Category Archives: Uncategorized

Online gardening workshops

Each one-hour presentation uses Zoom in full screen mode which is like having a speaker project onto a screen. It includes video, images, and sound as appropriate. There is a question and answer session at the end where participants can ask questions or go over specific points again.
There are three linked presentations covering composting, organic growing and microbed gardening.
Organic1, Thursday 19 November 2020 at 7.30pm Please email us to register your interest.
Understand why organic gardening is more sustainable, better for the environment and produces healthier and more productive soils. Suitable for beginners and those who want to learn about the latest soil management techniques.

Microbed1, Thursday 7 January 2021 at 7.30pm Please email us to register your interest.
Microbed gardening – uses raised beds that are just one metre square, Colin pioneered this way of growing. He has been running trials over several years and continually producing amazing yields including over 14kg of potatoes and 10kg of onions. His current garden of about 16 square metres in on track to produce over 100Kg of food this year.
Compost2, Thursday 11 February 2021.  Please email us to register your interest.
Compost – Make compost in as little as 8 weeks. Learn how to use it to improve soil fertility and soil structure. Colin is a master composter in every sense and has been making hot compost for 30 years.
Colin Shaw has been an organic gardener for over 30 years. He has written articles for gardening magazines in the UK including Kitchen Garden and Gardeners World. He was a freelance photojournalist for many years working for professional horticulture magazines in the US and Australia. He wrote the chapter on soil in the HDRA Encyclopaedia of Organic Gardening and the Rodale Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Organic Gardening. He has also talked to many gardening clubs and societies.
More information can be found at

There is no charge but we would appreciate a donation towards the cost of the Zoom account  funded by and the  web site.

Potato seed trials

As potato days around the country are cancelled so Alan Romans is offering seed potatoes which are part of the project he has been promoting for a few years now, trying to raise the next generation of blight resistors in association with the Sarvari Trust. He writes ‘I have combined 3 groups of parents to get 3 different sources of blight resistance over 3/4 years. My technique has greatly improved this season and I have thousands of seeds. I can cope with 100/200 of them at most. Nearly all of the progeny will have some blight resistance with a few having great resistance.

Most will be modern maincrop/ late maincrop ie not daylength dependent for tuberization (like eg Golden Wonder) and could have large yield potential.
To stand a fair chance of useful tubers in one season I would sow the seed in February like tomato seeds in a propagator and plant out as soon as conditions permit. Allow at least 12″ between plants if looking for size. I cram the seedlings as close together as I can to give me more to assess and am happy to get a few minitubers of the more promising to plant on in the following year. I am always impressed by how vigorous the little seedlings are.

My seed, so far, has been very good for one year but then loses much of its viability by year 2 – hence my apparent selfless generosity! It would be great if any members interested would join our very informal group and look out for commercial quality tubers coming from very blight resistant plants, which could be assessed at Bangor University in the future. Good but not essential – I am not getting any younger and the more my crosses get out there the more chance there is that something gets passed on. Regards, Alan Romans’
If you are interested in this project get in touch via

Potato Day 2021

Sadly we have had to cancel next year’s potato day as we cannot get a suitable venue to deal with pre-orders and collection. 

We can offer to order whole sacks for you and get them delivered to Northcliffe Allotments in Shipley, and then they can be collected from there or delivered by WYOG to you on 13th February. You can choose from the list from SKEA or WCF; WCF offer the option to have a sack which is already prepacked into 8 x 2.5k or 10 x2 k – so you could easily split one with other people. The cost would be the wholesale price plus 20% for delivery costs. The lists are below (scroll to the bottom of the page to find the print page button), but if you would prefer me to email you a copy then please just let me know. We would need your order, and second choice, by 18thNovember, and you would need to have paid by 25th Nov. Peter Taylor is dealing with all the order and monies and can offer any help you need. Contact him on

WCF Order form 2020-21

First Early25kQuantity
Arran Pilot17.25 
Duke of York17.50 
Lady Christi21.00 
Maris Bard19.50 
Pentland Javelin17.00 
Red Duke of York17.50 
Sharpes Express17.50 
Organic Colleen23.00 
Second Early  
British Queen19.00 
Maris Peer16.50 
International Kidney19.00 
Pink Fir Apple22.50 
Main crop   
Golden Wonder20.00 
Kerrs Pink19.00 
King Edward16.50 
Maris Piper16.50 
Sarpo Mira22.50 
Vales Sovereign20.50 
Organic Pink Gypsy24.00 
Skea organic SeedPriceQuantity
First Early Varieties  
Maris Bard20.50 
Second Early/ salad types  
Maris Piper20.50 
Early maincrop  
Mary’s Rose20.50 
Sarpo Una20,50 
Main crop  
Pink Gypsy20.50 
Main crop reds  
Sarpo Axona20.50 
Sarpo Mira20.50 
Speciality and Heritage  
Arran Victory20.50 
Golden Wonder23.00 
Coloured flesh varieties  
Blue Annelise33.00 
Heidi Red33.00 
Highland Burgundy Red33.00 
Skea Non OrganicPriceQuantity
Sarpo family  
Blue Danube20.50 
SKEA Non OrganicPriceQuantity
Speciality and heritage varieties  
Arran Pilot20.50 
British Queen20.50 
Duke of York20.50 
Edzell Blue28.00 
Home Guard28.00 
International Kidney28.00 
Kerr’s Pink20.50 
Maris Piper23.00 
Pentland Javelin28.00 
Pink Fir Apple28.00 
Red Duke of York20.50 
Red King Edward20.50 
Sharpes Express23.00 
Yukon Gold20.50 
Coloured Flesh Variety  
Blue Congo23.00 
Highland Burgundy Red23.00 
Salad Blue23.00 
Shetland Black23.00 
Mayan Family  

Potato Day 2019

What a fantastic day…

Saturday saw one of our busiest Potato Days with queues out of the door (yes, in that weather!) and a packed hall once the doors were opened at 10am.

The first variety sold out in 14 minutes and another four were gone a few minutes later. Luckily there were lots more options for people to try, and again there was a lot of people trying growing potatoes for the first time.

Talks by potato expert Alan Romans and BBC Radio Leeds gardening expert Graham Porter were popular and well attended. As usual, the Wholegrain Café kept everybody well fed and watered throughout the day.

But if you missed it – don’t worry, there will be some leftovers for sale at Northcliffe Allotments Clubhouse in Shipley this Saturday the 16th, from 10 – 2pm. For more information contact

Organic varieties in capitals.  (EM) denotes early maincrop.
1st Earlies:
Belle de Fontenay (3kg)
2nd Earlies:
WCF: Divaa (7kg), Jazzy (6kg), Kestrel (1kg), Vivaldi (10kg).
BELMONDO (EM) (5kg), CAROLUS (EM)(3kg), DESIREE (EM) (1kg in poor condition), GOLDEN WONDER (4kg), ORLA (EM)(1kg).
Red Emmalie (EM)(1kg), Sarpo Blue Danube (10kg) (EM), Sarpo Kifli (EM)(2kg), Vales Sovereign (EM)(2kg), Violetta (6kg).

Potato Day a roaring success

Potato Day 2018 was a roaring success, with crowds once again queuing patiently well before the doors opening, and the first variety to sell out going in just 11 minutes.

Talks from Riverford Organics and Plate2Plate compost kept people entertained, the Wholegrain Café kept people topped up with food and drink, and Veg on the Edge swapped seeds all day long. Stalls from West Riding Organics, Palestinian Solidarity Oil and the Vegan Society provided plenty of things to look at and buy. Once again, there were a range of fruit trees and bushes for sale.

There was a good deal of interest from local media, with radio spots on BBC Radio Leeds and BCB community radio, together with a great article in the T&A.

Thanks to all the volunteers who either helped in the kitchen or sold spuds, by the end of the day we were nearly sold out. There are a few varieties left and if you’re still after some you can get hold of them on the 24th of February, 1-3pm at the club house on Northcliffe allotments. To get to the club house park at the Cliffe Gardens entrance to Northcliffe Woods (off Bradford Road), walk up the steep tarmac road and onto the muddy track, keep going for a couple of hundred yards and the club house is on the right, at the top of the bottom set of allotments, it has a ramp and lots of pots etc outside. If you get to a car park and NEET then you have gone too far so come back down the track.

Annual Show 2018 a great success

28th Annual Show: Size doesn’t always matter!

Terry Marshall present Mike Hurdiss with the trophy for Best Exhibit in Tomato Section

WYOG’s 28th Annual Fruit, Flower, Vegetable and Produce Show took place on Saturday September 9th in Shipley College’s Exhibition Hall, Saltaire. Over 500 entries were exhibited, and all (except, that is, the flower arrangement class) were judged on taste. So no matter what the item looked like, it was the taste that counted – as nature intended.

The Best in Show trophy demonstrates this approach perfectly. The winning item was a small pear, described by the judges as having ‘stunning flavour’. It was grown by Carol Stanley from Idle, and her two examples quickly disappeared when exhibits were available for tasting. Show registrar, Jane Robinson, was delighted: ‘We were especially pleased with Carol’s success as she is a newcomer to exhibiting in the Show, and she only entered 5 items – so she did really well!’

All entries were grown using organic methods, ie without chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilisers. The annual Show is a testament to the huge variety of delicious crops that can be cultivated in this area with attention to good soil and appropriate conditions. Founder member of WYOG and expert tomato grower, Terry Marshall, was on hand during the day to offer tastes of his many different varieties of tomato, and to provide guidance and tips on organic growing.

Over 80 classes were available for growers new and old to enter, with everything from flowers to attract butterflies or bees, to culinary seeds, chutneys, cakes and alcoholic drinks, as well as fruit and vegetables. There were also special classes for children and young people.

It is thought that this is the longest-running show in the UK which judges on taste.

Terry Marshall presented the trophies:-

  • Best exhibit in vegetables – Marion Pencavel for lemon sorrel leaves
  • Best exhibit in tomatoes – Mike Hurdiss for a beefsteak tomato
  • Best exhibit in fruit – Carol Stanley for a pear
  • Best exhibit in children’s classes – Leighton for his animal figure made of vegetables
  • Best exhibit in bread – Northcliffe Environmental Enterprises Team for their potato and sage bread
  • Best in produce – St Matthew’s Primary School, Allerton (Bradford) for their loganberry jam
  • Best exhibit in alcoholic drink – Paul Marshall for his vodka
  • Best stall was John Brookes’ vegetable and fruit stall
  • Best exhibit in show – Carol Stanley for a pear

So congratulations to everyone who entered – whether you won or not, you helped demonstrate the fantastic range or fruit, flowers and vegetables that can be grown in this area. And, finally, well done to all those who helped organise the event or volunteered on the day. We look forward to 2018!

WYOG’s next event will be Potato Day, where over 40 varieties of seed potato will be on sale for growers. This will take place on Saturday 10 February 2018.

Bright future for bees?

a bee on a flowerElectronics weekly has a fascinating article on how shining 670nm red light on bees could ameliorate damage caused by neonicotinoid insecticides, according to University College London and the University City, University of London.

“The researchers found that when shining a specific wavelength of red light (670nm) it significantly reduced bee death rates and improved cell energy levels, mobility and visual function in animals exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides such as Imidacloprid which are widely used in agriculture worldwide,” said the universities.

Biodynamics, Revitalizing our Earth, one Garden at a time Conference 2016 at Garden Organic!

Gardeners  are the natural stewards and protectors of our Earth, and how we garden has never been so important.
Biodynamic gardening methods provides a much needed catalyst for regeneration, which revitalizes soils, nurtures bees, provide safe havens for wildlife,  and keep our precious bio-diversity alive.

The aim of biodynamics is to maximize the inherent vitality of our soils and gardens through its use of herbal compost and spray preparations, by harnessing the subtle cosmic forces of nature, building natural resilience with open pollinated seed, and by creating a garden full of harmonious life, which becomes self-sustaining .

Want to discover more?
Packed with hands on practical advice,  workshops and captivating lectures, our conference  devotes itself to biodynamic approach to gardening, and how to take your organic gardening to a new level of holistic health.

Book your ticket here.
Look forward to seeing you in Sept!  – Warm wishes – Jessica Standing (BDA Office UK)