GARDENING CLUB PROGRAMME 2017/18
Friday 21st April
AGM and QUIZ
7.30 pm Crown & Victoria
Friday 19th May
MINTERNE HOUSE, MINTERNE MAGNA, DORCHESTER
Afternoon visit to the gardens
Friday 16th June
Private visit to the gardens, afternoon
Friday 14th July
CORTON DENHAM HOUSE
Private visit and tour, afternoon
Friday 18th August
LIFT THE LATCH, FORTON, CHARD
Private visit and tour, afternoon
Friday 15th September
LIBERTY ORCHARDS, HALSTOCK
Private visit and tour with product tastings, afternoon
Friday 20th October
TALK ON ‘BULBS – SELECTION AND PLANTING’
7.30 pm venue to be confirmed
Friday 17th November
7.30 pm to be arranged
Friday 19th January
‘CREATING A NGS GARDEN’ TALK BY CHRISTOPHER BOND
7.30 pm in the Village Hall
Friday 16th February
TALK ‘GROWING FRUIT AND VEGETABLES ON THE PATIO’
7.30 pm Village Hall
New members always welcome
Latest News - September 2017:
We finished our summer visits with a tour of Liberty Orchards in Halstock. This proved to be very popular (perhaps it was the promise of ‘tastings’) and about 30 of us met there on a watery afternoon in September. Alison Lemmey welcomed us with tea and coffee and her delicious home-made flapjacks to hear about the beginnings of this young enterprise. Her partner’s parents bought the land and he was born on the farm in 1962 which he continues to farm (he was off to do the milking as we left). They started planting the orchards in 2010 after researching the old varieties and now have 7 acre and 3 acre orchards. They run the enterprise organically and also have a ‘Mother Orchard’, a collection of ‘safeguard’ varieties helping (with other orchards) to keep the old varieties alive.
Alison is also a speech therapist working with disadvantaged children and one of their four aims is to help disadvantaged children (the others being to safeguard old varieties, protect wild life and, hopefully, make a living). They employ the students who love to pick the apples and do other jobs in the orchard.
The rain stopped long enough for us to walk round the orchard and Alison was full of information about planting, pruning and general natural alternatives for the maintenance and wellbeing of the trees.
We went to look at their production facility and hear about how they make their products. Balsamic vinegar has been made since the Roman times and there are 100s of recipes in Italy (quite unlike the normal supermarket variety which is made quickly). Apparently the Triano grape in Italy has the same characteristics as one of our local bittersweet apples. Liberty Fields 6 year old balsamic vinegar is made by the traditional Italian method of slow reductions followed by 6 years of maturing in oak barrels. Liberty Fields Apple Syrup is ‘Dorset’s answer to maple syrup’ and is made with no added sugar or sulphites.
We went on to try their Apple Aperitif delicious both hot as a winter punch or cold in a variety of ways. We finished by sampling their ‘Porter’s Perfection Vodka’, named after the variety of apples used which have a unique taste. It was great on its own and even better with some tonic!
Alison gave us recipe cards for all their products and most of us took advantage of the special discount to buy some of them to take home.
Our next meeting will be on Friday 20th October. We will be meeting in the Crown and Victoria for a talk by Mickey Little of Avon Bulbs on ‘Bulbs – Selection and Planting’. Meet up there at 7 pm for tea or coffee and biscuits for a 7.30 pm start. Members £2 Visitors/guests £4.
Committee Members: Neil Garnett (Chairman)
Jo Slade (Secretary)
Adrian Dodding (Treasurer)
Ruth Sullivan If you are interested in joining the gardening club or more like more information please either get in touch with one of the organising committee or email