• Mary @maire Wanstead updated 1 day ago
    https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2021/aug/30/stephen-review-steve-coogan-leads-the-quest-for-justice-in-lawrence-case Did anyone watch this 3 part series about the Stephen Lawrence murder with Steve Coogan playing the detective who reopened the case? I've only watched the first as I'm on holiday but I found it powerful. Will watch the rest on catch up.
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 1 month ago
    Hope this Instagram link works. This charity does fantastic work saving food from being wasted. Wonderful to see growers donating fresh produce and enthusiastic volunteers picking and transporting it. https://www.instagram.com/p/CSJ7_VyIpIQ/?utm_medium=share_sheet
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 6 days ago
    Anyone had great success with their fruit and veg? Or sadly any failures? So far had a good crop of autumn sown onions and garlic, in fact the onions grew a bit too big and some bolted but generally a success. Broad beans were not bad though did suffer a bit with blackfly and something else eating them. Potatoes seem to have done well. Courgettes are good and squashes pumpkins and cucumbers coming along. Failures: climbing French beans decimated by something eating them. Have sown more straight into the ground. Lettuce and rocket has been good. I don't know what went wrong with my sweetcorn, it's only grown a metre and looking very puny and sick though my plot neighbour's is lush and tall!! Peas didn't really germinate. Tomato and potato blight have started on site so don't hold out much hope for the toms as there are early signs but hope my spuds have escaped ( have never had potato blight before) My apple trees are laden and just picked a load of cherry plums from two very old trees in my garden. My strawberries started off well ( new raised bed started last year) but I think they were too close together and I think the rain caused many to go mouldy plus the leaves started to curl and change colour. How are your crops?
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 2 months ago
    I'm sure @Boots has reported this already but I couldn't find it. If you give a reaction by mistake you cannot remove it. Could this be fixed please as I've reacted positively to two posts by mistake that I really want to remove. Thanks SL
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 3 months ago
    Having watched Monty Don remove these from the top of his garlic I did the same today. He suggested that they can be cooked. I haven't tried that so must look it up. Anyone tried?
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 1 month ago
    How are you fruit and veg plots doing? Anyone wish to share their food growing experiences/photos? I must admit I got impatient back in those dark February days and sowed seeds too soon so had to hold many plants back which I fear has set some back. Potatoes, onions, garlic looking healthy , tomato plants and sweetcorn looking scrappy, some beans and cabbages looking decimated😥 Will post some photos later.ooking forward to anyone sharing theirs.
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 3 months ago
    If you know of anyone renting out a room in Barking area. A friend is looking for one. Thanks
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 3 months ago
    https://www.change.org/p/redbridge-council-save-redbridge-lane-west-allotments-from-cadent I appreciate this is a local issue but there's nothing to stop people signing it on principle as it could happen anywhere and could set a precedent. Cadent want to take it over as a car park for their vehicles and equipment however what is the likelihood of it being reinstated after that period? And any of you allotmenteers will know that it can take years to get a plot to a manageable state, not to mention the cost in time and money. Please consider signing and sharing. Many thanks
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead 5 months ago
    An allotment neighbour told me about this technique and is experimenting with it. I'd never heard of it. Our site is on heavy clay and prone to flooding as it's close to a river. Soil levels drop and one needs loads of compost and manure to try to build it up especially if making raised beds and trying the no dig method. There is never enough manure or home made compost and it would be costly to buy enough. The advantage with this technique is that there are lots trees on the periphery of our site so plenty of dead branches and logs and a local tree surgeon also delivers this as well as wood chippings. You can even use scrap wood. I found it interesting. She started by experimenting just with a big plastic bin with a wood layer at the bottom and is now making a full bed in the ground https://www.growveg.co.uk/guides/how-to-make-hugelkultur-beds-for-growing-vegetables/
  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 3 months ago
    Sowed some Swift and Red Duke of York on my plot today. It might be a wee bit early but figured the Irish traditionally sowed them on St Patrick's day and here Good Friday though the latter is a moveable feast. Hopefully they'll be ok. I've had the leaves hit by frost in the past but the tubers have survived. I have some Pink Fir Apple and Charlotte salad potatoes to go in but will probably wait a week or so.
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 6 months ago
    This is a welcome initiative in an era when repairing goods is seen as non-profitable and discouraged so consumers are forced to replace. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/10/tough-new-rules-aim-to-make-electrical-goods-last-longer
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 6 months ago
    I read that water from boiling potatoes was good for spraying whitefly. I then read it was also good for watering your plants as the starch spurs the release of plant nutrients in the soil. In fact most veggy cooking water is good for your plants including pasta water and water from boiling eggs which contains calcium. However added salt is not good for them but I don't add salt to potatoes anyway. I do save some veggy water for stock and gravy but will definitely use any surplus for my plants.
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 3 months ago
    only two vegetables to grow which ones would you pick? Difficult choice but I think I'd have to say tomatoes and potatoes.
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 6 months ago
    Has anyone had success with these? I've always grown them from sets but the varieties are quite limited. Was tempted to grow some more unusual ones from seed like the lovely Italian Tropea ones.
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 8 months ago
    https://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/news/book-delivery-to-vulnerable-barking-dagenham-redbridge-6886426 I posted this in my local group but thought it might be of interest here. I see so many books disposed of but this is a lovely idea as it recycles as well as giving pleasure to people.
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 8 months ago
    https://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/news/book-delivery-to-vulnerable-barking-dagenham-redbridge-6886426 What a great idea
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 8 months ago
    https://ktcityfarm.org.uk/ Heard about this on Robert Elms Radio London slot today.
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 9 months ago
    https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/dec/12/country-superstar-charley-pride-dies-aged-86
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 10 months ago
    https://metro.co.uk/2020/10/27/slum-london-apartment-bought-for-1000-is-now-worth-3-7-million-13482974/
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  • Mary @maire Wanstead updated 11 months ago
    I have a greenhouse for the first time and started all my seeds in it this spring. It's not a large one and doesn't have beds inside, just shelves and it's on paving slabs. Any ideas on what a greenhouse novice could grow in it over winter in pots or troughs?
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