Rain, rain, rain: Did you know you can protect your soil from erosion due to the ravages of winter weather by growing green manure? It grows slowly through the winter and then you dig it in during the spring to provide organic bulk and nutrients.
Temporary Secretary appointed: As a result of a move of house Marion Kirkland has had to give up the Secretary post. Mike Dunne has offered to fill in until the next AGM (25 March 2015) and the SAA committee reluctantly accepted Marion's resignation last night and agreed to co-opt Mike as Secretary.
Cliff Sells recorded a vote of thanks to Marion on behalf of the SAA and his own personal thanks for all she had done and achieved whilst Secretary.
Pumpkin fit for Cinderella's carriage: Mike & Joy Pearce have grown this amazing pumpkin on their plot - harvested October 2014. Can't you just imagine Cinderella with her little mice as footmen.....ah, only me then!!! It really is a thing of beauty, isn't it? Well done to Mike & Joy for growing such a whopper. Can anyone beat it in 2015?
Relocation of the allotment site - planners are now considering the feedback received from the public and will be making their recommendations to the Council in December 2014. If the allotment site is still under consideration there will be further public consultation during a phase of inspection with the process culminating in final recommendations to the Council in December 2015. There is growing support for retaining the current allotment site and the input into the public consultation from the SAA was well received. It is important that we maintain our enthusiasm for retaining the current site throughout the further consultation period and show our support when required. The Committee will alert members of any key meetings/events/input deadlines.
The Committee will be meeting with Benham Estates in the near future to discuss their proposals and to give our collective views.
On this important subject it is probably worth emphasizing that we feel positive about it but not in any way complacent and that there is a long way to go and we must all keep focused on the fight to retain the current site.
Volunteers required for hedge cutting: It is intended to hold a hedge cutting session on Saturday 15th November (subject to weather) time to be confirmed. All helpers most welcome! Remember that if you have an outside plot i.e. the plots around the edge, you are really responsible for maintaining the hedges and paths up to the boundary so do come along and help.
Vacant plots: We have a couple of plots which have become vacant so come on all you keen allotment people, rope in your friends and family and share with them the joy of allotmenteering. At this critical time, it is so important that the allotments are a thriving community. We have a small waiting list, but always welcome enquiries and most will be given a plot immediately.
Bonfires: now that October is here, we are allowed to have bonfires on our plots but these should be lit at dusk. In summer months, the lighting of bonfires is allowed on any day after 6pm with the exception of Bank Holidays and Sundays. Members re asked to be considerate of the neighbourhood.
Water Butts: now that the rain is well and truly with us, lashing down these last few days, now is a good time to re-fill your water butts from the communal water tanks so that we are all prepared when the weather warms up again next spring. If you haven't got at least one water butt on your plot, please think about remedying that. Believe me, when water shortages hit, and they do most years, water use / abuse can be a source of great irritation between plot members. With your own water butts, you have some insurance against the water shortages. And of course, using water from someone else's water because you haven't one of your own is just not cricket!!!
Dogs & children: it is wonderful to see so many babies & children up at the allotments these days - truly a family activity. Please do remember that they are your responsibility at ALL times. Be considerate to other plot holders and please do not let them wander over other people's plots. Even if the butterfly they are chasing has free reign on anyone's plot, they don't! On a serious note, with all the tools, wood etc lying around, this is for their own safety. Thanks!