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Oct Plants For A Future newsletter

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  • Richard Morris
    Hi, The latest PFAF newsletter is below. Appologies if you get this more than once. The newsletter is also arailable in Word format with some nice pictures.
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2003
      The latest PFAF newsletter is below. Appologies
      if you get this more than once. The newsletter is also
      arailable in Word format with some nice pictures. Send me an email
      if interested.

      Plants For A Future News October 03

      Educational events planned for the field

      Our Cornish site, the Field, has been going from strength to strength
      lately. Frank left a great legacy and injected great energy into the
      site which is still being built on today. Two new volunteers, Simon and
      Jane are now regular volunteers and there has been a string of
      volunteers coming for a week or so. We also have plans to try and get
      the catalogue moving and start work on an intensive productive woodland
      garden to really show a good model of the system. But even more
      excitingly Phil has been hard at work talking with the Workers
      Educational Association, Bodmin (WEA) and St Austell College (SAC) to
      organise a number of courses. For more details on any of these events
      please contact Phil James on 01208 873623.

      Moor and Seaside Gardening (WEA) Sat 24/Jan/04 or Sat 7/Feb/04 10am-4pm.
      It is for women only and is being taught by Glyn White. Date to be

      An Introduction to Woodland Gardening (SAC) Wed 17/March/04 and Wed
      31/March/04. Open to St. Austell College students as an Enrichment

      Wildlife and Wildflower Gardening (WEA) Sat 20/March/04, 10am-4pm. Women
      only, tutor: Terry Geater.

      Environmental Awareness Day (PFAF) Sat 27/March/04. We are hoping to
      have stalls from a variety of organisations, tours of the land and
      perhaps some entertainment. *** A Great chance to visit the Field ***

      Winter Salad Garden (WEA) Fri 9/April/04 – Mon/12/04. Open to all. Four
      5-hour sessions.

      Winter Salad Garden follow up sessions (PFAF) . Sat 23/May/04, Sat
      19/June/04 Sat 10/July/04. Each of these sessions will be 5 hours long.

      The Bountiful Woodland Edge Garden (WEA) Sat 30/Oct/04, Sun 31/Oct/04,
      Sat 13/Nov/04, Sun 14/Nov/04. Open to all. Four 5-hour sessions. We are
      also hoping to have 2 follow up sessions to this course in 2005.

      Monthly work weekends at Blagdon

      The last year has been a fallow year for Blagdon, we felt it was time to
      take a step back and contemplate the future direction of the site and
      the project as a whole. See the Big Pow Wow overleaf for details. Next
      year we hope to get things moving again. We will be holding a monthly
      work party and meeting at the Blagdon Site on the second weekend of each
      month. The weekends will run from Friday night to Monday morning and all
      are welcome to attend at any time.

      The dates of the are: 10/11 Jan, 14/15 Feb, 13/14 March, 10/11 April
      (may be a week later to avoid clash), 8/9 May, 12/13 June, 10/11 July,
      14/15 August, 11/12 Sept, 9/10 Oct, 13/14 Nov and 11/12 Dec.

      The work groups will focus on the Welcome Garden, which is the first
      garden you will see when you enter the site and includes the area around
      the Visitors Centre. This will be very important for giving a good first
      impression of the site. In December we will be doing the landscaping to
      prepare the area of the garden, fill in the old entrance with a new
      hedge and work on our access track.

      This winter we are also focusing on regenerating our coppice woodland
      and maintaining our new planting. The coppice is about 4 acres that has
      not been managed for 30 years; we intend to cut it right back so that in
      ten years time we will have a productive hazel coppice. The new planting
      of 20,000 tree will be "beaten up" (i.e. cleared of clearing
      undergrowth, maintenance of trees and fixing fencing) to give the trees
      a helping hand and we will also need to do some re-stocking to replace
      losses and fill out some of the spaces. These trees were planted five
      years ago and we appear to have very few losses and the alders have done
      very well. However the deer have been munching many of the other trees.

      Blagdon: time for the big pow-wow

      Its an America Indian tradition that the bigger the decision the more
      people should be consulted and the longer it should take. For the
      biggest decisions, such as going to war they would have to consult every
      member of the tribe and take several years to decide.

      Plants for a Future is at such a decision stage as to the future
      direction of the charity and the Blagdon site. The past five years at
      Blagdon have been very mixed, with a string of successful events but
      many problems. We have now come to the realisation that the site cannot
      continue in its current state and that major decisions need to be made.
      We are now in a six-month consultation phase reviewing the major
      options. As loyal supporters of the charity we would welcome your input
      on the subject.

      There are a number of different options we available:-

      · Pursue a major fundraising strategy to secure large sums to finance a
      permanent visitors centre and the staff to run it.

      · Try to build a new core group of local people who are prepared to put
      in a regular commitment to run the site.

      · Reduce the size of the Blagdon site to a more manageable level and
      sell or lease other parts of the site to like-minded groups or

      · Concentrate all our energy on the field in Cornwall the database,
      website, a plant catalogue and core charity activities (getting the mail
      answered promptly!) The field is now feeling a more positive place and
      there is exciting news about courses and events there. Possible putting
      some of the excess from the sale into other groups pursuing similar

      · Become two separate groups with full independence of both sites.

      · Change the nature of the site so it becomes a more community based
      project, concentrating on making the site financially self-sustaining by
      say running a catalogue or community composting. This might put the
      demonstration gardens aspect of the site on hold for a while.

      People are perhaps the most important resource; if the site is going to
      flourish then more people need to become involved. We identified a
      number of key roles that would be needed in a new look Blagdon:

      · Head Gardener: responsible for maintaining and developing the
      demonstration gardens.

      · Volunteer/Training Co-ordinator: responsible for supporting
      volunteers, organising events courses etc.

      · Plant Catalogue Manager: responsible for setting up and running
      our plant catalogue.

      · Broadscale Site Manager: responsible for the larger scale
      aspects of the site, such as the woodland, paths, camping facilities and
      wildlife areas.

      · Community Liaison Officer: responsible for building links with
      the community, for example through community composting and school

      · Outreach officer: to run our presence at shows and events and
      coordinate our regional representative and regional garden program.

      · All round office super-hero: to develop our publications,
      getting the mail answered on time etc.

      · Project manager: to co-ordinate all the above roles, develop
      business plans and manage the development of a permanent visitors

      These roles are not set in stone if anyone has interesting ideas then we
      would be happy to support them. If we have sufficient interest in these
      roles then we will start submitting bids to secure funding for these

      The other major question we are looking at is selling or leasing various
      parts of the site. We would want to keep the first field for the
      visitors centre and demonstration gardens. But there are a number of
      other fields which we would like to see used.

      · The native woodland: we would be happy to break this up into
      small packets, but only on the strict prevision that they be kept as
      woodland, managed sustainably, and possibly used for traditional
      woodland crafts. So if you ever fancied owning your own bit of woodland
      now is your chance!

      · The orchard field, this is southwest facing so is idea for
      growing fruit crops but beware: like most of the site it has a heavy
      clay soil and is very moist.

      · The retreat field, this field already has the beginnings of a
      meditation garden and a tree bog and is an ideal place to hold outdoor
      camps and events.

      · The community field, we have outline planning permission for 28
      holiday chalets here, there are ideas for building some small retreat
      spaces/camping barns here. Could you do something with this field?

      · The camping field/lake. The lowest part of the site. There are
      plans for a lake here.

      · The working field. This is where we plan to have our
      agricultural shed and poly tunnels and has the best access. We would be
      happy to lease parts of the field to small scale plant based
      enterprises, such as willow coppicing.

      Each field is about ten acres, we would like to insure that they are
      managed is a sustainable and vegan way (sorry no chickens!) We would
      probably also like to retain access rights through most of the site. Our
      overriding objective is to ensure that the land is used well.

      We are now looking for anyone interested in the options above. Hopefully
      we will have an AGM at some point, but day yet to be fixed. Please get
      in touch either by email to webmaster@..., writing to 1 Lerryn
      View, Lerryn, Lostwithiel, Cornwall, PL22 0QJ or by phone to 01208 872

      Immediate opportunities: we have a very urgent need for office
      assistance to get our mail answered on time. This could either be in
      Lerryn or at your own home, but you would need to be close to either
      site. We also need a third charity trustee to help oversee the work of
      the charity.

      Nearly there with the database

      A interim release of the database is now out. This features 7417 plants
      in it and 400 photos and a web-browser based interface. However its is
      still in a half-way stage, with the old MS-Access versions without
      pictures and a set of static webpages with photos (pretty much like the
      website but limited search capacity). The other big change has been the
      creating of a new Medicinal Use Rating field, which ranks plants
      according to how useful they are medicinally. This will be available for
      download from our website www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/pfaf/D_obtain.html.

      The next project will hopefully be to put our 300 medicinal herb
      factsheets into a nice package on CD-ROM.

      Plant Catalogues

      The first signs have been seen of a stock of plants being available from
      PFAF, but so far these are only a few plants for a special order for the
      East London Medicinal Herb Garden. Who knows there might even be a
      catalogue next year!

      In the mean time we are now working with some other partner nurseries
      who can supply many PFAF style plants. Some of the profits from these
      nurseries will be donated to PFAF if you mention our name while

      Wildwood Nurseries (WW)
      Lower Manor Cottage
      EX22 7DD
      Email: lorna@...
      Phone 01409 261324 Fax 01409 261324
      Distribution: UK
      How to order: Direct from Wildwood by email/phone
      Last Updated: March 03

      Forever Trees Nursery (FT)
      Denbury Road
      TQ12 5TR
      Phone 01803 814098 Distribution: UK
      How to order: Direct from Forever Trees
      Last Updated: March 03

      Cool Temperate Nurseries (CT)
      10 Ivy Grove
      NG7 7LZ
      Email: philcorbett53@...
      Phone 0115 847 8302 Fax 0115 847 8302
      Distribution: UK
      How to order: Direct from Cool Temperate by email/phone
      Notes: Many Trees supplied on their own rootstock
      Last Updated: April 03

      (List of plants deleted, see website for details

      Plants for a Future: 7000 useful plants
      Web: http://www.pfaf.org/ same as http://www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/pfaf/
      Post: 1 Lerryn View, Lerryn, Lostwithiel, Cornwall, PL22 0QJ
      Tel: 01208 872 963 / 0845 458 4719
      Email: webmaster@...
      PFAF electronic mailing list http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pfaf
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