Banc Organics

Newsletter - December 2013

News from the growers

After a very mild late autumn it now feels as though winter is arriving. This year we are finishing the growing season with plenty of produce. We have parsnips and leeks in the ground, plenty of kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbages standing in the field and a wide range of leafy crops in the polytunnels as well as squashes, garlic and potatoes in store. Barring some disaster (and rabbits are doing quite a bit of damage at Tir Eithin) we should be able to continue until the end of January. This is a reflection of a good growing season, the first in the four years Banc Organics has been going. We actually had several weeks of warm sunny summer weather.

It has not all been plain sailing. The winter dragged on for ages and spring was late and cold as those who turned up to plant potatoes into the freezing soil in March will testify. When summer finally came it was very warm and we had huge gluts of everything. All the peas, beans and lettuces came at once despite our successional sowings. Summer was good but relatively short petering out after only a few weeks still it was good enough to give us fantastic crops from cabbages to carrots, cucumbers, courgettes, squashes, beetroot, peas, beans, and melons all thrived. There were one or two things that were disappointing: - runner beans failed to perform, lettuces all came at once leaving none for later on and our experiment in growing aubergines was a dead loss. Overall we are very satisfied with the garden this year and compared to last year’s washout it’s been great.

Hopefully we are becoming more organised since Suzy our administrator has joined the team and we now have a dedicated office at Tir Eithin. This frees up Martin and Sue to do what they like doing best- getting out in the garden with our team of hardworking volunteers and growing stuff.

Marc RobertsWe’ve also appointed a part time development worker recently. Croeso Marc. He’ll be looking at ways to increase the membership and raise our profile whilst trying to find funding for worthwhile projects as we throw down more roots in the community. He lives locally, in Pontyberem, is a fluent Welsh speaker and would be very interested to hear members’ ideas about how you would like to see Banc Organics develop in the future.
Contact Marc through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 01269 871799 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Do remember to tell your friends and neighbours about Banc Organics. One disappointing thing this year has been that we failed to recruit enough members. Sometimes we have had too much produce. This led to waste which is upsetting when you care about what you grow. We still need more members!

Thanks to all those of you who are returning their empty veg bags each week. The question of plastic bags/punnets etc. has popped up again. While we’re grateful in theory for useful packaging/containers, the reality is that we’re ending up with a surplus that we then have to dispose of. So in future we would be more than happy to re-use any packaging/containers that we give you in the bags – please send them back as long as they’re clean and dry.

Events past/future

    • 16th August – Barbecue –a lovely event and very well attended.
    • Harvesters5th October - Pumpkin Harvest at Top Meadow – A very enjoyable afternoon harvesting various squashes of all shapes and sizePumpkinss. About 20 members and their families participated. Many hands made light work and over 300 squashes, weighing more than ½ tonne, were soon safely gathered in and stored at Tireithin.
      Many thanks to all who came to help, to Nicki and Lee who remembered to bring a camera and of course, to the tea/cake makers.
    • 3rd November – Our garden tidy up at Top Meadow was postponed (until the new year) because of poor weather and although the bonfire went ahead only the most intrepid gathered round it in the wind and pouring rain then retreated inside for a warming bowl of soup.
    • 17th November – Harvest Lunch. An afternoon of gorgeous grub, pleasing puddings, copious cuppas and cheerful chatter- all accompanied by top tunes from Tony, Bill and John. This was followed by a feedback session where most people agreed that the bags have been really good this year.Harvest lunch
      Many good ideas were discussed including increasing our product range… The results are still being digested by the core group and will possibly form the basis of a wider consultation with you all about the scheme and its future direction.
      Thanks to all who came, all who helped, and to Banc Organics’ beetroot which inspired so many dishes….

Events for the New Year 2014

      • Ceilidh/Twmpath
      • Garden Tidy up


Don’t forget it’s not too late to enter our Christmas Competition.

To win a hamper of delicious goodies (including Tireithin Beef) design a new logo for Banc Organics.

      Draw it. Doodle it. Paint it or even CAD it. But send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Marc, 13 Heol y Parc, Pontyberem, Llanelli, SA15 5EA by Monday 16th December.

The winning design will be adopted in the new year and the Hamper, will be delivered by Christmas. (delivery to Gwendraeth Valleys and local area only – if you’ve moved to Arbroath, “collection only” applies.) Good Luck!