The Villager

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24 February, 2019

Garden Notes – New Ideas

Garden Club The Villager

Why don’t I follow my own advice! The voles have been eating my hellebore flowers because I was late cutting the leaves back. Last year I grew some new vegetables, spurred on by an article in the Telegraph that extolled them. The first was crosnes, pronounced crones, a type of salvia. This produces lots of small, little finger sized, michelin men shaped tubers. Fiddly to scrub clean. They will give you the crisp texture of water chestnuts in your stir fries. Sadly they taste of nothing and I shall not grow them again. The other was oca, or New Zealand Yam. This looks like a bushy, succulent clover and produces new potato sized tubers in red or yellow. They have a lemony taste and I enjoyed them roasted with garlic. They do not start producing tubers until late summer so cannot be harvested before December when the tops are frosted to a mush. I then covered mine with a blanket of leaves to protect from further frosts. I shall grow this again, though there are so many tiny tubers left in the soil I probably have no option. ...

24 February, 2019

Farm News

The Villager

Rainfall so far in 2019 has been 35 mm or less than an inch and a half so a low total for January. February has started wet with 67.5 mm in the first 10 days but the forecast is dry for the coming week. The ground is much too wet for tractors to travel in the fields without making huge ruts but soon the first fertiliser will be applied to meet the nutritional needs from the plants emerging from the winter – the annual spreading machine MoT is this Tuesday. The test is required to show that the machine is in good order and also to ensure that the spread pattern is accurate so that the granules are distributed accurately over the 24 metre spreading width. Each year the fertiliser varies with some granules being either larger or smaller. If the granules are larger they fly through the air further so the angle of the spreading vanes on the spinning discs are reduced to reduce the throw and vice versa for granules that are on average lighter. A pass certificate is one of the requirements for the Assured Combinable Crops Scheme which allows the grain to be sold under the Red Tractor Assurance label. ...

24 February, 2019

Bentworth Film Night – The Children Act

Events The Villager

Bentworth Film Night will be screening ‘The Children Act’ on Tuesday 12th March at the Jubilee Hall, Bentworth. Doors open at 7pm for drinks, with film showing at 7.30pm. Tickets £5 on the door. Ice Creams in the Interval. ...

25 January, 2019

Lasham Gliding Society Winter Talks 2018/19

The Villager

Saturday talks will usually commence at 6pm and will be held in the Brown Elephant briefing room at Lasham. Although most of the events are free of charge it is customary that a silver collection is made at the end of each talk for the Lasham Trust or other deserving cause of the speaker’s choosing. Dinner will be available in the restaurant afterwards. Booking is advisable at thegoldenglider@outlook.com. Or 01256 384910. The bar is also available to members and visitors at all times. ...

25 January, 2019

Hampshire Federation of W.I.

The Villager

Our December meeting was our Christmas Lunch, which was held at Alton House Hotel, which was enjoyed by all. In January we held a social and enjoyed tea and a chat with minimal business. ...

25 January, 2019

Farm News

The Villager

Julian and I have recently returned from a few days in Snowdonia, an area that we know reasonably well. It is, along with Pembrokeshire, an area that we return to often, the roads are quieter, the scenery is fantastic, people friendly and there are some great places to stay and eat. In driving around, or in Julian’s case cycling, we were reminded how much the environment and income of the area is shaped by sheep. In north Wales in particular it is generally very difficult to grow crops. The soil is too thin and not very fertile and the farms rely on sheep to graze the fields and the steep hillsides. The majority of the visitors to north Wales take the beauty of the area for granted but it only looks the way it does because it is grazed. If the sheep were removed, for whatever reason, the hill sides and fields would quickly return to brambles, small shrubs, bracken and choked with weeds. The footpaths would become unusable and the farms would be deserted. The tourist industry would be affected as, judging by the number of cars parked near climbing routes and footpaths, a lot of the visitors to the National Park do use these trails even in the middle of winter. ...

25 January, 2019

Garden Notes

Garden Club The Villager

Do you have a Winter Garden? I doubt it, you just do your best to keep some interest going during the winter. We took a trip down to Chichester just before Christmas and saw the best garden I have seen for a long time. It is the Bishop’s Palace Garden. This lies just behind the Cathedral, a few minutes walk from the High Street. It is now owned by the council who keep it up with the help of friends of the garden. It does have some great advantages, such as lots of old trees and fifteen foot Roman and Tudor walls round it, but the planting is superb. All the borders were well dressed with evergreens and young coloured stemmed dogwoods but they still had evidence of cut down perennials that would give summer colour. They used a lot of phormiums, evergreen grasses, euphorbias, dwarf pittosporums, small evergreen shrubs and hellebores. The warmth of the garden had kept the acanthus and penstemon foliage still looking good. I hope to go again in June to see the rose pergola in flower. One interesting idea was the reuse of a small circular pond which they had heaped with soil to the height of about three feet and planted with very dwarf evergreen shrubs and ground cover. Do try and visit it if you can. ...

18 January, 2019

Broadlands Riding for the Disabled Charity Talks

Events

I have organised another series of talks for 2019 in aid of Broadlands Riding for the disabled in Medstead. The first, on Tuesday, 12th February is Phil Spencer who has kindly agreed to come and talk about his career as a TV presenter of various property programs including working alongside Kirsty Allsopp on “Location, location, location.” ...

02 January, 2019

Bentworth Film Night

Events

We are pleased to announce that the first film for 2019 will be,  Mamma Mia! Here we go again, which will be shown next Tuesday, 8th January. The plot is set after the events of the first film, Mama Mia! and also features flashbacks to 1979, telling the story of Donna Sheridan’s arrival on the island of Kalokairi and her first meetings with her daughter Sophie’s three possible fathers. ...

16 November, 2018

Bell Maintenance

Church The Villager

The bell ropes at St Mary’s church, Bentworth, need replacing, after 30 years. The bellringers have a fund, saved from wedding fees and contributions from visiting ringers, which can be used. But the total cost of new ropes is £1031, of which the fund can contribute £773, leaving £258 to be raised. ...