Horticulturalist and hot beds expert Jack First will be running courses on creating hot beds again later this year. To promote the courses he has made a short video presentation, giving a brief introduction to hot beds and also some of the amazing results produced from using this wonderful horticultural technique. In the video, which was filmed on 30th May Jack explains what a hot bed is and shows some of the superb organic produce that is harvested at this early time of year.
We saw some hot stuff on our recent visit to the Cellar Project’s allotments recently.
Jack First had filled a wheelbarrow with unseasonal fruit and veg plucked from the hot beds he has created there. It was fascinating to see how many crops could be produced right through winter using the hot bed method.
Some fabulous cakes were washed down with tea and coffee and a good time was had by all.
Following the great success of the last hot bed courses, Jack First (WYOG member and very experienced organic gardener) is planning to hold a practical course on the process and principles of making and using hot beds in your garden or allotment.
This is an eco-friendly way of providing heat so as to grow both early and late crops so extending the season by several months.
The course will be on Friday 2nd of March 10am – 4pm at the Marley Stadium in Keighley and the cost will be £20. Drinks will be provided but bring a packed lunch. The course is very hands on, and outdoors – so weatherproof working clothes are the order of the day.
To book a place please phone Jack after 6pm on 01422 202648 to book a place, or contact him by email. It may be possible to hold another course if there is a big demand.
WYOG and Transition Keighley got the chance this February to be introduced to the wonders of growing vegetables in hot beds. They’re a big feature of Jack First’s allotment and when we visited he was already tending seedling leeks, radishes, lettuces, carrots and spinach. Most of us hadn’t even opened our seed packets by then! And Jack will be harvesting new potatoes at the beginning of April when most of us have barely got our seed potatoes in the ground.
Jack’s plot isn’t in some special sheltered corner of Keighley. His cauliflowers, planted in ordinary open ground, got frosted and rotted this winter, just like everyone else’s. And he doesn’t get his early harvests by paying a hefty electricity bill, either, because it’s all powered by decay. His starting material is lots of freshly mucked-out horse bedding containing plenty of urine-soaked straw. He heaps it up and crowns it with a cold-frame; and no, we didn’t need to wear pegs on our noses! The pile rots slowly over many weeks and it’s the rotting process that produces the heat his seeds need when growing so early in the year. Jack had sown his first seeds in January when much of Keighley was still frozen. We got hands-on under Jack’s guidance and were even more impressed when we could wash our hands in hot water. The water is heated using the same rotting power that warms the plants, and it wasn’t just lukewarm; it was steaming!
Our visit was a great introduction to a very effective alternative energy source, and Jack is keen to demonstrate the technique and explain the reasoning behind it to more people. However, he can only manage to do so if he charges for sessions, which is not permitted on his own site. Is there anyone out there interested in providing him with an opportunity elsewhere? It’s great fun.
Jack First (WYOG member and very experienced organic gardener) is planning to hold one or more 1 day practical courses on the process and principles of making and using hot beds in your garden or allotment. This is an eco-friendly way of providing heat so as to grow both early and late crops so extending the season by several months.
The hot bed courses being run by Jack First will be held on Sat January 29th and Feb 26th 10am – 3 or 4 pm. To book a place please phone him evenings after 6 from Monday Jan 10th (not before) on 01422 202648 to book a place on your preferred date (if you can manage either please let him know too). It may be possible to hold another course if there is a big demand.