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News Bulletins

Our news bulletins are released for Spring, Summer and Autumn each year. Some items from the June 2019 bulletin are given below.

2019 Summer Show

Our Summer Show took place on Saturday 3 August, in Nailsea School. We hope you enjoyed looking at the flowers, fruit, vegetables, cookery and crafts, and refreshing yourselves with a cup of tea and cake from the cafe area, and that you are enthused to come along to our Spring and Summer Shows in 2020, and put in entries!

Malvern Autumn Show

The Society is organising a trip to the Malvern Autumn Show on Saturday 28 September, for members only; the cost will be £20/person, payable on booking and subsidised by the Society.

Eating Dahlias

Did you know that dahlias were originally imported to Britain as a food crop? The petals and in particular the tubers are edible, although varying in flavour from delicious to bland and watery. James Wong has trialled several varieties, and recommends the tubers of the yellow-flowered cactus types for flavour and size. You can eat them raw in salads, roasted like parsnips or grated and fried as a rosti. They have a sweetness (like carrots and beetroot) making them suitable for
cakes. Just beware: they are rich in inulin, the carbohydrate responsible for the antisocial properties of Jerusalem artichokes.
(With acknowledgements to National Vegetable Society magazine “Simply Vegetables”)

Winnie-the-Pooh and the Willow Seed

A year ago, I brought you a tale of the staunch volunteers of the Millennium Seed Bank run by Kew: here is another. Their volunteers have been out and about in the Hundred Acre Wood (Ashdown Forest) looking for seeds of creeping willow (salix repens) to archive. Difficult, not only because willow species hybridise freely, but also only a couple of days elapse between seed maturing, and the wind dispersing it. Not to mention interference by stuffed animals playing strange games in the undergrowth.
(With acknowledgements to New Scientist: 25/05/19)

Our High Ancestors

Researchers at the University of Vermont have studied pollen from prehistoric sites across Asia, and have concluded that cannabis (cannabis sativa) probably emerged 28 million years ago on the Tibetan plateau. The attribution is difficult because cannabis pollen looks identical to that of its close relative hops (humulus lupulus), but the two plants prefer different environments.
Denisovans (relatives of ours who interbred with us) also lived on the Tibetan plateau much later. Coincidence? Or do we have potheads in the family?
(With acknowledgements to New Scientist: 25/05/19)

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