published: 21st April 1917http://newspapers.library.wales/view/3978910/3978913/22/
locations: M E K T
YSTALYFERA GARDENING ASSOCIATION. NEW ALLOTMENTS FOR THE AREA. u;nH;SUSTIC M E K T I S A A v. Â«â€¢!]-â€¢;) ttcudod and enthusiastic meeting w;s held at Jerusalem Chapel vestry, Ystaivfera, on Wednesday evening under the auspices of the Ystalyier:; Allotment Society. Mr Jas. V\ illiams (\\ ern House), was elected to the Cliair. Mr. Wolff (Board of Agriculture Inspector), who was received with ap- plause,s slid he was pleased to be at a meeting at which there were so many "horticultural enthusiasts, who were being banded together for the common good. They were interested in a movement that was not only a war-time expediency, but a movement that had come to stay. The pre-war peace conditions under which we had lived would not be tolerated after the war as in those days. We bad learned a lesson in the war. In the past we had been in the habit of going to the foreigner for our food, andhe was only too ready to trade with us. We had fsilien into the habit of having our food brought to us from all parts of â€¢ the world, and with the cheapness of transit at our disposal it was safe to say that we were the best and cheap- est-fed nation on the face of the earth. But now the plough had be- come more powerful to produco than the purse to procure, for our ships were being sunk and our shipping trade getting smaller and smaller. He did not think it likely that we would â– come to starvation, but it meant that we would have to" get food on the spot, where the submarine could not get at it. We were on the defensive at home quite as.much as our soldiers were on the offensive in France, and we would have to help to rivet the armour that would bind up militarism. ill) NOT DESPISE THE LITTLE I PLOT. One of the best means ot domg I this, continued Mr. Wolff, was by increasing the fertility of the soil, and by not despising the little plot. It was not necessary that they should tie themselves up to the growth of pota- toes, although that was one of the best vegetables to plant, but cultivate whatever vegetables they could get hold of. They would have to work hard, and spade work was hard work. Whenever possible* the spade should be used in preference to the plough, especially in newly tilled ground. They .should also, try and get seed that would mature in succession, as this was preferable to going in for seed that came fit for utility purposes to- aetber. THE N'ALCE. Ok*- M-ANURH. I The speaker then dwelt with the question of manures, and said that for utility, they, cae in the follow- j ing order:- j Fowl, Sheep, Horse, and Cow. The first-named however, should be |: .mixed with ashes t Â»s it was too hot to placed in the ground in its natural form. Pig's manure was also good. Peas, turnips, potatoes, beans, and parsnips were about the best to .grou-, and swedes ,of either the field or garden variety wero also Useful, Of the latter kind, he would recom- mend that field varieties should bo planted, for although it was coarser it was prolific and they must go in for heavy croppers in everything. They were not out to plant pansies, pop- pies, and peonies: Turnip tops could also be boiled and eaten as cabbages. In dealing with ftho society Mr. Wolffe said they should endeavour to get as 'many as', possible banded to- I gether. This would enable them to buy seeds at rock bottom prices. They t had had enough of the foreigner, for he might let thorn down, and it was safe to encourage home production. It was up to them;.to make the best -of what plots they. could obtain, and to use even the- small back garden plots for food production. (Applause.) WASTE GARDENS. I Mr. Watson (also of the Bo:ird of Agriculture ) next Spoke. Ho said he had been sent Wthe Valley bv the Board as advisor arid demonstrator in all things pertaining to agriculture. He had noticed even in the Swansea Valley many good "gardens lying idle, and he appealed to them at once to make use of, this, waste ground. They had experienced"; a shortage of seed potatoes, and they had never thought they would even be so short. An effort was, however, being made to get as many seed potat(iep as possible. The Government were out to help them to ,8tamp out wart (disease, and that accounted for the restrictions on seed. He had seen potatoes spoiled by the frost, or almost so, and they would have bpen better off sprouting in a box in the houses. Mr. Watson then .dwelt with various means of combating common garden pests and grubs, and gave home methods of dealing with these com- flaints. He also dealt with the advan- ages to he derived from co-opera- tive association. By this means seed -could be purchased in bulk. In the season 1914 to 1915 a Rhondda asso- ciation had been iible to procure the; best Scotch seed delivered to the buyers at 4s. 6d. a cwt. (Applause.) THE VALUE OF CO-OPERATION. 1 Mr. Phelps (of the Agricultural Or- ganisation Society) expressed his ple-aeurent sllch a large attendance, He was there, that evening to urge that they would work together on co-operative lines, and become affiliat- ed to the Agriculture Organisation Society. This society was to assist small societies such as theirs over the many obstacles that they would meet. He could also say that many societies had experienced difficulty in procur- ing their plots, but he was able to say that the necessary documents for the possession of land they were anxious to get at Ystalyfera would be in their hands by Saturday. (Applause.) It was owing to the fact that co-operative societies in GlamorgaVi had worked to- gether that they had been able to get seed potatoes that otherwise they would have been unable to obtain. Manures, etc., could also be pur- chased at a lower price than if each individual bought separately. At Car- diff sulphate of ammonia was pur- chased by dealers at the rate of Cl6 per ton delivered, but it was sold by them in small quantities at a rate of Â£ 46 8s. 4d. (Shame.) To get a good society, it would be necessary for them to form on a good business I basis. They should first register them- selves under the Industrial and Provi- dent Society's Act. Each member should then purchase a nominal J31 share, which would cost them 2s each. If they had a philanthropist amongst them more than one share could be bought by him. The 18s. balance was not called for unless the society got into financial difficulties. When the society was formed, they could trade and buy in bulk, and it must not be lost sight of that they could also sell. This was a side of the business that societies often lost sight of. They were living in serious times, and there should be no waste. It must be ad- mitted that even allotment holders were given to wasting, and he had seen at many places cabbages burst- ing for the want of cutting, as the holders were using other vegetables. They at Ystalyfera were within easy distance of a large market town, at which many of the people were unable to purchase fresh, vegetables. The allotment holders could join together and have their produce sent to Swan- sea for sale, and in this way get a return for their money. IF NO POTATOESâ€”ONIONS. I Mr. Phelps further stated that if they were unable to obtain seed pota- toes they required, they might grow onions. If they only saw the importa- tion figures of onions, they would be astonished, and he wished them to set all the y could, (Hear, hear.) GARDENING AS AN EDUCATION. There was also an educative side to gardening, for however low in the social scale a man might be, when he saw the works of nature, and the fruits of his labour, it would have an uplifting influence upon him. He did not want them to take up the work simply because it was a war neces- sity, but for other reasons as well. (Hear. hear.) It was probable, al- though lie had no authority for saying it, that the Government would appeal to allotment societies for assistance in the matter for food production, and also ask that they should provide for others as well as themselves. They also inculcate the idea into others, and Mr. Phelps gave instances of the progress of small societies. The speaker also appealed for the society to be a friendly society in the true sense of the word. If a man on a neighbouring plot was prevented from doing work on his piece of ground owing to ill-health they should set to help hini, \or do it for him. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Phelps also dealt with the wholesale purchase of tools and seed in detail, and said that if the committee wanted more ground, they could apply to Glam. County Council, and they would get it. (Ap- plause.) In conclusion he hoped they would not laclc enthusiasm, but work like a society that was formed in South Wales without a square yard of land for two years, but which owned 625 acres with an annual turnover of i 95,000. (Applause.) Questions were put to the speakers, and answered. It was stated that a society had been formed with an en- trance fee of Is., and 6d. for allot- ment and non-allotment holders, re- spectively. It was pointed out that this society could still join the A.O.S. Gardeners were allowed to join, and there was no obligation to purchase plots. Mr. D. J. Rees, seconded by Mr. Guerrier, moved a hearty vote of thanks to the speakers, which was carried uiianimouslv. ANOTHER MEETING ON SATUR- j DAY. Another meeting will bo held on Saturday at Jerusalem vestry at 7 o'clock. Mr. Watson has kindly consented to reply to gardening queries through our columns. He will also visit gardens at the request of the owners. All en- quiries should be" addressed to "The Labour Voice" Office, Ystalyfera'.