What a great way to end 2011 with Geoff Hodge, free-lance writer famous in gardening circles for his many articles in Gardening News and the RHS journal ‘The Garden’, a regular on Radio Cambridgeshire and BBC Essex came to Fowlmere. Like a whirlwind he overwhelmed us with his knowledge, sense of humour and tremendous personality. He made his talk on ‘Growing vegetables’ so interesting that members who only came for the splendid Christmas buffet left the meeting inspired to try their hand at growing vegetables next spring.
Geoff took us through the simple steps to vegetable growing – be it in a patio pot, a raised bed, a window sill or the open ground. He described the best tools for the job and gave sound advice – don’t stand on the soil in the raised beds as you may compress the soil, remember to add organic material to your beds ( there are no nutrients in manure – but you knew that didn’t you!). Use a soil thermometer as seeds will not germinate below 7ºC, keep last year’s seed in its sachet in a cold, dark and dry place – even better place packets in a tupperware box along with sachets of silica gel (from your new handbags, ladies!) would be an appropriate container, do follow the instructions on the seed packet! etc, etc.His talk could fill a book.