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Slater's Organics Update - January 2014

The starting point for most of our newsletters is invariably the weather, and Bob usually feels the need to moan about how difficult things are; but I am happy to report that so far  this winter, conditions have been favourable for all the produce in the garden (although many gardeners believe that a long cold period with plenty of overnight frosts improves the flavour of winter vegetables). Our brassicas in particular are splendid this season; Bob is especially pleased with the cavolo nero, which he has been unable to buy seeds for in previous years; we have been picking it since July, and it is still growing robustly. Likewise, the calabrese has kept on producing florets and quite large heads of superior quality. The sprouts and kale are also still going strong, and our purple sprouting broccoli is almost ready for harvesting, as long as we can deter the pigeons with our hawk kite.

The leeks, which were planted late due to a mix-up by our seed suppliers, are fattening up well, but Bob cannot earth them up at present, as the soil is too wet and clogs up our small rotovator when we try to use it.

Bob's seed order arrived in early January, and he has already sown 5000 white and 5000 red onion seeds. This is far fewer than in earlier years; but Bob hopes that we will be better able to keep the weeds under control if we have a smaller onion bed. Bob is sometimes tempted to start sowing the rest of the seeds, as the mild weather lulls him into thinking spring is on its way; but February can be a very cold month, so he is waiting for a while before sowing starts in earnest.

Last December the Hull Daily Mail Journal magazine asked if they could do an article about us for their January issue; naturally Bob agreed, and a reporter duly came along to interview him about the garden and the history of Slater Organics. Some days later a photographer arrived, and Bob and I were pictures in various poses in and around the garden. When Will, Harry and Mary came for Christmas, much fun was made of their 'famous' parents; especially when Bob pointed out that one of his recipes had been included in the article, which must almost make him a celebrity chef! (The recipe in question featured in November's newsletter, and was for Stuffed Chard Leaves.)

Bob and I would like to wish everyone a somewhat belated Happy New Year, as we look forward to the coming season at the Walled Garden.

Jane Slater
Slater Organics

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Arthur St Trading Ltd, 2 Woodyard Cottages, Jubilee Lane, Rise. HU11 5BN | Telephone: 07949 805695 | Email:
A Workers Co-operative registered in England. | Organic Certification GB-ORG-05. | Reg No: 3843444. | VAT No: 842 9001 43.