Well summer is here and we had a busy December pre Christmas meeting.
Along with our usual core members we had some new attendees and it’s always good to see new local people keen to grow plants and save seed and invest in our local area.
There were quite a few regulars who could not make it to this meeting but the agenda and activities moved right along…
Both before the meeting and in meeting after our usual individual introductions we talked a lot about how crazy the weather has been this year!
We had a very unusual long rolling sequence of very hot, then very cold and then very wet periods that appear to have confused many food crop plants right across the Mountains. We had several severe heatwaves in late winter and some very cold events as well. But they came very close to each other and the alternating cycles have created havoc with both the plants and the pollinators.
Primary concerns have been temperature and water sensitive crops like Broad Beans, Peas, Garlic and a lot of the other allium family which have displayed odd staggered growth and flowering patterns and had their flowering and seed pod formations greatly interrupted and disturbed. For example many broad beans have just not flowered or created oddly sized pods and beans. Garlics have gone into their maturing phase and then started to grow again causing what are called ‘Rough bulbs’ or just not grown to any good size.
Our other main activity and discussion at this meeting was the usual sorting and packing of seeds.
We had a big backlog of seed that people had brought along to contribute so we got quickly on to organise and pack. Everyone participated in the processing and stamping of the seed packets (with our nifty new self inking stamps) and then sorting, packing and labelling the seed.
The new seed label stamps help a lot with better clarity of what needs to be recorded and makes it much easier and faster to process everything. It means with the quick stamping process we also now have the option of members prepacking some of the seeds at home before the meeting – which allows us to talk more at the meeting!
More talk is good.
Some discussion was had then about the interesting range of intelligent and decorative animal pests we have easily available to us in the mountains – such as bower birds.
Various protective measures were suggested.
The database was diligently updated simultaneously all the way through the meeting and expired seeds removed from the seed bank while new seeds were being added.
It was the last meeting of the year and we had some nice festive snacks!
The time went VERY quickly and we scrambled to make it out for 12:30.
We were so busy I forgot to get photo snaps of the meeting… maybe next time…
Thanks to all who turned up – being there is 90% of the work! – and hope to see you all there in the new year for the end of summer meeting – usually sometime around March.
The 2016 meeting dates will be settled with our venue booking in the next week or so and details will be posted on the website and Facebook etc as they come to hand.