News

Organic fruit and veg urged for schools

A new report by Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN UK) reveals that the fruit and vegetables given to four-to-six year olds via a government scheme aimed at promoting healthy eating habits contained residues of 123 different pesticides. These include suspected endocrine disruptors which interfere with hormone systems, known carcinogens, and organophosphates that can negatively affect children’s cognitive development.

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Do different pollinators affect plants?

A fascinating study has shown that different pollinators can affect a plant's development. Brassicas pollinated by bumble bees became taller and with more fragrant flowers than those pollinated by hoverflies. This implies that different pollinators will rapidly affect a plant's evolution. It then became evident that bumblebees preferred bumblebee-pollinated plants over hoverfly-pollinated plants. Could the plant have adapted to the bumblebees’ preferences?

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Allium leaf miner survey

Take part in our allium leaf miner survey

Allium leaf miner (Phytomyza gymnostoma) is a serious pest that affects all allium crops. It first arrived in the Midlands in 2002, and since then, has rapidly spread around the country. Garden Organic last did a survey of allium leaf miner with the Organic Growers’ Alliance in 2011. The survey showed that there were many siting’s around the Midlands but it had spread to other areas of the UK as well.

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Organic September

Now is the perfect time to plan your organic growing! September brings a new season, full of autumn fruitfulness and time to start afresh after lazy days of summer.

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One man & his plot

One Man & his organic plot - Part Five

The phrase ‘you reap what you sow’ certainly rings true in August and suddenly I’m drowning in courgettes, this really is the plant that keeps on giving and I am struggling to stay on top. It has opened up a new front on my allotment activities though and it’s at home in the kitchen, where my culinary skills have been in action in order to make use of the five marrows I collected last week. I would not describe the marrow as the tastiest of my produce but stuffed they do go down well.

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New Certificate in Organic Horticulture launched

Horticultural education and training experts, The BEST in Horticulture Group, have launched a Certificate in Organic Horticulture, endorsed by Garden Organic.

The course - available to study face to face at Ryton Organic Gardens, online, or a combination of both - is the perfect solution for people keen to get a detailed understanding of all elements of organic horticulture.

Colette Bond, Head of Education at Garden Organic, has worked closely with BEST in Horticulture for a number of years;

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Chase Organics granted Royal Warrant

Chase Organics, best known to gardeners and horticulturists for their extensive range of organic seeds, seaweed plant nutrition products and garden supplies, has been granted the Royal Warrant to HRH Prince of Wales.

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RHS trials - organic slug pellets perform as well as than those with toxic metaldehyde

Ongoing RHS trials reveal that organic slug pellets perform as well as toxic synthetic chemical ones – especially on hostas. This is good news for organic growers.

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"A Food Brexit" briefing document published

Professor Tim Lang, President of Garden Organic, has co-authored a hard-hitting paper on the future of UK food post Brexit.

A Food Brexit: time to get real, published by the SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit), is a briefing document for Brexit negotiators and government ministers. It claims that the UK is unprepared for the most complex ever change to its food system on leaving the EU. And that Brexit poses serious risks to consumer interests, public health, the environment, businesses and workers in the food sector.

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Neonics - two new field studies show disastrous effects on bees

Two new and comprehensive 'field realistic' studies have been published, both looking at the effect of neonic pesticides on bees. One looked at honey bees in Canada, and reveals a marked increase in worker and queen mortality. The other studied different types of bees (honey, bumble and mason bees) across the UK, Germany and Hungary, and revealed that exposure to the treated crops reduced overwintering success of honeybee colonies - in Hungary, nearly a quarter of the bee colonies didn't survive.

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