Arundel Seed Swap 2022

It’s been 2 years!

Well we are back in town. A slightly reduced seed swap due to the fact that we don’t have seeds from last year, but we are open. You may have seen the posters, if not the details are:

Date Sunday 27th Feb

Venue: the Victoria Institute

Time: 2.00pm to 4.00pm

Entry is free but donations are always welcome.

You don’t need to have collected seeds yourself. If you have part-used packets of seeds from last year bring them along.

Haven’t got any seeds to swap? Don’t worry you can buy seeds for a small donation. Also available to swap or buy are plants and gardening books.

Expert help is on hand as well to advise on garden problems and queries.

do come along

Looking forward to seeing you.

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Onward and Upward

As you will see if you look through our Project pages we are on the go again after the enforced ‘rest’ in 2020. Work is starting again on the Food Waste and the Refill projects and the Ford Road Cemetery Garden project has been carrying on during lockdown and not a minute too soon as work has begun on the old gasworks plot opposite, the home of a range of wildlife.

We will be arranging an AGM later in the year so that we can update everyone and look for new projects for the future.

Watch this space.

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Updating for the way ahead

As you may notice when you look through the website, it has been sadly neglected. During 2020 most projects were on hold and volunteers had other priorities. Having said that you would think that with all that ‘home time’ in lockdown I would have had a chance to keep you up to date.

We are working on it so please don’t forget us, we haven’t forgotten you.

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AA21 Seed Swap 2020

Come along to to our annual seed swap. We may be small but there are plenty of surprises.

With seeds, plants, gardening books and advice.

Why Become a Seed Saver?

Why? Seed saving is as old as gardening.

There was a time when gardeners considered seed from their favorites plants to be treasures well worth saving from year to year.

Why? Because you have a plant you love and want to grow again.

It could be the perfect blue campanula, the best tasting tomato or a champion pumpkin. You never know when a seed company will discontinue your favorite seed to make way for new varieties. Saving your own seed is the only guarantee.

If you like what you eat, save the seeds.

Why? To help safeguard our genetic heritage.

‘In the past 100 years we have lost over 90% of our vegetable varieties in the UK. Nowadays, just three corporations control a quarter of the world’s seed market, vying for power over the world’s food production and hybrid seeds (which cannot be seed-saved) are becoming commonplace in seed catalogues.

Why? Seed saving is something we can all do, and it does make a difference.

Faced with the overwhelming totality of environmental disasters – global warming, climate change, nuclear power, genetic engineering – it is difficult to know what we as individuals can do to make a difference. Change a few light bulbs, cycle to work. Seed saving is something you can do – and it does make a difference.

Why? It grows better

By collecting seeds and swapping them with other gardeners in your area you can grow things that like the conditions you have. It makes sense that if it grows well in your neighbour’s garden it will grow in yours and we all like to make things easier.

Why? To save money

Seed from catalogues can be expensive. Saving your seeds means that you get more for less.

Why? To help preserve our right to save seeds.

The industry continues to place more and more restrictions on farmers’ and gardeners’ right to save seeds. Variety patenting, licensing agreements, and restricted lists such as that maintained by the European Union, are industry tools to wrest control of the seed from the commons and keep it for themselves.

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Enter Refill Arundel

To celebrate and launch our Refill Arundel project we are running an event at The Victoria Institute in Tarrant Street on 19th Jan 11.00 – 2.00.

Come along and learn about the project:

  • See how you can help by volunteering or if you are a business by signing up to refill water bottles.
  • Find our more about plastics waste and what we can do about reducing it.
  • Have a chance to win one of 20 super Chilly water bottles

We look forward to seeing you there.

Arundel Agenda 21 will also have a stand at the Community Fayre being run by Arundel Town Council on the same day at the Town Hall. A chance to find out what groups there in Arundel are and how you can join in.

A day to put in your diaries.

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Arundel Community Apple Day Update

So we are all ready to go. Do come along, bring your apples and have a great (with or without apples).

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Future projects and how to get involved

At the AGM in July we highlighted the projects we are hoping to run in the future.

So here they are.

Future projects

  • Community Apple Day 2018
    • Activity – this year AA21 are leading on the organisation of Apple Day which will be held on Sunday October 14th. The Community Orchard Group are arranging to have their own apple press this year
      • We needs volunteers, lots of them to help before the day – collecting apples, on the day – setting up and clearing up and just generally being around to help the stallholders.
  • Woodland conservation skills
    • Proposed activity – To involve young people who are interested in conservation or woodland management. The project hopes to provide some learning activities locally where young people can join in conservation projects.
      • We need a leader for the project – have you got experience in conservation or teaching?
  • Ford Road Cemetery upkeep
    • Proposed activity – To have a group of local volunteers caring for the site with the aim of making it a wildlife friendly site and enhancing it for visitors. The site is owned by ADC who currently have contractors maintaining the site. Kat has a contact at ADC who is keen to have the volunteers working with them.
      • Need volunteers –This will be an ongoing project so sharing the tasks will mean that we can get a nice group of people to work together.
  •  Seed swap 2019
    • Activity – As this year’s swap was successful we will be repeating it in February 2019. As yet there is not a date.
      • We need seed savers and volunteers to help pack up seed before the day and a few helpers to set up and clear up on the day.
  • Tree Planting
    • Proposed activity – The Woodland Trust have native trees that can be planted by groups, we want to take them up on this and plant trees around Arundel. The Klondyke and Canada Road were suggested at the meeting.
      • We need suggestions, identifying places around town to plant.
      • We need volunteers to plant trees and later to keep an eye on them, and help them through the first year
  • Water bottles and Refill project
    • Proposed activity – AA21 installed the drinking fountain and produced the Arundel water bottles to reduce the number of plastic water bottles sold and thrown away in Arundel. The project aims to identify shops, restaurants etc in town who will refill water bottles by request. This is part of a Nationwide project.
      • We need a small group of volunteers to encourage shops to join in and to register them.
      • Volunteers are also needed to make up more Arundel water bottles
  • UKHarvest
    • Proposed activity – Mayor Lucy Ashworth and the Arundel Town Council are working with UKHarvest, a not-for-profit perishable food rescue operation based in Chichester that collects quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivers it, direct and free of charge, to charities, with an aim to make Arundel a food waste free town. AA21 will be working with the allotment holders and gardeners of the town to contribute fruit and vegetables to this worthy cause.
      • We need volunteers to spread the word, collect contributions and work with those people who want to contribute a bit of their harvest.
  • Cycling Group
    • A set of proposals were set up for the Town Council as part of the Street Scape project. This project aims to set up a group of people who cycle and who can contribute their views on what is needed in Arundel to the WSCC cycling strategy and be a voice for Arundel in the Nationwide cycle forum. It also aims to run cycle rides for those who are not regular cyclists to encourage people to ‘get on their bikes’
    • We need a  group of volunteers for the forum – want to have your say?
    • We also need cyclists who are ready to help set up and run bike rides

Want to get involved? There are lots of ways you can get involved, most of them not time consuming, the more people we have to help each project the less we each have to do.

To find out more or offer to help email 

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Arundel Apple Day – Help Needed

Apple Day is nearly upon us. Don’t forget to put Sunday October 14th in your diary. We’ll be sending out more info nearer the time but just at the moment we need to gather some help for the day and in preparation.

We will need help collecting apples in the week running up to the event. Someone/or more with a car to pick up apples from people who have offered more apples than they can carry. In and around Arundel.

We do also need to hear from those of you who might have surplus apples.

On the day we will need help to set up, from 8.00 – 11.00, putting up gazebos, letting stall holders know where to go (in the nicest possible way), counting in visitors, directing visitors in to the field, putting up direction signs and helping clear up after the event at 3.30.

Also Nell Paton is producing an Apple Cookbook for the Community Orchard, so if you have a delicious recipe, let us have that as well.

We really do appreciate any help you can give, even for a short time.

Email if you can help. Thank you lovely people.

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On the lookout for wildlife – helping MAVES

At our recent Arundel Agenda 21 AGM we had brilliant talks from members of MAVES.

Who are MAVES I hear you ask?

MAVES stands for Mid Arun Valley Environmental Survey. A local group who carry out detailed, scientific research and evaluation of the wildlife in the Arun Valley. The Arun valley is a continuous wildlife corridor and MAVES was set up in 2014 to carry out research on this extraordinary area which has a mix of habitats from woodland and riversides to farmland. They have found a wide and exciting range of animals and plants including 14 types of bat (out of 17 national species) which is equal to Ebernoe National Park. Binstead woods also have a good population of dormice, an endangered species.

They have also been instrumental in hedge laying, and tree planting, particularly black poplar which is a disappearing species.

Their work includes recording the vast species catalogue of the area encompassing Slindon to Worthing. So special is the area that there are orchids hybridising to produce new and specific local varieties and it is an Area of National and International importance.

They are also finding spectacular species of insects with the variety of habitat. For example the Madonna pond in Binstead woods has a high number of smooth and palmate newts.

To find out more about MAVES click here to go to their website

How you can help

MAVES needs us all to keep our eyes open when we are out and about. Especially those who are out regularly, walking dogs for instance. Reporting back to MAVES on what we see is a great way of contributing to their work completing the picture of the fabulous and abundant wildlife around us. This is particularly true of the riverbank where they have less information.

Take photographs (without disturbing the wildlife) and do record where you have seen things, the more accurate the better. There are free apps you can download to your phone which can give you a grid reference.

Feed this back to MAVES at

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It’s time to save seeds!

Saving Seed from the Garden

Why save seeds?

  • We would not have the wonderful heirloom varieties if someone hadn’t kept the seeds year to year. Seed saving is essential for maintaining unusual or heritage vegetables and flowers. It is a great way to propagate many native plants too.
  • Seed saving can be a rewarding and cost saving way to garden.

What can you save?

Standard or heirloom varieties that are not cross-pollinated by nearby plants are good candidates. Many gardeners successfully keep beans, tomatoes, lettuce, and peppers. Plants you know are heirloom varieties are easy to save. Ask the person or organization you obtained the seed from how they did it. Some people like to experiment, but make sure you don’t bet the whole garden on saved seed.

So what to do?

  • When saving seed, always harvest from the best. Choose disease-free plants with qualities you desire. Look for the most flavourful vegetables or beautiful flowers. Consider size, harvest time and other characteristics.
  • Always harvest mature seed. For example, cucumber seeds at the eating stage are not ripe and will not germinate if saved. You must allow the fruit and seed to fully mature. Because seed set reduces the vigour of the plant and discourages further fruit production, wait until near the end of the season to save fruit for seed. Collect the seed or fruits when most of the seed is ripe. Do not wait for everything to mature because you may lose most of the seed to birds or animals.
  • Beans, peas, onions, carrots, corn, most flowers and herb seeds are prepared by a dry method. Allow the seed to mature and dry as long as possible on the plant. Complete the drying process by spreading on a screen in a single layer in a well-ventilated dry location. As the seed dries the chaff or pods can be removed or blown gently away. An alternative method for extremely small or lightweight seed is putting the dry seed heads into paper bags that will catch the seed as it falls out.
  • Seed contained in fleshy fruits should be cleaned using the wet method. Tomatoes, melons, squash, cucumber and roses are prepared this way. Scoop the seed masses out of the fruit or lightly crush fruits. Put the seed mass and a small amount of warm water in a bucket or jar. Let the mix ferment for two to four days. Stir daily. The fermentation process kills viruses and separates the good seed from the bad seed and fruit pulp. After two to four days, the good viable seeds will sink to the bottom of the container while the pulp and bad seed float. Pour off the pulp, water, bad seed and mould. Spread the good seed on a screen or paper towel to dry.

Then what?

  • Seeds must be stored dry. Place in glass jar or envelopes. Make sure you label all the containers or packages with the seed type or variety, and date. Put in the freezer for two days to kill pests.
  • Then store in a cool dry location like a refrigerator. Seed that moulds was not sufficiently dry before storage.
  • Seed viability decreases over time. Parsley, onion, and sweet corn must be used the next year. Most seed should be used within three years.

What else?

Try saving seed from the food you buy. Have a favourite tomato or squash? Save a few seeds before you eat.

Further information

There are numerous seed saver exchanges, clubs, and listings in magazines like Organic Gardening. Although you might not want to base your entire garden on saved seed you may want to give seed saving a try.

Arundel Agenda 21 Seed Swap 2019 February – Date to be Confirmed – Watch this space!

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