Swap Shop

We had a very successful day at the Craft Market on Saturday, where we held our annual Seedling Swap.

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A boot full of plants for the swap!

Starting with plants grown by our committee members, many from seed obtained at February’s Seed Swap, our stock soon rose and fell as ALFI supporters and friends arrived with new donations, and took away other people’s excess seedlings. Members of the public also browsed and took plants in exchange for a donation: just the way things are supposed to work.

 

Talk of the Town

What’s particularly nice about these events is the opportunity it gives to chat with fellow gardeners, whether hardened veterans or curious starters.

This year it was notable that many people were complaining about the generally cool Spring and the late frosts, with parts of Alton experiencing a degree of frost in the first week of May. Not unheard of perhaps, but what’s quite ironic, of course, is the complete lack of any frost this winter until well into the New Year, resulting in daffodils blooming at Christmas!

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Set up and swapping

As a result of the cool weather, there was a complete lack of French beans, and notably fewer other less-hardy plants such cucumbers & courgettes. If it hadn’t been for a very generous donation of Runner beans early in the day, we’d have been completely bean-less! Tomatoes were in plentiful supply though, with several varieties on offer, since only a fool would ever try to germinate them in outside this time of year (Er, I did, which is why mine are still tiny!).

 

Stock take

What we lacked in legumes, we made up for in other species: we had strawberries, rhubarb, chard, celery, artichokes, peas, beetroot, chillies & peppers, and a wide variety of herbs; plus a number of companion plants, flowers, and plants for wild gardens, to keep the wild-life happy!

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Thanks for everyone who contributed, it was lovely to chat to you; good luck growing your fresh acquisitions! See you at the AGM*?

*Our AGM is on July 11th, meeting at 19:00 to admire the Vicarage Gardens, then from 19:30 at the back room in the Railway Arms.

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