Monday, October 30

New Fence Fund - Donations update

To read more about the Fence Fund
Click on the link on the sidebar or scroll down the screen.

Donations to date and thanks to:
Marshalls Seed Company

Thompson and Morgan seed Company
Suttons Seed Company
Dobies Seed Company

Sunday, October 29

Strawberries at Wimbledon? What about strawberries for bonfire night?

This year we planted some wild strawberry seeds, (fraises du bois), which germinated really well giving us about 40 plants. We planted these out in May. At first they produced very small strawberries - maybe due to the really dry weather or maybe due to the plants being quite small. However, now the fruit produced are a reasonable size, although not as big as the more commonly grown strawberries.

The plants fruit so freely that you can even allow the slugs to have a few. As the strawberries do not trail on the ground this is however less of a problem.

From August onwards we have been picking strawberries every week - sometimes every day. The ones in the photo above were picked this weekend. The berries have a more delicate flavour than other strawberries and are great for sprinkling on top of fruit salads.

Apparently you should treat the plants as annuals, however, we are going to leave the plants in and plant some more seeds for next year just in case.

As you can see from the photo above there are still many more berries to come, presumably until the first frosts put an end to the bounty! Maybe we will just manage a bowl on bonfire night.

Allotmenteers - Are we second class citizens?

Just a thought! The government want us to pursue a more active lifestyle, to eat our five fruit and vegetables a day, to buy produce locally, to look after our green spaces and to develop a sense of community! Does all this sound familiar to you?

As allotment holders don't we do all this? Allotment sites have very diverse communities. They cater for a very wide range of people of all ages, male and female, from a variety of walks of life and cultures. So why aren't we seen to be more important?

Allotments come under culture and leisure. It would be interesting to know how we fare in relation to other culture and leisure activities with regards to funding and facilities wouldn't it?

I am sure you must have a view on this so share it by using the comments button.

I know that we have visitors from other parts of the country and other parts of the world. It would be really interesting to hear whether other people feel that allotment holders get a poor deal in relation to other culture and leisure activities or if other areas fare better than us!

Raffle update

Some of you have been asking for raffle tickets. There has been a slight delay but the site secretary is hoping to buy the tickets on Monday. If you can manage to sell some tickets for us, please talk to Jan. He has leaflets like the one posted on the notice board that you can use. It is important that tickets are just sold to friends, neighbours, work colleagues and relations and not sold door to door as a licence would be needed for this.

We hope to apply for awards shortly but applications will be looked on more favourably if we are doing our bit and putting some funding towards the fence project so please do your best!

Wednesday, October 25

Our site about 4 years ago

This is an aerial photo of our site taken, I guess, about 3 or 4 years ago during late summer.

Photo from Google maps
click on the photo to see enlarged view

You can see at this time many of the allotments were derelict and overgrown. But some of us hardy souls were gardening amid docks, bramble and couch grass. It would be really interesting to have an up to date photo now that all the plots are taken to see the difference!

Sunday, October 22

Visitors to the blog

I know that we have had visitors to this blog from America, Italy and France. It would be really interesting if visitors would use the comments attached to this posting to tell us something about themselves. Such as where they are from, (you don't have to come from far afield), how long they have been gardening, what sort of things they grow, any wildlife seen in their gardens or on their allotment plot. Any really useful tips etc.

Don't be shy it would be really good to have some idea of who is out there reading our blog!

A Partridge in the Green Manure

We have sown two beds of green manure this year and today crouched in amongst the new growth was a common partridge. The photo here isn't very good as I has to zoom in quite a lot without a tripod and I was also in a hurry to get a photo before the bird shot off. As soon as I took the photo it was up and running making the sort of noise that suggested it wasn't impressed to have been disturbed! Click here to read more.

Also seen today were goldfinches browsing on the seed heads of some sweet corn plants that we hadn't yet pulled up.

Yesterday whilst I was cutting dahlias a tiny newt wriggled across the soil. We see lots of these, often seem to dig then up! We also built a log pile so hope to encourage even more wild life. Click here to read more about creating a log pile.

Sunday, October 15

Interesting Links

The links list on the sidebar is in danger of becoming unmanageable so I have added this posting which will hold links of interest.
Please note any sites that you think others would be interested in by using the comments facility. I will them add these links to this list.

Allotment Growing
An interesting browse - full of all sorts of information
Allotment and Kitchen Gardens
London Allotment with interesting links
Allotments UK
Site with forums and links to lots of allotment sites
BBC Gardening Basics
Growing fruit and vegetables
Garden Action
Contains guides to growing particular fruit, herbs, vegetables and flowers.
Gardeners' Club
On site club with section on growing vegetables etc.
Garden Organic
Site devoted to organic gardening
Growing Vegetables on an Allotment
A Leeds allotment
National Society of Allotments and Leisure Gardens
The Allotment Regenation Initiative
The Productive Garden
BBC series - How to be a gardener
Welcome to the Virtual Potting Shed
Dartford Allotment group

Monday, October 9

Squashes (Recipes and Storing)

I just harvested all my squashes. Does anyone have a tried and tested method of keeping them? Is a frost free garage okay or a greenhouse with some straw as protection against frost? Does anyone have some good recipes for using squashes?

Monday, October 2

New Fence Fund

Those of you who garden on the Green Lane site, and have recently had sheds broken into or produce stolen or damaged, will know that our priority is to obtain funding for new security fencing and gates. This will be an expensive project and cost in the region of £22,000. The council have made it clear that they have no funds available for this and so it is up to us to raise the necessary funding.

Anyone who has ideas of how we can raise funds or who to approach for a donation – please get in touch. Any company offering a donation will be acknowledged on this post.

If you have any ideas and are willing to get involved by letter writing etc. then please get in touch either by email using the Contact us link below or by contacting the Allotment Association Chairman.

Contact us

If tenants on other sites have undertaken similar projects and are willing to share their ideas please add your comments to this posting.

Donations to date and thanks to:

Marshalls Seed Company

Thompson and Morgan seed Company

Suttons Seed Company

Dobies Seed Company