Flitwick Gardeners’ Association wishes
all our members a
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Another year is coming to an end and I hope that you have now all collected in your crops, which this year have varied due to the wet spring and fairly dry summer months. The results of the changing weather conditions have been reflected in the number and quality of exhibits at the Annual and Autumn shows, - no reflection though on the magnificent items presented on the show benches.
By the time you receive this publication the Seed Box will be closed until Saturday 7 February but you may well find one or two of the Committee there on a Saturday afternoon. If you have not yet submitted your potato/onion order form, you may be able to drop it in but no promises on varieties that may have already sold out.
We expect to be able to start ringing those that have ordered potatoes/onions during the middle of January. When you get the call, it would be appreciated if you could collect them as soon as possible as space at this time of year is very restricted.
On behalf of the Executive Committee, we thank you for your support through the year and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a good gardening year throughout 2015.
John Farmer passed away on 5 October 2014 aged 93 at the nursing home that had been his home for the past few years.
He was a primary figure in the establishment of the FGA since his arrival in Flitwick in 1970, as Secretary of the National Society of Allotments and Leisure Gardeners, and guided the small group of members at the time in their efforts to get established.
There were very few who understood allotment law better than John and many associations like ours owe a great deal to his understanding and advice in all sorts of matters from setting up to confirming the status of allotment land to avoid losing plots, etc. He was a very determined Welshman who had served as a tank driver in WWII. He and his late wife Winifred had an almost open door policy to anyone seeking help.
He came to us after being the Essex County Representative at the NSALG. During his tenure Secretary of the NSALG he re-established the county system in this part of the world including the Beds, Herts and Bucks Gardening Council and the Eastern Region Gardening Council both of which had faded badly. From that poor start he saw both of them blossom into flourishing groups working together within their areas so that the Eastern Region now has some 13,000 members. When he retired as Secretary, he continued with his love of the NSALG and became the President of it and led groups to the international side of allotment gardening.
He left Flitwick to live near his son David in Yorkshire but I am prepared to bet that his Welsh accent was heard quite distinctly in his new home.
We send our condolences to his family
Honorary Life Member
Autumn Show Report
Wet, and windy, weather the week before the show put paid to a lot of peoples lovingly grown flowers for entry into the show but probably added a little bit of weight to entries into the heaviest vegetable classes. However all was not lost and the hall still contained some excellent exhibits in all of the classes.
Once again members showed their talents at growing flowers, fruit and vegetables, although some of the ‘freaky’ vegetables were probably best eaten with closed eyes.
Thanks to everyone that helped at the show, exhibited and came to look around when we opened to the public and enjoyed the refreshments on sale.
The Village Hall was crowded, the kitchen was stacked high with food, the questions had been set – all we now needed to know was would anyone know the answers?
Just over 2 hours later we had put 20 teams through their paces with a wide range of questions requiring an amount of useless information being needed to be remembered, and given them some brain food in the middle to keep them going. The final result saw 4 teams only separated by 4 points, all scoring in the low 80’s, contesting the honour of being FGA Quiz champions.
Thanks to everyone who entered a team in the quiz and a special thanks to members of the FGA Executive and Show Committees that helped on the evening (and the many evenings before to enable the quiz to run so smoothly).
The magazine delivery team
Five times a year the magazine delivery team set out to deliver the magazine in Flitwick, Ampthill, Westoning, Harlington, Greenfield and Pulloxhill. On behalf of the Executive Committee and the members who receive the paper magazine, I wish to thank the magazine delivery team for going out in all weathers to keep us all informed.
North Bucks Orchid Society Annual Orchid Show
The North Bucks Orchid Society are holding their Annual Orchid Show on 14 February 2015 at Flitwick Village Hall, from 11.00am to 4.00pm. Admission £2. In addition to the orchid displays, there will be orchids for sale and trade stands.
2015 Photography Classes
The photography classes for the 2015 Annual Show are:
103 - Spring
104 - Summer
105 – Autumn
106 - Winter
For the Children’s photography class the subject is ‘My favourite time of the Year’.
Dates for your diary
7 February Seed Box reopens for business
11 April Spring Show
22 August Annual Show
3 October Autumn Show
29 October FGA Quiz
Cookery classes for the Spring Show
At the Spring Show in April 2015 we’ve decided to continue with two cookery classes that we first tried this year. The first class is ‘A Chocolate Cake’ – so that all those uneaten Easter Eggs can be put to a good cause. The second class is ‘A Savoury Quiche’. Please try and enter these classes, as well as all the usual flower classes. Given I’m not the person in the family who’s any good at growing flowers or cooking things, I’m off to scour the web for recipes that a poor cook like me can cope with for the cookery classes.
Musings from the Rota Queen
We must thank all of the till volunteers for their sterling work at the Seed Box over the last year.
We have lost a few volunteers over the last twelve months - careless I know - so I would be very grateful if any other members were to volunteer their services for 2015. The more volunteers we have the less duties we all have to cover.
Full training is given in the best possible taste but I am afraid that the pay scales remain the same due to the present economic situation.
On behalf of all the membership, our grateful thanks to all who help us and enable the Seed Box to operate for the good of all. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Sandra M Ridgway