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Ffarm Moelyci Bulletin April 2016
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Ffarm Moelyci Bulletin April 2016
Panad a Sgwrs:  First Saturday of the month 10am start.  Next session is 7th May.  Come along to meet fellow Welsh learners and brush up on your language skills.  All levels welcome.
 
Moelyci Pub Quiz:  Second Tuesday of the month.  7:30 for 8pm. Next Quiz is on 10th May in the Douglas Arms in Bethesda.
 

Moelyci Greenwood
Woodlands and Conservation group


Overwinter we have met twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays between 10am and 4pm to do woodland management on the farm.  We had four teaching days on hedge lying with Tim Cumine with the market garden boundary and have made a huge difference. We have also been layering Hazel, transplanting suckers and cutting stools to bring them into rotation in order to create productive Hazel coppice woodland in the two planted areas above the boggy field. The materials generated by this work have been used for hurdle making, plus we have also done gate making and stool making in the workshop.
 
We are currently engaged in removing alder from the second Hazel area and this is almost finished, our next task is to start coppicing the biomass field, below the Moelyci gate archaeology site, which has been heavily damaged by grey squirrels.
 
You may have seen, the bird hide blew off its foundation posts in strong winds just after Christmas. We have tidied it up and would like to rebuild it but there are elements that need redesigning so this is not going to happen in the immediate future. We would also like to build a woodland shelter for possible forest school use by the stream close to the boundary with Pandy farm and are looking at ways of doing this.
 
Our Wednesday and Sunday sessions are ongoing so come and join as if you would like to meet at 10 AM by the woodwork shop in the farmyard. Feel free to contact us: phone Mike on (01248) 602397 (evenings) or email jon at jarngreen@gmx.co.uk.

Jarn  Green

The Growing Space
 
The Growing Space has drawn back its winter curtains, welcoming the spring, being clearly in view as the hedge around the out the main garden has been laid beautifully by the Woodland group.
 
In the polytunnels new seedlings are filling the propagation area, and fresh salad crops and leaf vegetables are abundant, they are available freshly picked in the Moelyci Shop. The outside nursery display area is expanding as the season progresses, all labelled and priced. Come and see the specialist herb displayed we have more than 32 varieties.
 
The Growing Space always welcomes new groups, recently we had a visit from Ysgol Llanllechid who enjoyed an edible leaves treasure hunt and sowing seeds for their school garden. Skills for Work and Life (part of Coleg Menai) are regularly coming and clearing a new growing area, part of an assessed Land based unit they are following. If you know of other groups that would like to use the Growing Space please get in contact.

Thursday volunteers have been doing great work, the new rhubarb area is developing, flower bed weeded, crops harvested and much more, thanks to everyone. Thanks to, to the probation people, especially the builder of my new compost heaps, there a joy to behold.
 
Another exciting development is a new Grow your Own Vegetable course running fortnightly on Thursdays 6-8pm from April 7th.  in the Growing Space, details can be found on the website.
 
The Growing Space will be stepping out in to the community this spring, come and see us at the Seed fair at Conwy on April 1st,  the Conwy Gardeners market on April 17th and May 15th , and at Crug farm on April 30th.
Coryn Bye
Shop and Cafe
 
It looks likely we’ll be appointing a new manager for the shop soon, someone who can take it further, open it longer and involve the community more.  This has been a really exciting process meeting people with amazing ideas and the drive and motivation we need.
 
This time of year, the seasonal produce can be a bit on the root-veg side.  We however have some fantastic fresh leaves coming from The Growing Space.  Fresh and long lasting too.  We’re starting a bit of a campaign to highlight just how far our own grown food has come and how different they are from supermarket produce
Dave Ellis
Moelyci Allotments in April
 
A glorious exuberance infects both wildlife and growers as April unfolds.   Swallows re-convene, swooping around the old Moelyci barns and chattering on the telegraph wires; buzzards seem to cruise the thermals more purposefully ; sparrowhawks dart through the woodland ; woodpeckers hammer the trunks of the Moelyci oaks ;skylarks, skeins of geese, squabbling jays, watchful ravens reinvent themselves; thrushes, blackbirds, great tits, treecreepers, nuthatches are visibly busy in the the still greening oaks on the margins of the allotments.  In the ponds,  tadpoles are lengthening out from black dots  . On the boundaries, apple ,plum, damson and blackthorn blossom.  In the plots, currants  flower.  There's room on or near every plot to plant  a few April blossomers to help hungry early pollinators. Perennial flowers of comfrey, forget- me-not and aquilegia nestle and nod next to the still-brown veg beds.   Bright greeny- ochre coloured  toads can still be sighted meandering near to their late winter spawning grounds.  The soil is  much warmer now and its time to get cracking.
April sowing and planting  
  • Frost burns new shoots of early spuds - keep earthed up . Maincrops can go in throughout April. Some organic growers use the first cut of comfrey to line the potato trench before planting .
  • Start successional sowings of beetroot, carrots, parsnips, lettuce, spinach, spring onions, radish, turnips, early peas, Swiss chard.
  • If mild, try an early sowing of dwarf and climbing French beans towards the end of April. Use  hardier darker seeded varieties, protect  from frosts and be ready to re-sow if fail.
  • Sow leeks and summer cabbage outside in a prepared seed bed
  • We  sow under glass the seeds of runner beans, sweet corn, courgettes, pumpkins, squashes, outdoor/ridge cucumber ready to plant outside in May .
  • Tomato plants that were started inside can be planted out towards the end of April  but keep some frost protection handy.  Many grow tomatoes  under plastic or glass and              still sow tomato seeds through April – they ripen here well into autumn.
  • Herbs: plant lavender and rosemary outside . Sow dill, fennel, hyssop, marjoram,  thyme and parsley under cover.
  • Sow annual flowers direct: marigolds and nasturtiums as companion plants,     sunflowers for their flamboyance, nectar and seeds.
Other jobs
  • Create support for peas with brushwood or netting.
  • Strawberry plants  need replacing every 3 to 5 years. Cheapest method : plant your strawberry runners into pots in April. When rooted, cut the runner.   Removing flowers in the first year gives larger crops later .
  • Try using liquid seaweed as a tonic .
Pests
  • Protect any early strawberries with netting to keep birds and squirrels out.
  • If mild, the first slugs will be heading for seedlings – be vigilant – nurture your slug eating wildlife – thrush ,blackbird, ground beetle, hedgehog, shrew, amphibians and reptiles. 
Think you want to rent an allotment ? Please chat to Jenie or Maria on  the allotment committee on   moelyciallotments@gmail.com
 
Copyright © 2016 Ffarm Moelyci, All rights reserved.


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