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Site updated  March 30th 2021

Chairman : Chris Harwood.   Secretary : Pam Weston.  Treasurer: Phillip Higginson.   

A Potted History:   At a meeting in the School Room, The Talaton Produce Association was formed in November 1949 for Talaton residents and holders of allotments. The annual membership was 2 shillings. Mrs Glover was elected secretary and Mr Eric Bambury Chairman and Treasurer.  The Association's Golden Anniversary was celebrated in 1999 with a party and commemorated by the planting of a Golden Hornet Crab Apple Tree in the Church grounds by Mr Bert Maher, a founder member. 


Membership Enquiries: Telephone Pam Weston 01404 822864

The Association is Affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society and enjoys a number of benefits from that Affiliation including group free entry to any of the RHS gardens.

Annual Family Membership is £2 and entitles members to enter the Annual Produce Show, held the first Saturday in August, and to order seeds etc. from Dobies Catalogue in any quantity at a discount if ordered before Christmas.
Other attractions include a Garden Visit in the Summer, the committee runs stalls at the Village Day and Christmas How d'ye Do, a pumpkin competition and helps with refreshments at the village pantomime when there is one. 

The Annual General Meeting is in November

                Committee  re-elected at the VIRTUAL A.G.M. 2020

   Chairman             Mr Chris Harwood,  Tel: 07709080439

   Secretary           Mrs Pam Weston     Tel: 01404 822864

   Treasurer             Mr Phillip Higginson,


  Committee Members      Mrs Kathy Gray, Mrs Peppi Shaw, Mr Terry Wright. Mrs Sarah Woods,  Mr Steve Spratt

                                                Mr Richard Bos, Mr Alan Franklin 



Virtual AGM 2020


 Well, what a bizarre year! This was reflected in our Association having to hold a Virtual AGM rather than our usual live meeting in the Hall with speaker and refreshments. We are lucky in that the normal AGM is well attended and we have invariably had a really interesting speaker. So, it was with some hesitation that we conducted a virtual AGM that took the form of a questionnaire requiring a yes or no to a number of the agenda items that would normally warrant a vote. Members were, in addition to the questionnaire, given copies of last year's AGM minutes and reports.

Guess what ? A superb response of 34 replies. There was total agreement on the questions posed with perhaps the most relevant being agreement on the waiving of subscriptions this year because of the lack of organised events. It was significant on this point that many members very generously offered to pay their subscriptions anyway. The Committee thanks you for this offer and all your support but feels that we have the funds and do not feel it right to have members paying when the last year has provided minimal value. The Committee also really appreciated the words of support and thanks given by a number of members.

Two new committee members , Richard Bose and Alan Franklin, were elected , so welcome both of you. It was with great regret that we accepted Nickie Bitschi's resignation. Nickie has been an invaluable and very experienced member for many years and we will miss all her hard work and input. The Committee will attempt to meet early in the new year to consider our programme.

So, onwards into 2021! It can only get better and our gardens are a great source of pleasure and escape. Please continue to support the Association and encourage friends and neighbours to join. We will hopefully get some trips and talks organised and hopefully we can restore the Annual Show . Who knows, the next AGM may involve refreshments and a talk !

Chris Harwood ( Chairman) 






Tips for April 2021



Well I hope you have been enjoying a wonderful display of spring bulbs and have tasted your first crop of rhubarb by now. I use the word hope, because I can hear winds howling around house and garden as I write and am wondering how many daffs might have been flattened by the morning!

For those of you who yearn for more snowdrops, now is the time to dig up and separate your clumps. Make sure you plant them at the same level as they had been growing and plant them straight away.

Don’t be too hasty tidying daffodils and other spring bulbs when they have finished flowering, just deadhead. You will have a much better show next year if you leave the leaves to do their job, make food and fatten the bulbs for 2021. Cherry and plum trees can be pruned once their leaf buds have opened.

Plant annuals and perennials such as Nigella, single flowered marigolds, oregano , borage and thyme, to attract insects. Continue to sow beetroot, carrot, radish, summer cauliflowers, spring onions, peas and perpetual spinach.

Keep pests off brassicas and carrot by covering crops with horticultural fleece and securing the edges.

Don’t be too enthusiastic planting out tender crops and bedding plants. We may still have frosts to catch us out.

For more info., and Tips from Jim Buttress please look at our website.

Potato in a bucket Challenge for young gardener

Forgot to get started last month? Well there is still time.

If you are under 16 and up for a challenge, find yourself an old bucket, and hurry to the Village Shop to collect a potato - you don’t have to buy one, just ask for a competition potato and pick up an information sheet. If they have all gone ask the shop to phone Pam on 822 864

Harvests will be judged at the Annual Show.

And now some food for thought

What about taking part in

NO MOW MAY ? Please read on…..


How to get ten times more bees on your lawn


In 2020 citizen scientists, who took part in Plantlife’s Every Flower Counts - the largest ever survey of the humble lawn, helped to reveal not only an astonishing diversity of wild flowers growing in British lawns, but also that simple changes in mowing can result in the production of enough nectar for ten times more bees and other pollinators. This after doing no more than leaving the mower in the shed for the whole of May. We would like to encourage you to be brave enough to leave at least a patch of your lawn unmown for the whole of May this year and see how many flowers bloom in your patch once you cease chopping their heads off. If you are feeling a bit squeamish about desecrating your ‘perfect’ lawn, try thinking of it as having a pop-up, temporary flower bed. Pollinators will be happy and you are almost certain to see the equally happy faces of lawn daisies, clover and the remnants of lesser celandine to name but a few.

You could decorate your no mow area with Scaremows to remind manic mowers in your family to keep off the ‘grass’.

More details in May’s Calendar, but think what we could do for Talaton’s wildlife just by not doing some mowing for a month. Sorry, Matt and co. We do appreciate what you do very much!

Happy gardening.









1. Cut perennials such as Penstemons, Gaura and Verbena bonariensis down to new shoots on last year’s growth.


2. Once tomato seedlings have their first true leaves, plant in individual pots. Handle the seedlings by the leaves not the stem. Plant them deeply, with their seed leaves resting on the surface of the potting compost.

3. Trim lavender, take out old flower stems and shorten shoots by 1in if not done last autumn.

4. Late in the month begin sowing under glass crops such as runner beans, pumpkins and squashes to plant out after the last frost in May.

5. Plant chitted potato tubers this month , starting with first earlies through to main crops at the end of the month.

6. Apply a Spring lawn feed. Use a combined product moss killer, weed killer and fertilizer, use a spreader.

7. Plant summer flowering bulbs, corms and tuberous plants including dahlias, canna and gladiolus directly into containers and borders at the end of the month.

8. Renovate evergreen shrubs this month. Camellias, Hollies, Euonymus and Laurel tolerate pruning to near ground level in one go. Most other evergreens are best renovated over a few years.

9. Sow vegetables direct, including beetroots carrots, lettuce, leeks, radish, turnips, spring onions, peas and perpetual spinach.

10. Apply a layer of mulch to your borders. Use organic matter, such as well rotted manure, garden compost or mature wood chippings. Mulching helps retain moisture, suppress weeds and improve soil texture.







 In Memory


 Rosie James 


Rosie James, died as she lived, wanting “no fuss”. She was a mainstay of our association for many years. Helping to organise, supply and man our plant stall at Village Day; helping to set up the Hall on the Friday evening before the Annual Show then rushing home to bake cakes for the afternoon refreshments, as well as preparing her own entries. Rosie was such a talented all rounder at the Show that she often embarrassed herself by winning all the trophies open to her. She deserved every trophy she won.  The Garden and Produce Association has lost a star member and friend. Happy memories of a lovely lady. 

Rosie (Centre) helping, as usual, with a Village Event, and accompanied by her daughter Charlotte and Mrs Greta Scott










Brilliant weather for gardens so they must have been looking splendid ??? 

Everything else is virtual, so we had a Virtual Open Gardens 

Look at the Wonderful Pictures of  Gardens that MIGHT have been Open on the Village Pictures Page.






 Who Needs a Virus when you have a Slug Like This ??


 Thanks, Nickie, for the following really interesting piece and great photograph


 The other day I was potting on some plants and found a curious pale ball about the size of a chickpea. It then stretched out and became an interesting Slug! Interesting because it’s a Carnivore and won’t eat your plants! 

It has a vestigial shell which you can see in the enclosed photo just above it’s
tail. I have only ever seen one once before, years ago when I was living in Surrey.
I understand that they live in the soil, mine was about half way down a rather dry pot and was waiting for some damp to come out at night. It wasn’t as big as it appears in the photo on an Ivy leaf. So if you find one , put it in a safe place !







 A Poem Submitted by Nickie Bitschi - Probably we can all relate to this!



My Gardening Days

                                                 I try to plan my gardening day,

But good intentions fade away,

As with my hoe I smite the weeds,

I chance upon some precious seeds.

I take my trowel to plant them out,

But “Oh, my can has blocked up spout”,

So to the shed to find a cane,

To push the snail right out again.

And on it goes the same old way,

Each time I plane my gardening day,

Potting ends up just the same,

I do a few, “Oh what a game”,

I’m out of space to stand them in,

Another job I must begin!

And I will end what I began,

One day my chores will run to plan

So on it goes frustratingly,

Five jobs to do, for one to see!





AGM 2019


It was a good AGM , a good attendance and good refreshments but an especially good talk from Dr Mick Street,, an entomologist,National Bee Inspector and ex-Bicton College lecturer. He spoke on the Disappearance of Pollinating Insects and it didn't make comfortable listening . Farming practice, insecticides, fungicides , pesticides.... BUT also too many people in the world. 

The new membership year begins and as a first we have produced a membership card that outlines the programme for the year ahead. Membership remains at £2 per family . So, if you have not signed on the dotted line and handed over your £2  race to the nearest committee member now, get your free Dobies Seed Catalogue and be eligible for the numerous benefits of membership ! 




There were 19 entries in our Pumpkin Competition last month. Despite there being fewer entries than last year, there was a brilliant display in the skittle alley. If you missed this lovely evening do look at the photos on our website. I have said it before, but the carving does get more intricate and inventive each year and the entries become harder to judge. Well done to everyone who entered and thank you for making this such a lovely evening. Many thanks also to Maria for welcoming us again, for setting up and decorating the skittle alley so beautifully and for her Mum’s delicious cakes. And ……a very big thank you to this year’s judge, Jan Ainsley, who had such a difficult task.

The winners were:                           


1st  Maisie Harris

2nd  Katie Copp

3rd Eira Halwyn


1st John Buxton

2nd Elizabeth Dinnis

3rd Elizabeth Dinnis, that is right she carved two beautiful pumpkins!


1st  Benjamin Gray

2nd Jonathan Gray

Adults 1st  Sarah Wood, 2nd  Laurence Wood, 3rd  Nish Halwyn


Do visit our website to see pictures of this years competition.


Annual Pumpkin Competition

 A great show with some excellent entries - the children beat the adults in their enthusiasm to enter.

Next year oldies ???








 Broomsticks left at the door !





















Trip to RHS Rosemoor Saturday 12th October

Well, not a huge turn out but the two who went had a great day, not a drop of rain and even some sunshine. Ideal for photographs and here are a few. It was a particularly good day to go as there were numerous craft displays, working horses demonstrating their skills in forestry work,even an opportunity to learn how to light fires, build dens and climb trees - well, maybe not for the two who went but it was tempting. All in all and , using the benefit of being in the Garden and Produce Association, it didn't cost a penny! Thanks to Pam Weston for organising it.










Craft building from Nature's Own store




 Elephants at Rosemore



 Three Heads better than One



















 Annual Show 2019


 Kitchen staff - backbone of any show !


High Sheriff of Devon - Champion Cup-  Pam Weston. Overall winner, most points.

J W Wise Cup for Gentlemen only - Terry Wright.Highest points in all classes.

Mrs E R Glover Cup for Ladies only- Pam Weston . Highest points in all Classes.

The Young Trophy - Sarah wood and Robin Carter. Runner up lady or gentleman.

WI Cup- Pam Weston, Highest Points section 5 

Palfrey Memorial Cup - Pam Weston. Best flower arrangement.

Sir Jack Boles Memorial trophy - Jonathon Boles, Gentleman's Baking.

Keith West Memorial Cup - John Harris. Highest points in Childrens' section

Runner up in 0 - 7 age group Abigail Wheeler

Runner up in 8 - 16 age group Benjamin Gray

Winner of Public Vote re the Flower arrangement in a wine glass - Pam Weston. 





 Stalwarts of the Association - Nikki and Pam























 Annual Summer Outing  Saturday June 22nd    

Saltram House


 What a day - blue skies and sunshine. Wonderful outing and certainly a wonderful National Trust House and Grounds.  Many thanks due to Pam Weston for organising it. And many thanks to the very convivial group of nineteen who supported the event.


















and last but not least........ not entirely sure how he got on our coach !













Annual Produce Show 2018

 A big thank you to  everyone involved .

Nikki's Figs !

















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