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Round-up: Free Swimming, Elections and Fruit

October 5th 2011

Apples

The Navigation Canal at Alvingham  

Free Swimming

ELDC is offering free swimming lessons for over 60s throughout October. This is available at the Meridian Leisure Centre in Louth, Embassy Swimming Pool & Lifestyle Fitness Suite in Skegness, and Horncastle Swimming Pool & Lifestyle Fitness Suite. You will need to sign up for a free keycard to take advantage.

Elections

Town council elections should be taking place in the near future for the vacant wards of North Holme and St. Michael's. At the moment this is at the stage of various nomination forms being signed and returned, after which the electioneering can begin in earnest.

Fruit

It's been a spectacularly good year for many kinds of fruit, particularly apples and pears. If you have a glut of apples and you're running out of ideas for what to do with them, check out my recipe for spicy apple cake.

Of course, it's also a been a pretty good year for insects that feed on fruit, such as wasps and the coddling moth. This latter is responsible for leaving worm-like holes in apples, and if left unchecked these insects can ruin a whole crop with worm holes and poisonous frass (that's moth poo, which can harbour a toxic kind of mould). You can prevent this from happening by following some basic fruit hygiene rules, and October is a good time to be doing this.
  • Don't leave windfalls lying on the ground.
  • Prune the bottom foot or so of your tree so that branches don't trail on the ground, giving flightless insects an alternative way to reach the fruit.
  • Smear the trunk with fruit tree grease, in a wide band around the trunk. This costs about 6, and it's a thick, tar-like substance that traps any insects that try to cross it. You'll need to use gloves. However, even though it's very sticky it's not a pesticide, so using this won't stop your garden from being organic. Alternatively you can use fruit tree bands, which are stick bands you put around the trunk. These work in much the same way as the grease.

Kissing Gates

Lincolnshire County Council has installed a couple of new kissing gates along the canal. I've been impressed by the work done to improve the canal walk over the past few years, both by the council and the Navigation Trust. In particular the walks around Alvingham are pleasant, well signposted and easily accessible, with wide mown walkways. The canal walk is something of an under-explored gem, particularly further out of town.



 


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