Seedy Sunday Delights in Machynlleth
Visitors to the event on February 28 at Y Plas were not disappointed. Dyfi Valley Seedsavers had a sizzling programme of talks and presentations running throughout the day to tempt people away from the laden tables of delightfully packaged seeds on offer. Ben from Real Seeds gave talks on how to collect and save seed like the experts, as well as how to breed your own vegetable varieties over several seasons.
Claire shared the details of the new Welsh vegetable trials being carried out with the support of GLASU. The precarious state of the Llanover pea brought it home to triallists how important this work is – the stocks being given out this season are the last remaining on the planet!
After this talk the committed trialists met together to take their seed, instructions, and record keeping sheets away. There will be a get together for participants later in the year to share experiences, and all data and new stocks of seed will go back to the organisers.
There was barely time for excellent homemade soup and cakes, before Chloe led us through the Powys Orchards Project – see this website for previous details of that. Then Cath and Abi shared the concepts behind Fruit for All, which we reported on last summer - when residents of the Bryn y Gog Estate shared apple pie one sunny afternoon, and dreamt of the day when their children would be able to wander the open spaces on the estate and pick an apple or two to enjoy. The story of the bureaucratic labyrinth involved in getting this project off the ground deserves an article in itself (don’t worry - we’re on the case), but suffice to say that tree planting will be the easy bit by comparison, and is anticipated for next winter.
To round off the day, the Cambrian Wildwood Project took centre stage, with leader Simon Ayres. The proposed scope is 7000 acres, and a start is being made near Pumlumon with some 50 acres which is part of a Permaculture project. The woodland habitat will also include water where beavers could be introduced, and the whole will serve as Zone 5 for the Permaculture design.
Finally, Tom Mills gave tips on saving seed from native trees so we can all help to grow indigenous species for the Wildwood project and for our own plots, and help restore the balance of our Welsh countryside.
Throughout the day, the gallant entertainers kept up their music, there was a pole lathe demonstration ongoing, Alison Coleman captured imaginations with her Lyric Leaves – poetry, art and the digital age coming together. Tony Care, just returned from Tanzania, was there with his fabulously restored Tools for Self Reliance, and there was jam a-plenty to be had – all homemade of course.
Definitely a model of best practice all round!