July/August 2013

 

Hello Fellow Allotmenteers, Gardeners, Friends & Subscribers - wherever you are!

imageIF YOU RECEIVE TWO COPIES OF OUR NEWS-LETTER - that'll be because your e-mail address is registered with both our Aeron Vale Allotment Society & Gardeners Chat-Shed web-sites. Consequently  it will have been automatically added to both data-bases. No harm done - just delete the second one to arrive or forward it to a friend! Simples!

Whilst you, our Gardeners Chat-Shed friends, may be members of your own gardening clubs and allotment groups, you can still share in what we have to offer here by way of gardening tips, news, information and gossip from our "grow your own" community.

There's something for everyone in our News-letter!

 

 


IN GENERAL

Here we are again - August  - the month of plenty!

We should all, by now, be in the middle of our annual glut. You know the one I'm talking about, where you vow (under your breath) not to plant so many damned courgette plants again next year (but you always do) !

Generally there's been a smile on most allotment gardeners faces this summer. It's been a good one by anyone's standards. Genuinely long periods of sun and warmth, no serious droughts (although watering has been a chore at times), we haven't been overcome by pests (thanks to the awful weather last summer that drastically cut down their numbers naturally), and we've been blessed with well timed occasional showers, could you ask for any better?

It's not quite perfect though. Whilst everything's shaped up well and growth has been good during the last few summer months, can you remember back to the spring? Can you remember how long it went on for & how cold it was? Low or non existent germination, plants were reluctant to come on, May felt like February and there were times when some of us were truly worried whether anything would make it to maturity! That has shown up in the quality of some crops. Many got stunted at an early stage & although they've caught up and look good by now, when you see the crops they've produced you'll notice that the quality isn't quite there. Runner beans are a bit tougher than you'd expect for their age, lettuces have tended to grow fast and then gone to seed. Many have had similar problems with their onions. Also the plants seem to be "going over" quicker than normal. Peas have grown cropped and now seem in a hurry to turn yellow and get it over with.

In fact the end of August looks a bit like the latter end of September. Even the leaves on the trees look exhausted and seem ready to turn yellow. A bit strange really, because we haven't had particularly cold nights. If you look carefully you can by now detect a subtle change in colour and hue. The only things that seem to buck the trend the other way are the tomatoes. In their case they seem reluctant to go red (or whatever other colour variety lurks in your greenhouse). Mind you in most years growers start to get jittery about how soon their toms will ripen, or whether they ever will - in some seasons the jitters are well founded and there's tons of green chutney being made up and down the country. Perhaps this year will be one of those - or they'll all ripen together! I hope it'll be the latter!

Still, we have no room to complain, as usual, regardless of the weather old Mother Nature has the knack of making the most of what's thrown at her and compensates, that's why we seldom have total crop failures. On balance it's been quite satisfying and it was exceptionally good whilst it lasted, it just hasn't lasted long enough!


SOME OF MY OWN ALLOTMENT SITE NEWS

It's certainly been an odd season in some ways. Very slow to start with (after the horribly long & cold spring) and then we had all the heat & dryness come upon us. Everything looks good, however it seems to be 'going over' very quickly. Young fruit & veg seem to be maturing very quickly, runner beans especially. Young short pods seem to have the texture and taste of much older & more mature produce. Things like lettuce seem to be running to seed far quicker - everything seems in a hurry to get it over with! Perhaps they know something we don't!

Back in May & June I was getting increasingly embarrassed about the amount of 'brown areas' that were showing on my plot. I was wondering when the plants would start growing to fill the spaces with greenery - there's only one thing worse than seeing a lot of brown that should be green at that time of the season - that's seeing a "green" uncultivated, deserted and weed infested plot! About 60% of the plots on our site are sadly like that - but that's a moan for another time.

This is how things were starting to look in June. Still slow and struggling a bit! Apart from the onions, they were on schedule and bucking the trend, but only because of a lucky quirk of planting time (more luck than judgement I have to admit). Other growers on the site who planted theirs a fortnight later were patiently waiting for signs of growth, because they got colder weather after planting.

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But things started perking up by the middle of June, in fact I was quite pleased to be picking my first 'new' potatoes by the 21st - not bad considering the slow start we had.

The potatoes have been the star crop this year. Fantastic heavy crops - even through the dry periods. NO blight at all so far - that's a first in four years. I've received less alerts from Blight Watch throughout this season (warnings of 'Smith Periods') than I would have had in one month last year! 2012 was a horror year for blight in our neck of the woods.

Up to the end of August we've muddled through unscathed - so far so good. Blight right now would not be a major disaster. Scab is more problematic this year, due I guess to the dryness. Funnily enough the slugs seem a bit more active as well, which is something I wouldn't expect with a low rainfall season.

This is the row the Vale Emeralds, that the potatoes above, were picked from in June. Spuds have been a joy to grow this year.

The only complaint about Vales Emerald was that they seemed prone to scab. Scab is often a problem in susceptible varieties - especially in dry seasons. No worries though - scab is a fairly harmless problem - unless you're a show bench addict

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The biggest joy of all on the spud front were these babies - Salad Blue - what show-stoppers!

Salad Blue are an old heritage potato variety, believed to have originated in Scotland way back in the early 1900s.

They are instantly recognisable by their striking blue skin and flesh, making this a potato that could be used for those special dinner parties you might hold to impress your guests. I don't go in for those kind of 'parties' personally - it might be of interest to the wannabe "fur coats & no knickers" mob at our local yacht club though! Although on second thoughts those types aren't usually the hard working 'hands in dirty soil' types in my experience!

It's good for mashing, whilst chipping qualities are also very good (blue chips are a real novelty - especially with the kiddies). Salad Blue potatoes are also said to have natural antioxidants which are meant to benefit the human body. A little tip don't go digging them up in the twilight - they are perfectly camouflaged in the soil - you're bound to miss half of them!

The big plus is they taste fantastic. Apart from Charlotte, nothing beats them for taste on my lottie - including Ulster Classic (which I've also grown this year), that's despite the potato king Ian Barbour of JBA Seed Potatoes fame describing Ulster Classic as the best potato that he's ever tasted. Sorry Ian your Salad Blues pip the Ulster Classics for taste in my humble opinion and in my soil here on the west Wales coast.

Give them a try, you won't be disappointed. Ian Barbour at JBA is the guy to contact if you want some tubers to grow some yourself next year.

By the time of writing this news-letter I've now picked my first apricot. It's a Flavorcot and despite the cynics (who are ALL wrong by the way) you CAN successfully grow apricots in Wales - here's the proof. You would not believe the taste!

This fruit HAS to be picked and eaten fresh to get an idea of how wondrously sweet and exquisite the taste is. If you think the supermarket apricots are nice, you'd wet yourself if you tasted this! The only thing it's been in contact with is 'clean' soil & fresh air - no pesticides, herbicides or ripening concoctions, it matured on the tree, as it should do, before being picked & eaten immediately!

Apricots originate in northern Armenia & despite popular perceptions that it's a hot country temperatures can fall to minus 30°C in winter around the Ararat Valley. Apricots can cope with winter cold BUT can fail miserably if they have frost after flowering in spring.

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The apples are also quietly ripening. This one's called 'Scrumptious' - yes - (if you're wondering) it does live up to it's name!

As for the rest of the produce, it's suddenly exploded in growth. July and August have been perfect growing months this year and the brassicas have seen rocket like growth in their green 'tunnels' - in fact they're fighting to burst the netting.

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The green 'debris net' mini tunnels above are home to the Savoy's & other brassicas. It's perfect for them with no cabbage root fly or cabbage white butterflies able to breach the defences!

The netting was a 'freebie' throw away that scaffolders use. Apparently (thanks to our wonderful Health & Safety regime in the UK), this netting, that's used to protect the public from any debris that flies off scaffolds during work, has to be renewed every time a scaffold is re-erected. The old stuff is often as new - enter the ever resourceful allotmenteers!

 

A few tell tale signs that things have not been plain sailing over the whole season. Even the sunflowers have decided to "grow up" early. They've flowered at just over 5 feet instead of the usual 10. They should be the same height as the runner beans.

Notice too the way the peas in the foreground are looking 'autumnal' as their foliage turns yellow about a month early

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You know the wise advice "don't eat yellow snow"? Well when it comes to peas it's a case of "don't eat the purple podded ones".

They've been a fine exhibition at over 6', lovely purple & white flowers, pretty & unusual purple pods, flaming awful bitter tasting peas! One to strike off the list for the future - unless you want to grow them to add colour to the back of your flower borders!

I'll have plenty for sowing next year, (but I won't be doing it). If anyone wants a few to try for themselves then get in touch, because it seems unlikely that they'll get eaten (even by pea hunting grandchildren). With lovely green sweet tasting ones on offer, the purples will no doubt get left to grow on to maturity and probably land up on the compost heap!

 

The selection of lettuce I grew didn't all make it to the table. Around the end of July a lot of it decided to runaway overnight. It wasn't the dry weather (the usual culprit when such things happen) but simply a case of seeing a chance to 'bolt' after it's tough childhood upbringing in late spring!

The gap is where I've lifted all my shallots - they're now hanging up in the polytunnel drying out ready to rope

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The onions won't be long before they're in ropes and hanging from the garage rafters.

These are Autumn Gold. It's the first time I've grown them. They have good write-ups. If they store & taste as well as they look right now then they'll go on my favourite variety list!

The sweet corn (ironically the variety I grew this year is called 'Swift') finally got it's skates on. Only about six weeks ago I was contemplating whether to dig it up and grow something else in the space, because it seemed to be getting nowhere. I'm glad I didn't though!

My mate Stephen often muses about the evening we stood in judgement about whether I should carry out or stay the execution. I decided to give it another week or two - the corn must have been eavesdropping on the conversation and got frightened into life!

 

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More runner beans than you can point a stick at! These are Armstrong, my benchmark variety that I grow every year to compare with one other variety. Once again 'ol faithful has come up with the goods. I was fearful in early June that they wouldn't make it - but as usual I haven't been disappointed.

This year the ones up against Armstrong were my very own variety - 'Aeron Purple Star'. The Purple Stars were planted a month after the Armstrong, but they're close on their heels.

More about the Aeron Purple Stars below.

Growing them is only half the story, there's then the chore of preparing & dicing them. Still not so bad with a few helping hands that makes it a lot more pleasant.

The little fella' that's fascinated by the slicing machine is my little four year old grandson Cai. The one of the left in the top pic is No.4 son - a bit early in the morning for teenagers (it's only 11.30am).

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Meanwhile the cucumbers are coming on a treat in the polytunnel.

The plant in the photo is meant to be a shortish variety called 'petite'. Now either a different variety of seed sneaked into the packet of 'petite', or there's been a genetic throwback somewhere!

This specimen has reached 23" and it was still growing well before I picked it. It's brothers & sisters seem to be long and slender as well. Amazing, if I wanted  long slim cucs I'd probably have landed up with gherkins! On the other hand, this year I thought I'd try a short cuc. (after all most long varieties only get half eaten in in one go in our house) so I tried this 'petite' variety that I hadn't grown before and look what I landed up with!

I think it's called "Sod's Law" - I'm not complaining though. Next year I'll be back to lemon cucs & one green variety. lemon cucs are yellow, round ones, that actually look like a lemon and have a slight lemony taste - they're beautiful & sweet though. Unfortunately the cold spring meant that the germination rates for the lemon cucs was a disaster - que sera, sera I suppose - as Doris Day once famously sang!

The old toms are just getting on with the job - remarkably well - I might add! Without any hindrance from blight, and in a well ventilated polytunnel. Lessons HAVE been learned from the past, when they've been prone to leaf curl on hot days. Toms don't like being cooked before they reach the table, as I've discovered to my chagrin in the past.

Plenty of toms, but unlike the rest of the produce that can't wait to mature faster than usual, the old toms are very stubborn to turn colour.

They're a bit slow to go red, but I think that's a general observation everywhere this year.

Alas whilst the melons are growing, and with plenty of flowers the pollination rate is low, what fruit there is will not make it to the finishing line in time I fear. A big disappointment because I really look forward to the melons every year, but not to worry some years are like that, and you just have to take it on the chin.

Their close relatives the pumpkins are making up for it outside though (they've already got too big for my grandson's promised lantern for Halloween - I guess I'll have to go begging from Gail - one of my allotment mates - again. She kindly provided me with the goods last year because mine had started to rot, and I naughtily palmed one of her pumpkins off to my grandson as one of mine!

Yet another branch of the cucurbit family - the courgettes - are also being very fertile. In fact I really wish they would get some advice about contraception!


Runner Bean - AERON PURPLE STAR
As some of our more avid news-letter readers will recall, last year I reported the discovery of a purple podded runner bean plant that appeared in the middle of my Polestar runner beans. On maturity the beans inside the pods were found to be jet black and shiny.

This was evidently a mutated 'sport' (sometimes called an "off type") of a normally green podded Polestar variety of bean that was either a cross pollinated specimen (unlikely, as the original Polestar bean seeds were supplied to me by a reputable commercial bean grower, and as professional bean breeders have a strict pollination environment, which is controlled - so that all seeds of a crop are descended from parents with known traits, and are therefore more likely to have the desired traits) or was a genetic throw-back to some other purple podded bean in it's ancestry.

When this sort of thing happens the resultant plant's produce is often inferior to it's parents. however the bean I discovered was not only more vigorous than the other plants, it was longer, better tasting & truly stringless!

This type of discovery is usually a once in a lifetime experience. Keen not to lose what I had stumbled on, I kept all the beans from that one plant to see if it would reproduce 'true' for me again.

So I kept some of the bean seeds for myself and asked some friends to grow the others.

These included Stephen Parry who has an allotment plot on the same site as me (see the cover pic above- incidentally DON'T go looking for an edition of this Grow Your Own magazine with this cover picture on it, it's a mock up that I produced for a leg-pull!). The other trialer is Dave Amphlett who lives in King's Norton in the Midlands, he has his own allotment plot up there.

I presumptuously called my purple/ black beans AERON PURPLE STAR when I first discovered it in 2012. It's now time to compare results. If it is a genuine new variety then I suppose the name will stay.

The ones that I planted have all come true so far - as can be seen from these photos on the left

The ones grown by Stephen Parry have also come true as these pics demonstrate.

The ones Dave has in King's Norton I guess are also 'true', although he tells me he doesn't seem to think so. However here's a picture of the beans he's harvested and the colouring IS showing through.

The Aeron Purple Star beans start off green, they then start developing a dark red (maroon) pattern (similar to Borlotta French beans), eventually turning darker until they become a dark purple or black colour as they mature.

So I guess Dave's beans have been picked young (he's probably more of a taste connoisseur than us down here)! I'm sure if he resists the temptation to pick they'll go purple for him - unless the soil up there doesn't agree with them!!

If you would like some of these beans to try for next year, then drop me a line. You can have some for free as long as you give me something to cover the postage & package and promise to send me the results of your trial. I'd love to hear how you get on with them. Any negative as well as positive feedback would be gratefully accepted!


OTHER ALLOTMENT & GARDENING NEWS/ INFORMATION

There's Trouble Down On The Allotments:

 

‘Jealous rivals’ set fire to plots that won first and second place in town’s ‘in Bloom’ competition

 

Green-fingered allotment owners whose patches were torched after they won a gardening competition say they were targeted by jealous arsonists.

Roy Brookman, 78, and Bill Boag, 64, won first and second prizes in this summer's Bexley in Bloom competition with their carefully-tended allotments in Sidcup, Kent.

But days later the results of their hard work were razed to the ground after a fire broke out on their plots, completely destroying them.

 

Retired bus driver Roy Brookman, 78, said: 'Both our sheds were totally burnt to the ground - it's so depressing.

'We don't know what happened. There could be jealousy going on.

'We can't accuse anyone but that's what we think, as we got first and second prize at the Bexley in Bloom competition in July.'

Mr Brookman and his friend, retired policeman Mr Boag, regularly tend to their crops at the allotments in Sidcup, Kent.

But recently, fire-fighters were called fire broke out at their carefully cultivated allotments.

Grandfather of six Mr Brookman said the blaze destroyed not only the displays and crops at the allotment he has cultivated for the last five years, but also his shed which housed a cooker, tools and tunnels.

He said: 'It could cost £500 to £600 to replace but it's not just the expense, it's the work we've put in.

'Four years of hard work destroyed in a few hours - so many tools and memories of keepsakes.'

Ten fire-fighters managed to prevent the blaze from spreading to the rest of the allotments, and Bexley police confirmed they are treating the blaze as suspicious.

It sounds like mindless vandalism doesn't it? But NEVER underestimate the power of envy & jealousy - especially when the source of the problem is the fact that the guilty party has/ have been shown up as being inferior. It seems that the saying that "jealousy is a rottenness to the bone" is certainly true in this case.

Footnote:

Your correspondent has also tasted the fruits of jealousy, envy and feelings of inferiority by others. Some of you will remember the reports in previous news-letters of the polytunnel I had vandalised on no less than four occasions, coupled to pathetic attempts to have me evicted off the site for no valid reason and  further petty attempts at harassment. The sad thing is the police have a tendency to respond to serious allotment crime of this kind rather lightly, treating it as 'internal' squabbles. Consequently they don't put too much effort or resources into resolving such crimes. Had someone burnt down Roy & Bill's property at home, I suspect the police would treat it far more seriously. This kind of crime is often viewed as an allotment squabble that will resolve itself without help, which of course is the wrong way to view or deal with it. The perpetrators should be caught and made an example of.

Strangely, this year the category of 'best vegetable and/ or fruit growing plot'  in our Aberaeron in Bloom Competition has been mysteriously withdrawn by the competition's committee (after the judging). Presumably because some with influence couldn't stomach the same ones winning again this year!  We live in a sad world unfortunately.


New Rules Could Unearth Growth For Allotments

Proposed changes to overhaul allotment rules is likely to have a positive economic impact locally, according to Tayside Biodiversity Partnership.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead recently launched a consultation to consider the shape of future allotment legislation as part of the proposed Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill (CERB).

The consultation will consider what changes should be made to the existing legislation to make it simpler for people to gain access to a plot and grow their own food.

A spokesman for Tayside Biodiversity Partnership said: “There is potential for greater local food and slow food-style projects — with a positive consequent economic impact on the local community, not just in selling or swapping produce, but also giving an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to use local produce in making and selling jams, chutneys, honey, ready-meals and desserts, tisanes, soups, fruit juices, cider, perry, skin-care products, etc."

“There is also likely to be a positive health impact on the local community, not just in greater numbers of all ages undertaking allotment plots, but also in the provision of good quality, locally-grown food, herbs and fruit."

“Hand in hand with the increased demand for allotments and community growing comes the need to demonstrate how to cook locally-produced food and to engender an interest in school children, young families and the elderly, not just in producing the food, but also cooking it for themselves, using surplus produce in local care homes, schools, local businesses, and potentially selling produce to local catering businesses to contribute towards the local economy.”

The Tayside organisation also gave its views to MSPs on placing a duty on councils to provide a specific number of allotments in their area per head of population.

The spokesman added: “This may be fair to ensure that as many people who want to have an allotment can do so."

“Perhaps the wider community use of established green-space should be considered at the same time so that not just allotments are made available to local people, but also community gardens and community orchards are considered too."

“This would widen the opportunities for local people who may not want an allotment, but are willing to work with others in producing and sharing local, good quality, produce."

“For instance, building-top community beehives, vegetables on roundabouts and road verges (like at Stirling), community input into greenspace management around hospitals, care homes, schools and colleges.”

Tayside Biodiversity Partnership has responded to the consultation along with 84 others which will help inform the development of a draft Bill.

An analysis report on the content of the responses will be published later this year.


Allotments open for business

The wait for a plot is getting shorter

For many town & city-dwellers, allotments have become a frustrating mirage: great in theory, impossible to get hold of in practice. The past few years have seen plenty of stories about long waiting lists, council closures and plots sold off for development, and rather fewer causes for optimism.

With events around the country, all is not gloomy in the allotment world though. According to a new study by the National Allotment Society and Transition Town West Kirby, published in July, waiting list figures have fallen 15 per cent in the past two years.

The report surveyed 152,432 plots, at all 323 principal authorities. It found that there are now 78,827 would-be plotters waiting for an allotment: that's 52 people per 100 plots. In 2011, when the last survey took place, there were 57 per 100 plots. So why have numbers fallen?

There are certainly some myths knocking around the grow-your-own "community". One fantasy is that councils are selling off loads of plots to make ends meet. All the allotment groups spoken to said that this has more-or-less stopped, because there is so much pressure on councils to keep plots as growing spaces these days (good news). What's more, their allotments are now productive and not the neglected spaces they were a decade ago (with some glaring exceptions it has to be said, but usually due to bad management within the allotment groups). In fact, many councils are expanding their holding of allotments: over the past two years, 51 councils have created a total of 2,000 new plots, or 30 hectares of growing space across 65 new sites.

Another myth is that recent immigrants are causing longer waiting lists. There is little evidence of this. In Boston, Lincolnshire, for example, where nearly five per cent of the population is Polish, waiting lists have fallen (though prices per plot per year are going up - bad news).


Weeds, Weeding & Weed-killers

Lets face it, weeds are a real source of headaches, annoyance and general nuisance for most gardeners, some of us even develop a hate complex for them! They choke our crops, leach minerals from our soil, they often harbour pests that attack our crops, and they impoverish our cultivated plants by competing with them for food & water - to mention but a few problems they cause. A weed strewn allotment plot is NEVER a productive one and is  a weed seed factory that affects neighbouring plots. That's before we start pointing out how they spoil the overall effectiveness of our work and make the area we work on look like a real neglected eye-sore.

On the positive side, there ARE good weeds, a huge number have beneficial health and medicinal properties, some can be nutritious for us to eat (although they don't all taste that nice) and they've formed the foundation for herbalists to cure us of our ailments for centuries. They also help in keeping bio diverse balance which benefits certain insects. However this is not a valid argument for allowing them to grow where they can be a real problem. There IS a place for them, but not in the areas we've set aside for other varied crops that we need to grow and eat to sustain ourselves on a community scale.

So what's the best solution? Well you can:

  • work hard to eliminate their presence by digging them up on your 'patch',

  • work equally hard to keep the annual varieties that germinate every year under control by hand weeding,

  • hoe regularly,

  • make efficient use of mulches or

  • you can take a lazy short-cut and make them disappear - as if by magic - through the application of poisons to their leaves and/ or poison the soil they grow in

There is a weed-killer that has been developed by Monsanto that's marketed as 'harmless'. The company have done a terrific job convincing governments, horticultural food growers, farmers and the public generally, that their product causes no harm whatsoever, except to the actual plant it comes in contact with of course - but nothing else. Furthermore they say it's rendered neutral and safe when it comes in contact with the soil. So what's wrong with using a little of this innocent and benign concoction? After all, isn't it the answer to all our prayers, where we no longer need to use potent and deadly poisons to kill our weeds? Without it wouldn't we still have to depend on the old fashioned really harmful stuff (like sodium chlorate - remember that stuff?). So we're all lulled into a sense of security, confident in the knowledge that what Monsanto says is true. So no one even bats an eye-lid when you reach for that innocent little bottle of Roundup. Full marks to Monsanto on their excellent marketing con - or to put it bluntly the way they've hidden the truth and tarted up the reality with lies!

It’s been WAY too long since I went on a good ol' fashioned garden chemical tirade! I always assume that people realize the extreme dangers posed by herbicides (of ALL kinds) and other garden poisons. But I tend to forget how bombarded they are with ads and misleading facts, imploring them to use the junk, often implying that the toxins are somehow harmless. Like when Monsanto says that their Roundup is as harmless as table salt-which is actually very true - in a funny sort of way - since salt is one of the most corrosive substances on the planet!

And yes, evidence strongly suggests that Roundup’s so-called ‘inert ingredients’ (a decision often made solely by the manufacturer) are even worse than the ‘active’ ingredient, the extremely nasty chemical glyphosate. That’s why, when Monsanto talks about their popular concoctions of weed killers, they always say “the active ingredient in Roundup does this or that”. They never talk about the actual product, which kills earthworms and beneficial insects, has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and is taken up internally by any plants it doesn’t kill-so if you foolishly use it to control weeds in your veggie garden, you’ll be eating Round-Up for the next two years. Yummy yummy - ENJOY won't you?!

GLYPHOSATE (brand name Roundup) IS IT SAFE?

“Historians may look back and write about how willing we are to sacrifice our children and jeopardize future generations with a massive experiment that is based on false promises and flawed science just to benefit the bottom line of a commercial enterprise.”  So said Don Huber in referring to the use of glyphosate and genetically modified crops. Huber was speaking at Organic Connections conference in Regina, Canada, in late 2012.

Huber is an emeritus professor in plant pathology at Purdue University in the US and has worked with the Department of Homeland Security to reduce the impact of plant disease outbreaks. His words are well worth bearing in mind given that a new study commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe (FoE) and GM Freeze has found that people in 18 countries across Europe have been found to have traces of glyphosate in their urine (1).

Friends of the Earth Europe commissioned laboratory tests on urine samples from volunteers in 18 countries across Europe and found that on average 44 percent of samples contained glyphosate. The proportion of positive samples varied between countries, with Malta, Germany, the UK and Poland having the most positive tests, and lower levels detected in Macedonia and Switzerland. All the volunteers who provided samples live in cities, and none had handled or used glyphosate products in the run-up to the tests.

The Influence of the Biotech Sector on Safety and Regulation

Although ‘weedkiller in urine’ sounds alarming, Tom Sanders, head of the nutritional sciences research division at King’s College London, says the levels found are unlikely to be of any significance to health because they are 300 times lower than the level which might cause concern. Alison Haughton, head of the Pollination Ecology Group at Rothamsted Research, said that if FoE and GM Freeze want their work to have scientific credibility and provide a genuine contribution to the debate on pesticide residues, they should submit their work for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Valid points, you might think. But FoE believes that there is sufficient evidence to suggest environmental and health impacts from glyphosate warrant concern. It wants to know how the glyphosate found in human urine samples has entered the body, what the impacts of persistent exposure to low levels of glyphosate might be and what happens to the glyphosate that remains in the body. New research published in the journal Entropy sheds disturbing light on such concerns (discussed later in this article).

In 2011, Earth Open Source said that official approval of glyphosate had been rash, problematic and deeply flawed. A comprehensive review of existing data released in June 2011 by Earth Open Source suggested that industry regulators in Europe had known for years that glyphosate causes birth defects in the embryos of laboratory animals. Questions were raised about the role of the powerful agro-industry in rigging data pertaining to product safety and its undue influence on regulatory bodies .

Read Prof. Gilles-Eric Séralini's REPORT

In the same vein, FoE says there is currently very little testing for glyphosate by public authorities, despite its widespread use, and authorities in Europe do not test for glyphosate in humans and tests on food are infrequent. Glyphosate was approved for EU-wide use in 2002, but FoE argues that the European regulatory agencies did not carry out their own safety testing, relying instead on data provided by the manufacturers.

Of course there are certain scientists (usually with links to the agro-industry) who always seem to be strident in calling for peer-reviewed evidence when people are critical of the biotech sector, but then rubbish it and smear or intimidate the scientists involved when that occurs, as has been the case with Dr Arsad Pusztai in the UK or Professor Seralini in France. It is therefore quite revealing that most of the data pertaining to glyphosate safety came from industry studies, not from peer-reviewed science, and the original data are not available for independent scrutiny.

 

Increasing Use

With references to a raft of peer-reviewed studies, FoE also brings attention to the often disturbing health and environmental dangers and impacts of glyphosate-based herbicides throughout the world . The FoE study also highlights concerns around the increasing levels of exposure to glyphosate-based weed killers, particularly as the use of glyphosate is predicted to rise further if more genetically modified (GM) crops are grown. It is after all good for business. And the biggest producer of glyphosate is Monsanto, which sells it under the brand name ‘Roundup’.

“The figures don’t lie; GMOs drive glyphosate sales.”

Despite its widespread use, there is currently little monitoring of glyphosate in food, water or the wider environment. The FoE commissioned study is the first time monitoring has been carried out across Europe for the presence of the weed killer in human bodies. FoE Europe’s spokesperson Adrian Bebb argues that there is a serious lack of action by public authorities and indicates that this weed killer is being widely overused. 

 

This certainly needs to be addressed not least because the prediction concerning increasing exposure to glyphosate is not without substance. The introduction of Roundup Ready crops has already resulted in an increase of glyphosate use. Using official US government data, Dr Charles Benbrook, research professor at the Centre for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University, states that since 1996 the glysophate rate of application per crop year has tripled on cotton farms, doubled in the case of soybeans and risen 39 percent on corn. The average annual increase in the pounds of glyphosate applied to cotton, soybeans, and corn has been 18.2 percent, 9.8 percent, and 4.3 percent, respectively, since herbicide tolerant crops were introduced.Glyphosate is used on many genetically modified crops. 14 new GM crops designed to be cultivated with glyphosate are currently waiting for approval to be grown in Europe. Approval of these crops would inevitably lead to a further increase of glyphosate spraying. In the US, biotech crops, including corn, soybeans, canola and sugar-beets, are planted on millions of acres annually.

Increasing Dangers

Evidence suggests that Roundup could be linked to a range of health problems and diseases, including Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers, according to a new peer-reviewed report, published recently in the scientific journal Entropy. The study also concluded that residues of glyphosate have been found in food.

These residues enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease, according to the report, authored by Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Anthony Samsel, a science consultant. The study says that negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation and damages cellular systems throughout the body.

In 2010, the provincial government of Chaco province in Argentina issued a report on health statistics from the town La Leonesa. The report showed that from 2000 to 2009, following the expansion of genetically-modified soy and rice crops in the region (and the use of glyphosate), the childhood cancer rate tripled in La Leonesa and the rate of birth defects increased nearly fourfold over the entire province. Sobering figures.

Professor Huber also notes the health risks associated with the (increasing) use of glyphosate. He says a number of plant pathogens are emerging, which when consumed could impact human health. Based on research that he alludes to (he refuses to make his research public or identify his fellow researchers, who he claims could suffer substantial professional backlash from academic employers who received research funding from the biotechnology industry), Huber notes that the use of glyphosate changes the soil ecology, killing many bacteria, while giving other bacteria a competitive advantage. This makes plants highly susceptible to soil borne diseases. At the same time, glyphosate has a negative effect on a number of beneficial soil organisms.

Huber’s concerns about the impact of long term use of glyphosate on soil sterility are similar to concerns expressed by Elaine Ingham, a soil ecologist with the Rodale Institute, and also research carried out in by Navdanya in India.

As for GM crops, Huber says they have lower water use efficiency, tend to be nutrient deficient, have increased bud and fruit abortion and are predisposed to infectious diseases and insect damage. He suggests that Roundup Ready crops, treated with glyphosate, have higher levels of mycotoxins and lower nutrient levels than conventional crops.

“… you could say that what you’re doing with glyphosate is you’re giving the plant a bad case of AIDS. You’ve shut down the immune system or the defence system.” Professor Ron Huber.

He concludes that, when consumed, the GM crops were more likely to cause disease, infertility, birth defects, cancer and allergic reactions than conventional crops.

Huber claims that consumption of food or feed that was genetically modified could bring the altered genes in contact with the microbes in the guts of the livestock or people who eat them. He feels this increases diseases, such as celiac disease, allergies, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, gluten intolerance, irritable bowel disease, miscarriage, obesity and sudden infant death syndrome.

While none of these findings conclusively prove that plant (or animal) diseases are caused by the glyphosate, Huber feels safety evaluations have been inadequate, suggesting that previous (GM sector) research was substandard and extremely misleading in its interpretation of results – or worse.

With some hugely powerful players involved here, many of whom have successfully infiltrated important government and official bodies, much of the science and the ensuing debate surrounding glyphosate is being manipulated and hijacked by vested interests for commercial gain.

Some More Background Information:

During the early 1970s, Monsanto founded their Agricultural Chemicals division with a focus on herbicides, and one herbicide in particular: RoundUp (glyphosate). Because of its ability to eradicate weeds literally overnight, Roundup was quickly adopted by commercial crop growers. Its use increased even more when Monsanto introduced “RoundUp Ready” (glyphosate-resistant) crops, enabling growers to saturate the entire field with weed-killer without killing the crops.

While glyphosate has been approved by regulatory bodies worldwide and is widely used, concerns about its effects on humans and the environment persist. RoundUp has been found in samples of groundwater, as well as soil, and even in streams and air throughout the Midwest U.S., and increasingly in food. It has been linked to butterfly mortality, and the proliferation of super-weeds. Studies in rats have shown consistently negative health impacts ranging from tumours, altered organ function, and infertility, to cancer and premature death.

Health and Environmental Impacts of Monsanto's Roundup Pesticide

A recent study by eminent oncologists Dr. Leonard Hardell and Dr. Mikael Eriksson of Sweden, has revealed clear links between one of the world’s biggest selling herbicide, glyphosate (commonly known as Roundup, marketed by Monsanto), to non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a form of cancer - NHL.

There are even requests for permits for higher residues on genetically engineered foods because they are highly resistant to herbicides, instead of reducing herbicide use, glyphosate resistant crops may result in increased residues. They are already on sale. Commercial crop producers knowing that their crop will tolerate or resist being killed off by the herbicides will tend to use them more liberally. There have been no risk/benefit analysis carried out, so the regulatory authorities have failed to implement the precautionary principle with respect to GMOs.

(“Herbicide Tolerance,” New Study Links Monsanto’s Roundup to cancer,”

 www.biotech-info.net/glyphosate_cancer.html  - June 2001)

The Women’s Cancer Resource Center (WCRC) and CHOSE (Coalition for a Healthy Oakland School Environment), showed that chemicals such as Round-Up (glyphosate) can result in reproductive damage as well as damage to the kidney and liver, and some studies show a link between the chemical and cancer.

(Chemical Injury Network, June 2001)

Glyphosate (Roundup) is one of the most toxic herbicides, and is the third most commonly reported cause of pesticide related illness among agricultural workers. Products containing glyphosate also contain other compounds, which can be toxic. Glyphosate is technically extremely difficult to measure in environmental samples, which means that data is often lacking on residue levels in food and the environment, and existent data may not be reliable.

(“Greenpeace Report - Not ready for Roundup: Glyphosate Fact Sheet,” greenpeace.org - April 1997)

Glyphosate is found in weed killers and may cause cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, nerve, and respiratory damage.

(“Special Report: what you need to know about pest control,” Natural Health Magazine, May/June 2001)

Roundup: Label - Keep out of reach of children, harmful if swallowed, avoid contact with eyes or prolonged contact with skin. Remove clothing if contaminated. Spray solutions of this product should be mixed, stored and applied only in stainless steel, aluminium, fibreglass, plastic and plastic-lined steel containers. This product or spray solutions of this product react with such containers and tanks to produce hydrogen gas that may form a highly combustible gas mixture. This gas mixture could flash or explode, causing serious personal injury, if ignited by open flame, spark, welder’s torch, lighted cigarette or other ignition source. Avoid direct applications to any body of water. Do not contaminate water by disposal of waste or cleaning of equipment. Avoid contamination of seed, feed, and foodstuffs. Soak up a small amounts of spill with absorbent clay. Do not reuse container for any other purpose.

(Roundup - Label, farmcentral.com  - June 2001)

Monsanto's advertising campaigns have convinced many people that Roundup is safe, but the facts just don’t support this. Independent scientific studies have shown that Roundup is toxic to earthworms, beneficial insects, birds and mammals, plus it destroys the vegetation on which they depend for food and shelter. Although Monsanto claims that Roundup breaks down into harmless substances, it has been found to be extremely persistent, with residue absorbed by subsequent crops over a year after application. Roundup shows adverse effects in all standard categories of toxicological testing, including medium-term toxicity, long-term toxicity, genetic damage, effects on reproduction, and carcinogenicity.

Studies have shown that Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, made bean plants more susceptible to disease, and reduces the growth of beneficial soil-dwelling mycorrhizal fungi. In rabbits exposed to glyphosate, sperm production was diminished by 50%, and caused genetic damage in the livers and kidneys of mice exposed to the herbicide. Monsano does not have to reveal the precise composition of Roundup.

(“Common Weed Killer (Roundup) Shows Evidence of Environmental and Health Problems,” Organic Gardening, July 2000 - in www.chem-tox.com  - 2002)

Pharmacia Corporation owns Monsanto, and Monsanto makes Roundup insecticide. ( www.mercola.com - May 2002) The Pharmacia Corporation’s core prescription pharmaceutical business claims to be a good citizen wherever they operate, and they are implementing a new, comprehensive system for managing environmental, safety, and health issues and has adopted a series of ESH standards to guide operations worldwide. (Pharmacia.com - May 2002) Some may question the ownership of a company that produces so many harmful chemicals to people, animals and plants. Roundup accounts for half of Monsano’s corporate profits says Organic Gardening, July 2000.

Dangers that affect children’s progress and interactions at school include learning disabilities and behavior problems. Among the dangerous chemicals is Roundup, which kills all green plants that it touches (users are advised to avoid the area for 24 hours). Another is Diazinon, used for killing insects in lawns (this one has a warning to keep away from edible plants because of its high degree of toxicity). Some schools have opted to pull weeds by hand, thus eliminating the need for spraying.

(“Keep those pests away from school,” Alternative Medicine magazine, March 2002)

Obviously, the chemistry behind Glyphosate is known by Monsanto. The fact that it disrupts the CYP gene pathway, the enzymes that play a major role in body detoxification is something that can easily contribute to illness and disease. I wonder if this possibly has a direct correlation to the pharmaceutical industry? The same major financial institutions that own major biotech and food companies also own most of the major pharmaceutical companies. Mainstream media in the western hemisphere will always promote GMOs and Roundup as well as emphasize their safety. That couldn’t be further from the truth, they damage your DNA and RNA genomes, not just for profit but for experimentation and control.

It’s good to see more alternative media outlets sharing, and spreading information around the world together. The world is experiencing a mass awakening like never before, and it continues to move forward at an exponential rate. We are living in exciting times, aren’t we? (Well at least on some fronts). Monsanto’s Roundup alone is cause for so many concerns, and can create several health conditions within the human body.

Why are we ingesting this stuff? More to the point - why do we allow this stuff? And why on earth do we use it to clear up our own over-grown allotments before we start growing our own food?

Whilst it's legally available, then the choice whether to use it or not is entirely up to you as an individual - you're not breaking any laws. However don't allow me to say to you later "I told you so" - after poisoning your family, plants, soil, organisms in the soil, animals, birds, reptiles, fish, our water courses, drinking water  and the rest of the environment this stuff comes into contact with over a prolonged period.

The alternative? Back to the fork, knee pads & hoe I'm afraid - but a bit of hard work never killed anyone. That might not be the case when using poisons like glyphosate!


KNOW YOUR PESTS

The Pea Moth (Cydia nigricana)

More info. on other pests will be published in future issues of our NEWSLETTER.

Pea moth caterpillars feed inside pea pods, but the often severe damage is probably only spotted at harvest time. Consequently, the pods need to be shelled with care to avoid including some meat with the veg! It can also put you off for life the joy  of eating peas from the pod in poor light whilst chatting to someone on your plot!

Pea moth is a tiny, drab moth whose larvae (caterpillars) feed on garden peas. You’ll know the pea moth caterpillars have been at work if;

  • When pea pods are opened for shelling, one or more creamy white caterpillars, up to 14 mm long, with dark dots on the body may be found eating into the pea seeds

  • There are piles of caterpillar excrement (frass) near the damaged seeds

The pea moth, is 6mm long with a 12mm wingspan. It is an olive brown colour with black and white bars on the front edge of its forewings and long antennae. Between 5 and 11 days after adult moths emerge they lay flat transparent/white eggs (size of a pinhead) on the leaves, pods, flowers or stems of pea plants.

After 1 to 3 weeks (depending on temperature) minute yellowish/white caterpillars with dark heads emerge. These migrate to and bore into young pea pods. Larval development lasts from 18 to 30 days after which the fully grown caterpillars (12mm) bore back out through pod walls and drop to the ground to spin cocoons containing particles of soil. They hibernate over the winter in these cocoons.

There is one generation per year. Over-wintering pea moths pupate inside cocoons and emerge to look for pea crops from the end of May to the end of July coinciding with flowering time.

Each caterpillar can damage up to 6 seeds although usually damage only 1 or 2. They chew irregularly shaped holes in the peas contaminating them with frass (faeces). Attacked pods may yellow and ripen prematurely, but damage is generally not detected until the pea pods are shelled revealing the frass, silk and sometimes the larva also. Damage is easily distinguished from that of the pea weevil, which makes smooth, round holes in peas.Pea moths attack field and garden peas along with sweet peas and vetch. Damage from pea moth is a big problem for commercial growers but gardeners can easily discard the damaged peas when shelling pods. Just do it carefully! Levels of infestation can be minimised by:

  • planting early or late to miss the flight period of the pea moth and don’t delay harvesting peas.

  • cover peas with Veggiemesh or horticultural fleece to keep moths off the growing crop.

  • pea moth pheromone traps; they interfere with normal mating signals reducing their ability to mate successfully.

If infestation is severe avoid planting any pea moth hosts (including sweet peas and vetch) for a couple of years.

This is much more difficult on an allotment where neighbours will probably grow these plants as well. It's a good idea to spread the word around your site if you discover the pest, because precautions taken by all pea growers on the site (like covering their crops with Veggie-mesh or a similar covering can greatly reduce the problem. Without access to the crop the moth is not able to lay it's eggs. The same applies to other egg laying pests like cabbage root fly, carrot fly etc. The only sure protection for these pests is a barrier.


imageDID YOU KNOW?

Foxgloves (Digitalis Purpurea) can help to  improve the storage quality of vegetables, especially root crops, grown nearby. This makes them ideal for growing  in the vegetable  plot as companion plants. They also attract lots of bees (bumble bees love them) which will help with pollination of other plants in the vegetable garden.

There are several different explanations that could give reason to how the common foxglove got its name. One of the main ones however is about the shape of the blossom. The flower of the common foxglove looks similar to gloved finger. Additionally, the name foxglove is supposed to be an allusion to a fox's white paws.

Before the common foxglove was used by cardiologists (thanks to the wonder of digitalis) to treat and fix heart problems, old Irish saw a different use for it. They used it as folk medicine. They saw it as a healing herb used to treat a variety of skin problems such as boils, ulcers, and also headaches and paralysis.

During the early stages, the plant can sometimes be mistaken as Comfrey or Plantain. Making this mistake can be very dangerous and deadly if you try to make herbal tea with the common foxglove. All parts of the Foxglove is POISONOUS with the potential to kill in quite small amounts, little wonder one of it's other common names is "dead men's bells"! It has been said that somehow animals know that every part of the foxglove is poisonous, because they tend to avoid the plants, and there are rarely any reports of animals, like common pets, ingesting it. It has been suggested by some that it would be a trouble-free way to kill an ailing animal claiming that foxglove would simply slow the heart to a standstill without causing the animal any distress. There is just so much wrong with that it is hard to know where to begin!

There are hybrid strains of the common foxglove, which are commonly used commercially in gardens. These hybrids come in many different colours like white, cream, shades of pink and and purple, yellow, and deep violet.

Foxgloves are biennial meaning that they take two years to complete their lifestyle. During the first year, their leaves form and they store up food. Then during the second year, the plant blooms and sets seeds. During its whole lifetime, the common foxglove can produce up to two million seeds.

"Not a lot of people know that!"

Footnote: They look nice too, which is always a bonus - even if they can kill!


SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT
The No.1 WORST Food that Causes Faster Aging (beware - you'd never have guessed!)

Do you eat foods that harm your blood sugar levels and ages your joints and skin faster?  Some are even deceptively marketed to us as "healthy" by giant food companies.  Avoid or minimize these for your future well-being.

by Mike Geary - Certified Nutrition Specialist

& Catherine Ebeling - RN, BSN

 

Due to biochemical reactions in your body that occur with every type of food you eat on a daily basis, some foods age you faster than your real age, while other foods help to fight aging.

Eat the wrong foods regularly, and you can look and feel 10 or more years older than your real age (not fun!) . . .  but eat the right foods, and over time, you can start to look younger than your real age.

Three of the processes that go on inside your body that have a major impact on your rate of aging are called

  • glycation

  • inflammation and

  • oxidation

When we talk about aging, we're not just talking about wrinkles on your skin or how thick your hair is. . .  we're also talking about factors that you can't see, such as how well your organs function, and whether your joints are degrading.

Yes, I'm sure you'll agree this is much more important than just how you look superficially (although you can improve both!)

With the title of this article, you might have guessed that obvious answers like sugar or trans fat would be what we talk about in this article.  Yes, those are bad, but I want to discuss another food that ages your body faster than normal. . .  and it's one that you might not expect!

So let's dig right in and I'll show you how your rate of aging can be directly related to the foods you might eat every day, and how to protect yourself. . .

The No. 1 culprit that ages you faster

Wheat based foods (yes, even "whole wheat")

Before I tell you why wheat can actually speed up the aging process in your body, let's clarify some simple biochemistry in your body. . .

This deals with "glycation" in your body, and substances called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs).  These nasty little compounds called AGEs speed up the aging process in your body including damage over time to your organs, your joints, and of course, wrinkled skin.

So with that said, what is one of the biggest factors that increase production of AGEs inside your body?  This may surprise you, but high blood sugar levels over time dramatically increase age-accelerating AGEs in your body.  This is why type 2 diabetics many times appear that they have not aged well and look older than their real age.  But this age-increasing effect is not just limited to diabetics.

So, let's get back to how "whole wheat" relates to this . . .

Here is a little-known fact that's often covered up by the massive marketing campaigns by giant food companies that want you to believe that "whole wheat" is healthy for you. . .  but the fact is that wheat contains a very unusual type of carbohydrate (not found in other foods) called Amylopectin-A, which has been found in some tests to spike your blood sugar higher than even pure sugar.

In fact, amylopectin-A (from wheat) raises your blood sugar more than almost any other carbohydrate source on earth based on blood sugar response testing.

This means that wheat-based foods such as breads, bagels, cereals, muffins, and other baked goods often cause much higher blood sugar levels than most other carbohydrate sources.  As you know now, the higher your average blood sugar levels are over time, the more AGEs are formed inside your body, which makes you age faster.

You've probably heard about the potential health-damaging effects of gluten (also found in wheat) in the news recently, but this blood sugar aspect we just covered is not talked about that often, and is yet another reason to reduce or eliminate wheat-based foods in your diet.  Your body will thank you by aging slower and looking younger!  And losing body fat is typically a fun side effect of eliminating or reducing wheat in your diet!

Another problem with wheat based foods & ageing . . .

As it turns out, baked wheat products contain carcinogenic chemicals called acrylamides that form in the browned portion of breads, cereals, muffins, etc.  These carcinogenic acrylamides have been linked in studies to possible increased risk of cancer and accelerated aging.  Note that acrylamides are also found in high levels in other browned carbohydrate sources such as chips or any other browned starchy foods.

Don't worry though. . .  There's a food intake that you can use to protect yourself from these carcinogenic acrylamides, and it has to do with eating the right foods that counteract damage from these nasty chemicals.

Other foods to watch out for that can increase aging in your body include corn-based foods that also disrupt blood sugar highly (corn cereals, corn chips, corn syrup), soybean oil and other "vegetable" oils that contain excessively refined and processed fats that cause inflammation in your body, and also excess sugars from sweets, cakes, and sweetened drinks.

Footnote by your correspondent:

So the obvious question is "what foods are the healthiest and which ones should you avoid?". Simple. Ask yourself "Do I grow wheat on my allotment plot"? No. "Do I grow fruit & vegetables"? Yes. Guess which is best and health promoting for you!  Steer away from over use of wheat based food.

Get digging and planting . . . apart from wheat, also stay away from hydrogenated vegetable oil mostly found in your local 'fast food' take-away - they cook all their so called "fries"  and other 'junk food' in the stuff. The extra hydrogen molecule added to the vegetable oil (simply to improve it's shelf life and add profits to the company's coffers) is a man-made food that your body does not recognise & has difficulty coping with. The end result is extra free radicals in your system and a super chance of cancer development - that's before you start dealing with the obesity and unhealthy aging ielated symptoms caused by the western hemisphere's love affair with dirty and unhealthy grub served up by unscrupulous food companies and the other dangers they heap on us - like over use of wheat! Ignorance is bliss they say, but to continue those eating habits after you've been informed of the dangers is a no-brainer really.

Common fact: an innocent and appetizing, so-called, 'fresh' lettuce in it's sealed bag from the supermarket has, it's been estimated, probably had at least 17 sprays of different insecticides, herbicides and possibly a chemical to keep it "fresh" by it's commercial grower - before it even reaches the supermarket shelf!  Ever wondered why you don't find any holes in the leaves of supermarket bought lettuce that would have been caused by a pest like a slug? Again the answer is simple. That pest and many others have been poisoned long ago and are all dead. The lettuce is probably nutritionally dead and you land up poisoning your system with what's left over! - eventually you'll land up dead before your time too! Rather you than me!!


That's it for another issue friends. If you would like to write something for our NEWS-LETTER then all contributions are gratefully accepted. You can contact me via either of our two web-sites:

aeronvale-allotments.org.uk or gardenerschat-shed.net/

If you have any friends or gardening acquaintances who you think would like our news-letter and would benefit from it then by all means point them towards our news-letter archive on the web-site where they can also subscribe on-line to receive the publication by e-mail - it's FREE!

 

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Until the next time - keep busy,  but above all have fun & ENJOY on your allotment plot or in your veg. garden!

 Best Wishes,

G.

Gwilym.

Click to visit our AWARD WINNING web-siteCliciwch i fynd i'n GWEFAN WOBRWYOLClick to visit our AWARD WINNING web-siteVisit our Gardeners Social Networking siteVisit our Gardeners Social Networking siteRead My Blog at The Gardeners Chat-Shed

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