compost made from green waste.
Planted out onion sets that I had been growing out in  pots and have rooted,,,I tried not to stand on the soil but kept sliding off the board. Sowed some trays of a sweet onion seed and placed them a heated greenhouse belonging to a fellow plotholder.

27th January 2020
I have been busy since the last entry . Decidedly unprofessional I dug over an area inside the cage and incorporated plant food . I then planted some small brussels sprout. Early but milder than in the past . I thought I would try. If it doesn't take off I have more plants. I did stand on boards but kept sliding off.
I have been steadily clearing out the chippings compound to make way for fresh chippings . I have also been looking into delivery of compost made from recycled waste.
Did some potting of Sarmash Flat  Cabbage and pricked out onion seedling. I have decided to keep them in the cold greenhouse to make room . I sowed Indian aubergine and took it to the greenhouse with heating. I also lit a fire in the fire area to burn what had been left there .
4th February 2020
I haven't been writing much as I have been sowing and doing some maintenance and clearance. I also ordered a skip for rubbish..

I have started sowing including tomatoes which can be delayed to March . Primarily because I wanted to try grafting. I now have trays in two greenhouses which have a heat source plus my own which is without heat . I have potted up onion sets . to encourage them to produce a leaf before planting . I usuallysow them straight into the soil. more to try a different method.

I have been to busy to fill in the blog but I will add a few thing . I have been terribly busy sowing . I have planted out Cabbage and Cauliflower plants that I grew from seed . A bit early so a bit of an experiment. The weather is mild .
I extended the Brassica cage on the lower plot. I planted a few leftover Cauliflower plants in the lower polytunnel.
A fellow plotholder can't manage his plot due to health issues and offered me part of his raised beds . I have dug them over and planted onion sets . I covered with a net to stop birds pulling them out.
Ordered in a skip for the site and chippings.

15th March 2020
Yesterday I completely removed seed trays and pots from a fellow plotholders heated greenhouse to my own as the weather is milder.
Potted up some Cabbage seedlings.
Sowed outside , in a small patch, some carrot and  letter seed. A bit of a risk as the weather as it's cool at night .It is next to the greenhouse.
Covered some open ground with transparent polythene to warm up the soil.
Turned over and cleared my wife's raised bed.. A few days I rotavated the areas that were covered.

The last few days I have been  extremely busy. I have also been spending more time because of the need to socially isolate. I have been trying to impress on plotholders via the person in announcement the need for social distancing . Some people do understand but others seem to be oblivious as if  'we are tough .'
However a notice went out which included that I was mowing the whole site ( I have the only working mower that has the self propel facility), turning on the water for the site . It also mentioned social distancing so 'something had got through'.
Recent I cleared two of the raised beds . My wife's bed and  friends bed.
I have mowed the site and will strim .
I set up canes for runner bean poles on a neighbouring plot . I have taken over three shallow beds this year at the request of the plotholder who is unwell, I dug over the three bed, One already has onions and some garlic. I set up canes for runner beans .
I went onto sow in the greenhouse. more Brassica.tomatoes


Good afternoon,
I hope you are all well and managing the situation we find ourselves in. I have visited the allotment every day. I hope that you feel able to .
Initially I pushed for social distancing on the site. As the situation became more critical people realized the importance and it has become a priority,
It is now common practice to wear gloves when opening and closing the gate . I also use tham when using one of the communal wheelbarrows.
Today I mowed much of the whole site as i have the only working mower. Yesterday I dug out compost from the boxes near the raised beds . I topped up a friend's raised bed.
Other than that I have been busy sowing and pricking out cabbage seedlings. I did put a net on the back of the greenhouse as some of the cabbage seedlings suffered in the heat and were not worth keeping.. I have also sowed a nursery bed outside and I have sowed some other things such as lettuce and lettuce in a container.
On the lower plot I have sowed parsnips, burdock and carrots and covered with polythene. I am hoping that they will just pop through when it really warms up. 
I put in all my potaoes on the top plot only because I thought there might be a total shutdown and in anticipation of 
I am also looking at Hugokulturbeds
Best wishes and keep well

5th April 2020
I have been sowing more seeds .Took off the net which I used  onion bed while the sets  I use due to his being unwell on fellow plotholders plot which he suggested I use due to his ill health.
I now have three bales in a triangle shape I shall try planting tomatoes on . I shall fill the middle with logs and then a layer of compost. The same in the trench  dug . 

It has been a long time since I last wrote as I have been so busy onsite. Some of the things that  I have done are outdoor nursery beds for Brassica which will be transplanted . My attempt at a Hugelbed . Three straw bales with branches in the base covered by soil. I will also plant Tomatoes into the bales ,  sowed runner beans and French beans in the back polytunnel a few weeks ago . They are showing .  Hoed up the potatoes . Removed Spinach from last year as it was going to seed. I have been mowing the whole site.

18th May
Have been planting loads of my Brassica seedlings and sowed lettuce, Beetroot, Sweetcorn today. Yesterday took out staging from the greenhouse and planted some Okra. . Sorted out the communal composting area and burnt dry stuff in the fire area . Mowed M's plot. I have removed the pond behind the polytunnels because water was leaking . I found two teeth marks! Can't record everything  but this is a taster

12th June 2020
It has been a 'long innings' since  I last wrote . Partly a lack of enthusiasm to log. I have simply been too busy on site . The Brassica area is looking fantastic and I have been harvesting Cabbage and Tree cabbage leaf
The second polytunnel is partially planted up with cucumber (Turkish) , Runner Beans, Dwarf Beans and Cabbage. The first polytunnel still has some Cabbage in but is planted up with Tomatoes.
. I did have an idea for trying h├╝gelkultur but I have dismantled it as I felt I needed the space . I planted up a new bed with Brassica . As I felt I didn't want to continue growing so much from seed this year as it means finding a supplier and what with the restrictions... Covid 19 . I ordered plants from a company which sells field grown plants. This time round I put Brassica collars at the base of each plant.
I showed a gentleman how to dig his plot . I put a net over the courgette and squash  plants . Put a net over the strawberries.

24th July 2020
I have not been on the site for a while due to various including adjusting to 'loickdown ' . It has given me more time on site tending my two plots , polytunnels , greenhouse  and four beds on my neighbors plot plus various maintenance on the site such as mowing. I have changed my usual practice and given over the back polytunnel to a variety of veg including runner beans. I have installed and overhead watering system as Cucumbers and such prefer damp. This year I am mixing the crops in the second polytunnel
Fed them with comfrey and nettle  tea solution.  .

25th Amongst other things reorganised the greenhouse and tied some of the plants. . Brassica seedlings that were moved outside in trays seem to be d



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