It was great to see the Scout trek cart back in use outside the Church Hall advertising the recently held Village Show.
When we reformed the village scout group back in the mid 1970s we had nothing. There was nothing around belonging to any previous group so we hunted down anything we considered could be of use to running the group. One day while in a Barry wood yard I spied an old red painted fire cart, probably used to carry fire hoses, sand buckets, pumps etc to the scene of any outbreak of fire helping to contain the blaze while awaiting the arrival of professionals. The cart was no longer in use. A discussion with the owner resulted in the village scout troop possessing a trek cart; minor repairs were completed and a fresh coat of paint was applied. It was a much loved item when I was a scout.
Around our annual camp sites the cart proved extremely useful for moving tents and boxes etc. One year some of the scouts pulled the trek cart from the village out to New Wallace farm with their camping gear for a weekend camp. Around the village we used it as a mobile cooking platform when we went around selling freshly baked Welsh Cakes in aid of a Red Nose day appeal. Wonderful to see it back in use.
Wenvoe Wildlife Group
If you are interested in wildlife in and around Wenvoe keep an eye on our Facebook page ‘Wenvoe Wildlife’. We can no longer post to our original page ‘Wenvoe Wildlife Group’ but you can still look at the site where there are many years of posts. All new posts are on the new page. We continue to support the school wildlife patch and plan to install more planters and a small, guarded pond in the coming months. Anyone who would like to help with this project, please contact the Wildlife group – sometimes just 10 minutes of your time every now and again can make a difference.
We have mentioned in the past that we have just one Mistletoe growing in the village as far as we know and there are only two live plants on record in the county. If you have a mature apple tree and would like to try out germinating some berries, contact the Wildlife group as we shall have a limited number of berries you can use this Autumn. We are also planning to do our own simplified version of the Big Garden Birdwatch which takes place at the end of January which will enable us to find what birds are doing well or not so well in Wenvoe. Watch this space for more information
ADVENT WINDOWS 2023
A St. Mary’s Church Initiative for the Whole Community
Following three previous successful years, we are inviting you to take part in lighting up your windows this Advent 2023.
During the last 3 years, lighting up the windows has encouraged us to wrap up warm and to view the different portrayals of Advent and Christmas. Each presentation has been very individual including Santa, Angels, Snowmen, Kings, and many more. People have used their imagination in what materials they have included. One Window last year was made of all recycled items, and another made totally of Christmas baubles. Some have been very artistic, building on their previous experience, whilst others have been made by children for the first time.
This community fun event will run from 1st – 24th December, with the final window at St. Mary’s Church. There is no entry fee, it’s not a competition and adults and children are welcome.
How it works:
We need a minimum of 24 participants to decorate their windows. Each entry will be allocated a date when they will light up their window for the first time and to continue lighting up each day until 24th December. For those of us viewing the windows this will mean every day from 1st December a new window will be lit up to go and see, so that by 24th December there will be 24 windows in total to view. The windows will be lit from 5.00pm – 9.00pm each evening.
The windows can be designed and constructed from any media including lights, mobiles, cut outs etc. They can be as simple or technical as your artistic tendencies take you. They can be internal or external displays as long as they involve decorating your window. All the displays should relate to Advent / Christmas and can be humorous, artistic or topical.
Each house participating will be asked to:
- display a given number corresponding to the date their window is ‘opened’ to differentiate it from other residents who will have their own Christmas decorations.
- keep their window a surprise as far as is possible before the designated revealing evening
If you want to participate you need to:
- live in a house that has a window (upstairs or down) that can clearly be seen from the street without people coming onto your property
- be happy to keep the window illuminated each evening after it is ‘revealed’ until December 24th
We are aware that many people give their time and money to support a host of different charities. If you would like to put a charity box outside your house you would be most welcome. Just make sure you empty the box each evening.
For more information ring:
Glenys and Mike Tucker: 07922 109721, or
Jude and Nige Billingham: on 07516 112897
Please let Jude Billingham know by October 27th if you would like to decorate your window. You will need to supply your name, address, email address, telephone number, and any preference when you would like to light up your Window. Contact via email (email@example.com), by telephone (07516 112897), or text.
Please be aware that in agreeing to participate you are also agreeing to have your address identified on the windows map that will be made available so people can look for your window. No names or email will be shared without your permission.
This is a St. Mary’s initiative for the whole community
Considering tomorrow today
Taking responsibility for your own health FOOD!
“We are what we eat!” so they say. Alongside exercise, your choice of what you eat, drink, breathe or absorb in some other way into your body must surely be the easiest contribution you can make to improving your own health. So let’s take a look at day to day eating and drinking – DIET.
To many, the word diet equates with trying to lose weight and certainly being over weight or obese is not good for your health at this very moment. It is also a predictor of a huge range of potential future health problems, from complications with pregnancies to difficult menopause; sports injuries to later life fractures; asthma to Alzheimer’s. It is no surprise, that with an eye to the future, that public health policy has a large focus on reducing obesity, hoping to educate children, through the menu of school dinners, to choose, and enjoy, healthy food options naturally as they grow into adulthood. For those of us grown ups whose reaction to being told it would be a good idea to lose weight is likely to be “But, I can’t live without… chocolate, cheese, chips, my mid-morning croissant, a fried breakfast at the weekend, or a glass of wine.” and so on, it is likely to be harder. One could concentrate on the unpleasant symptoms of diseases and conditions that are more common amongst the overweight, however if you are the optimistic type it might be preferable to find some positive motivations.
In 2004 Glanni Pes and Michel Poulain published the paper from which the concept of Blue Zones developed. Their study in Nuora Province of Sardinia, was exploring an area where there was no gender gap in longevity. Unlike other countries and indeed other parts of Italy, as many men lived to the oldest of ages as women. The area had roughly twice as many centenarians as the Italian average. Not only were people living longer but they were living in active good health far longer than elsewhere. National Geographic journalist Dan Buettner coined the term Blue Zones and added 4 more areas to the list and studied different aspects of life in those zones. At a time when in most of the world the average age of the population is getting older, there is great interest in successful aging and the prize of both a long and a healthy life.
General recommendations for a healthy diet usually mention the Mediterranean diet with lots of vegetables and fruit, protein from fish and plants rather than meat, reduction of free sugar, low salt and with an emphasis on whole foods and reducing processed food. It is often said that your plate should be colourful and that by choosing foods with a variety of natural colours you will be ensuring a balanced diet.
There is a lot of information on the internet, advice on diet and, in particular, on specific foods to help manage particular health conditions, all of which can be very confusing. It can also be contradictory and misleading, so take care where you take your information from. Use well known sources NHS, UK, USA and European Charities, World Health Organisation, Universities, academic journals and databases. Look for confirmation from elsewhere, check references and if an academic paper is cited at least check that it is published and you will normally be able to read a summary, called an abstract, at the beginning to check it out. If it is very scientific and you can’t follow it be careful.
While looking for information on a healthy diet I came across a couple of interesting bits of related information:-
• People who grow their own, eat more fruit and veg than those who just buy them
• An average household in the UK wastes a shocking 68kg of fruit and veg in a year. People who grow their own waste only 3.1 kg.
So read The Village Gardener and get growing for your own health and that of the environment.
• There is Netflix docuseries on all aspects of the Blue Zones https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/ 81214929
• Information on the Blue Zone Diet in more detail https://www.bluezones.com/recipes/foodguidelines/
• World Health Organisation information on a healthy diet. https://www.who.int/news-room/ fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet
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THE VILLAGE GARDENER
Tips to make more of your garden
By folk visiting the Wenvoe village show.
- Reuse your grow bags by taking the top off and growing late salad crops.
- After harvesting cabbage cut a cross in the remaining stump and, as if by magic, you will get another crop.
- If you want gardening gifts for Christmas, make sure you write a list, or you’ll get underpants.
- Never plant bulbs too shallow; the deeper the better.
- Old compost makes for a good mulch.
- Don’t bother taking a cuppa into the garden, it will without doubt be cold before you drink it.
- Get a mushroom kit; you can’t fail and you’ll have something to enter in the show next year.
- If your neighbour has a leaf blower, be prepared to do a lot of raking.
- Just had a tetanus jab at A&E; make sure you keep this jab up to date and a First Aid kit handy.
- £3 for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake and someone to talk to! When’s the next show?!
Thanks to Bernard’s chivvying, a lot of allotment folk entered the show and put their reputation on the line. Veg gardeners will be picking the last of their spring sown produce now and filling the compost bins with the waste. Any bare ground will have broad beans, onion sets and garlic planted and other bare patches will be covered to stop soil erosion and prevent weeds finding a good home. Another idea to think about is planting one of the many green manures you can buy. You just let them grow and then dig them in, sounds easy but it is a bit of work.
Trying to garden by reading the gardening magazines is so blooming difficult as there is a couple of weeks difference between the south and north of the country.
We had a friend who moved from Somerset to Aberdeen and could never grow a runner bean. As soon as it came into flower the first frosts got it. Down South we are tempted to plant early but it rarely works. A little more patience would save us a lot of wasted time and money. Like a fool I was tempted by the rows of delightful plants that had not sensed a breath of wind or cold until I got them home. Plants you buy now for the Autumn will need some protection from the elements before you plant out. They recommend at least 2 weeks of care before planting in their final position.
With cost a major factor in gardening, it is beneficial to try and store plants over winter. This is not easy as last winter proved, when pelargoniums perished in green houses even with bubble wrap insulation. You need to make sure there are no draughts. A friend recommended that begonia tubers should be thoroughly dried and then put in kiln dried sand to over Winter. This has worked for me over the past few years.
If you still have daffodil bulbs to plant, don’t delay as the sooner they go in the better.
Take care and happy gardening
It was 13 weeks since I had been out with the Wenvoe walkers, so it was with some trepidation that I joined them on a trip to Mynnydd Llangorse. As we set off at a cracking pace, I thought I will never keep this up but soon got into the swing of it. The route is basically a climb from the car park outside Cwmdu village hall (fee £1) up to the moors on the top of Mynydd Llangorse and then a descent.
It was ideal walking weather slightly cloudy but dry with rain clouds hanging on the hills. The land was lush with grass and there were some wonderful old trees. Harebells were spotted and then seemed to be everywhere alongside the footpath.
Ahead of us were some dilapidated buildings. Three very old tractors stood, as if on parade, in a field. At the farmhouse slates were missing from the roof and guttering was falling off; it looked as if one end of the house was probably weatherproof, and the rest deteriorating. The corrugated iron roof of the barn was rusty with more holes than rusty iron. But there were several cars and apparently someone does live there. Even a sign for the bridal path looked as if it had been there forever being completely covered in silvery lichen, apart from the blue outline of a horse and rider.
Continuing we spotted orange waxcap fungi on the steep slope above the farm. Now we were getting closer to the purply pink flowers of the heather strewn moors. The heather on Mynydd Llangorse was ‘going over’ but that on Pen Tir, our return route, was glorious. It was close to lunchtime when we reached the trig point and Llangorse lake had not come into view, but we sank into the springiness of the heather to eat. It was quite cold with some of us wishing we had gloves!
Dark clouds still clung to the hills around, and rain was visible in the distance, but at last there was Llangorse lake, looking quite murky, below us. A cairn marked the turning for the path over Pen Tir and we were soon surrounded by heather in full flower with its subtle scent.
The descent was gradual at first, and the last half an hour was steep which I found quite demanding. But what a lovely walk. Although dark clouds clung to the hills, we had got away with some sunshine and just a few drops of rain. After refreshments at Tretower castle, we drove home over the top and were lucky to see a kite and a wide rainbow.
Walk 7.2m 1350ft.
WENVOE PLAYGROUP NEWS AND EVENTS
Registered Charity, right in the heart of the Village.
The Playgroup operates from the Village Hall and has been operating for over 50 years. We are registered with Care Inspectorate Wales to care for 30 Children at any one time from the age of 2 years 4 months. We open 9am-1pm Monday to Friday and 9am-3.15pm on Wednesday and Thursday.
Wrap around care: We collect children daily at 11:20am from Gwenfo Nursery and on into lunch club until 1pm and on Wednesday and Thursday until 3:15pm. We escort children across from our morning sessions to afternoon Nursery for 1pm.
30 Hour Free Childcare Offer: Children from Cardiff and Vale are benefitting from this. 12.5 hours are used for LEA Nursery and 17.5 hours can be allocated to time with us here at Playgroup. This is for children the term after their 3rd Birthday.
Tax Free Childcare: We accept payment via the Government’s Tax Free Childcare. Many parents at this time use this method to pay fees, or use alongside the 30 Hour Free Childcare to top up their extra hours/fees. Families set up a Tax-Free Childcare account and for example; for every £8 the family pay in, Welsh Government pay in £2. Visit www.gov.uk/tax-free-childcare
Looking For Medlars
There was a post recently on Facebook, not local, where someone mentioned they had been looking for Medlars for 6 years. They should have come to Wenvoe where we have 6 trees all covered with fruit in 4 of our Community Orchards! Once very popular in Britain, they are now unfamiliar to most but are staging a bit of a revival.
Medlars are related to apples and are very easy to grow. All of those planted by the Wildlife Group have taken and are growing well with fruit appearing after a couple of years. They are self-pollinating with large white flowers in late Spring. The fruit are small and hard and ideally should be left until the first frosts have ‘bletted’ or softened them. They can be used to make a fragrant amber jelly, as an accompaniment to cheese or cold meats or in a sweet dessert. Look online for different recipes.
Common names for the Medlar are a bit too vulgar to be quoted here but the French call it ‘cul de chien’. It appears often in literature with the suggestion it is ‘beautiful, bawdy and rotten’. Chaucer, Shakespeare and Dekker all referred to it but one of the earliest mentions is by Theophrastus, a Greek naturalist and philosopher in 300BC.
As the RHS say – Steeped in history, easy to grow, and with stunning foliage, medlars are superb trees to grow, offering you a supply of vitamin-rich fruit to see you through the winter months.