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November 2017

Goodbye to the beds on Welch Way. The council have taken them back for their own planting schemes.


Minutes of meeting 9th October 2017


Highs and lows of members gardens

BW  highlighted need to use organic material in our soil

Sanctuary Housing event at the Oasis Cafe  and the need for more thought around its purpose


Community Services Group Meeting 18 9 17

BW was unexpectedly allowed another 5 mins  speech and provided a print out of the script from the Town Council mtg to the members

Well received by the Mayor who suggested a meeting with John Hickman the H&S person and BW to see if safety issues could be resolved

BW is waiting for a meeting date to be arranged

H&S remains an issue

The group identified and went to look at a possible alternative site by Langdale Hall before the usual weeding/tidying  of Welch Way  beds

October 2017

A bit of a tidy up today,P1060004P1060006P1060010


and some beans harvested.


September 2017

Meeting of Edible Gardens Monday, 11th September, 2017

Present: Brenda, Caroline, Pam, Christine, Helen, Sheila & Rae

Discussion about what was doing well in our gardens.
Fruit trees may not bear fruit every year. Brown rot in apples common this year but pears doing well.
Some courgette seeds have produced pumpkins!
Christine won a prize for her flower arrangements.
Rae’s raised beds are a success for her first attempt at growing vegetables.
Brenda’s sweet corn is a doing well.

All are encouraged to attend the Council’s Community Services committee meeting on Monday Sept 18th at 6pm upstairs in the Town Council building (opposite the Buttercross). Encourage friends to come along! Caroline will inform Cogges. Brenda will e-mail sympathetic councillors . The decision about our town beds is to be made.

Meeting at the Oasis Café on the Windrush Valley Estate Friday 15th September 3-4.30 pm. The winners of the flower competition will be announced. Bring plants/seeds for a plant swap.

Next meeting Monday 9th October

August 2017

Long bed on Welch Way weeded.


Runner beans growing well.





Minutes of meeting August 2017

Present: Brenda, Nimmi, Maggie, Rae, Helen, Sheila, Jill

1 Council Meeting: Brenda spoke for 5 minutes at the recent Town Council meeting. It was felt by those attending that the general reception was very cold and there was no discussion. Jill complimented Brenda on her talk. The decision to end our involvement at the Welch Way beds had been taken by the Community Services Committee but hadn’t been discussed by the whole Council. The matter was referred back to the Committee. Laura Price (Town Councilor) has been very helpful. The meeting started at 7pm and ended at 7.45pm. Several local groups are involved with town beds/places (RHS, Burwell, Deer Park). The meeting of the Committee will be on Monday 18/9/17, time to be confirmed. Members of the public can attend and it would be good if as many Edible Gardeners as possible could come.

Jill was in favour of continuing Edible Gardens as a plan ‘B’. The Committee and Town officials have offered other areas for us to garden as alternative sites (Leys Splash Park and Park Road Allotment) and several members have visited those sites. No one was in favour of either site. Nimmi made the point that we engage with the public which is different to the other groups.

2 We have been invited to Cogges ‘Tucker’s Feast’ on Monday 28 August 2017. Brenda suggested a presentation on saving seeds and asked for volunteers. Jill queried the amount of time devoted to events rather than our own learning.

3 There will be a photo competition on Smith’s Estate and we have been asked to help with the judging on 29 August 2017. The Prize-giving event is Friday 15 September 3 – 4.30pm at the Oasis Café, Smith’s Estate. There will be other activities.

4 Beds today – Camomile needs to be cut back, deadheading, and roots of Fennel seedlings must be dug out.

5 Next meeting Monday 11 September 2017 10am at the Methodist Church café.

April Meeting

10 April 2017

1 Meeting of Witney Council members and officers with Volunteer Groups involved in gardening municipal plots
Witney Council members and officers particularly discussed with Volunteer Groups how Witney could win the Oxfordshire in Bloom competition in future.
Concern was also expressed by Council members and officers regarding the Edible Gardening group standing so close to the busy Welch Way in order to cultivate the large raised bed. It was considered that cultivation of the beds revert back to the responsibility of Council workers. No decision was reached.
It was agreed that Brenda should email Polly (relevant Council officer) to suggest that:
(a) we be issued with cones to use on the edge of Welch Way beside the raised bed when we are working there once a month and/or
(b) we be issued with high visibility tabards and/or
(c) we be issued with Danger Men at Work sign/s.        Action: BW

2 Mulching
Brenda led a discussion on mulching which is useful to spread at this time. Primary uses:
Moisture retention
Rotted mulch will improve soil

3 Slugs
Brenda led a discussion on slugs based on Slug Patrol from Spring/Summer 2017 edition of The Organic Way and Controlling Slugs and Snails from March 2017 edition of The Garden.
Only 4 of the 44 UK species of slug are pests. They all clean up decaying plant and animal remains. They are all mostly water and easily dry out. Slugs feed on all parts of a plant.
Slug control methods:
Grow slug-resistant plants. Slugs love Pak Choi and most Hostas.
Slug predators include frogs, toads, newts, slow-worms, songbirds and hedgehogs. Also black beetles, centipedes, leopard slugs and nematodes (Nemaslug).
Beer baited slug traps
Plastic bottle cloches for young plants
Crushed eggshells, gravel or oats as a protective mulch
Copper tape stuck around containers
Electric fence
Removing by hand ie pick them off plants under torchlight. Dispose of them in landfill waste or kill them in the freezer.

4 Planting Plan for larger Raised Bed
Jane’s planting plan was discussed and what needed to be done immediately
Action points:
Plant Purple Sage in smaller raised beds
Dead head daffodils etc
Dig up and discard pansies which were past their best
Display module seed trays (for donations)
Do as much watering as possible
Spread shredded eucalyptus mulch (recently given to Brenda)

Next Meeting    Monday 8 May 10am, Witney Methodist Church Cafe