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This is a monthly newsletter from Replenish containing tips on growing and cooking nutritious food with zero waste. 
Storing and preserving garden produce
With plenty to harvest in the garden, September is the time to reap the rewards of your hard work throughout spring and summer. Proper storage of your harvest will help prevent waste and ensure that you can continue to enjoy your produce throughout winter. There are many ways to store fruit and vegetables; these include drying, freezing and preserving. Check out this nifty guide for more info. 
Getting to know your veg
Not sure how to tackle an unfamiliar vegetable, or need some new ideas for old favourites? Check out Riverford Organic's A-Z of veg for how to store, prepare and cook everything from cabbage to kohlrabi.
Gardening jobs for this month
Composting
After harvesting produce, waste vegetation can be put on the compost heap. Chop up large pieces so that they break down faster. Tough, woody bits (e.g. artichoke stems) and diseased plants can go on the bonfire or in your garden waste bin. Wood ash is rich in potassium; adding it in small quantities to compost heaps and garden beds will support plant growth. More here on how to use wood ash in your garden.
Sowing winter crops
For growing outside: sow lambs lettuce, salad rocket and oriental leaves (such as mizuna, oriental saladini, mibuna, giant red mustard, Indian mustard and pak choi). Sow undercover and plant out. 
For growing in the greenhouse: sow all salads, spinach, chard, mustards, kale, and spring onion from early to mid September. 
Other jobs
  • Dig up remaining potatoes before slug damage spoils them
  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs
  • Cover leafy vegetable crops with bird-proof netting
  • Order seeds for winter crops. These can be purchased online from Garden Organic and Real Seeds
  • Save seed from your crops 
Getting started with seed saving
Saving seeds from your crops will not only save you money, but can also produce crops that are better suited to local conditions. Seed saving is fairly simple, but there are a few important things to know before you start.

Firstly, you should avoid saving seeds from 'F1 hybrid' varieties (this includes most fruit and veg from supermarkets), as their seeds are likely to be sterile or produce plants that are different from the parent plant. Seed packets should indicate whether seeds are hybrids. Open-pollinated varieties can be purchased from Real Seeds.
Some seeds are easier to save than others. Lettuce, tomatoes, peas and beans are a great place to start if you're a beginner. This guide by Real Seeds explains how to save seeds from a variety of plants. You can find more guidance at seedsavers.org

Recommended documentary 'Seed: The Untold Story'

In the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared and a handful of chemical companies control the majority of the world's seeds. Seed: The Untold Story follows passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy. We recently watched it and would highly recommend it. Watch the trailer.

This newsletter was sent by Replenish, a project supporting residents of Oxfordshire to grow and cook nutritious food with zero waste. Get in touch: anais@cagoxfordshire.org.uk or 07383 393 737. Find out more by visiting our website or following us on Facebook or Twitter
We're managed by the Community Action Groups (CAG) Project Oxfordshire and funded by Oxfordshire County Council. CAG Oxfordshire supports a network of over 70 groups across Oxfordshire at the forefront of community led climate change action. Find out more by signing up to The Key, CAG Oxfordshire’s fortnightly sustainability newsletter, and visiting their website
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Replenish · CAG Oxfordshire, Makespace, 1 Aristotle Lane · Oxford, Oxfordshire OX2 6TP · United Kingdom

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