Tuesday, February 27

Natural Designs

With Mother's Day coming up why don't you have a go at creating your own gift wrapping paper or greetings card.

The designs here were all created from photographs taken of flowers and vegetables in the garden or on the allotment plot.

blog design

Click here to see more designs and learn how to create them.

If you create some interesting designs email them to me and I will pop a selection on the web site. Designs from adults are welcome too! Don’t forget to have a go at growing a grass head and sending its photo too. Click here to read details.

Sunday, February 25

February's video diary.

Our video diary for February is now up on the web site. Click here to view. February seemed like a mild but wet month. We had our share of sunshine, however the clear days brought with them the only real keen frosts of the year so far! In our area we had some snow but only small amounts that melted away within the day, nothing like the amount experienced by other areas. There are signs that spring is on its way but the plots are very wet from all the rain.

Friday, February 23

Nominations and Election of Association Officers.

Message from Association Secretary:

Can I remind you that nominations for Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and Committee need to be made by February 28th 2007.

Click here to view details in original posting. Don't forget to get your nominations in before this date.

Where an election is necessary forms and envelopes will be given to each registered tenant by the site secretary during the first half of March, after all nominations have been received. The completed ballot papers must be handed to Jan in time for the big count at the meeting, on Sunday afternoon 25th March 2007. This meeting will be held on site on Jan's plot and will start at 2:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 21

What a difference two years makes!

For many years we have tended our allotment plots amidst a sea of weeds. Plots to all sides of us were overgrown and each summer deposited tons of weed seeds onto our plot.
Suddenly interest in keeping an allotment grew as publicity of the benefits increased through TV and magazines. Now most sites in Wakefield are fully tenanted. All the plots around us are cleared.

compare blog

Click here to view more images

Thank you to those of you who have signed my sheet to give permission for photographs to be taken of your plot. The sheet was very wet so I have removed it and will pop another one on the notice board by the main gate shortly. I will pop a pencil in the wallet as lack of something to write with may have prevented people from signing up. Can you make sure those who do not have internet access know about the sheet please? It would be good the be able to wield my camera without fear of upsetting anyone!

New Fence

I would just like to confirm that today I have received written confirmation that we have been granted permission for the new fence. The permission lasts for three years from the 20/02/2007. The only condition set down by the council is that the fence must be coloured dark green.

Tuesday, February 20


Progress of fence planning permission.
Click here to check out progress! Looks like goods news!

Sunday, February 18

Fancy the idea of home grown fruit in summer?

If the answer to this question is yes - well now is a good time to be preparing.
Along with the fruit that we have grown in previous years, this year we are planting some new strawberry plants which have been over wintering in our greenhouse.
Click here to read more. Also planted in the greenhouse in pots, waiting for the milder weather, is a cherry tree and two gooseberries which we intend to train along a fence with a couple of kiwis that were planted last year. Who knows we may be lucky and actually get some kiwi fruits one day! Gardeners are optimistic by nature aren't they? The gooseberries are Pax a red variety. It's supposed to be mildew resistant and according to one source loses its thorns as it matures. If it does that will be a real bonus as anyone who has ever picked gooseberries will appreciate! We have also bought a medlar - not sure what the fruits taste like but apparently the tree has beautiful autumn colouring so it may stay in the garden!

Being fruitaholics, we can never grow enough fruit and already grow red, white and blackcurrants, blackberries, raspberries, (red and yellow varieties) loganberries (well we think it is a loganberry), plums, greengages (although we haven't had any fruit off these yet!), apples, pears, blueberries and alpine strawberries. We also have a very prolific grape vine in the greenhouse in our garden. Has anyone tried any of the more unusal fruits?

Sunday, February 11

It will soon be time to start a new season! So how will you go about sowing your seeds?

Mixture of seeds

March will soon be here and that means it's time to start sowing and planting on the allotment. Are you going to put expensive seeds straight into the ground and hope for the best? That's what we did when we first started. We soon learned that in our heavy clay soil we had far more failures than successes. Click here to read more.

The Thompson and Morgan web site has some very useful guides click here. Then click on any of the links. At the top of the new page click on Tips and Guides and use the search facility to view the guide of your choice. Remember that any orders placed when visiting T&M using one of our links earns us commission for our fence fund. Thanks very much to those of you who have already donated to us in this way but we still need one or two more orders before any actual cash will come our way.

Saturday, February 10

Nominations for officers of the Green Lane Association Committee

Message from Association Secretary:
As you are aware a meeting of the association took place on 31 January 2007.

At this meeting it was decided that in order to include as many people as possible in the decisions of the association that a ballot would be organised to elect officers for next year's committee.

Nominations for Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and Commitee are to be in by 28 February 2007, and are open to all signed tenants.

Eligibility for voting is one vote per signed tenant irrespective of the number of plots held, and one vote per tenant sharing a plot as previously agreed by the Council, i.e where tenants are formally gardening on half a plot.

Voting is by ballot, and forms and envelopes will be given to each tenant by the site secretary after all nominations have been received. The completed ballot papers must be handed to Jan in time for the vote count at the next meeting, on Sunday afternoon 25th March 2007. This meeting will be held on site on Jan's plot. Exact time will be posted later.

A form on which nominations may be made will be posted on the site notice board by the main gate as soon as possible. If you wish to nominate a person for office then please obtain their agreement before doing so. You may also nominate yourself.

Thursday, February 8

Growing and storing carrots - an update.

In an earlier article we described our 'trials' for growing and storing carrots. Click here for an update on how things have turned out. Some successes and the inevitable failures! We are still digging fresh carrots for use in the kitchen - well we were last weekend, not sure what this week's frosts will have done now though!

Use the comments on this post to share how you store your carrots.

Wednesday, February 7

Car Parking Area Clean Up

Now that most of the new plots are cleared of non garden type rubbish. Jan has contacted the council and Neighbourhood Action to organise a clear up. The allotment officer, Steve Slade, has also asked that Neighbourhood Action clear the area and they have added us to their list of tasks. I thought it may help to enlist the help and support of our local councillors and so emailed them to ask if they would also make representations to Neighbourhood Action. I had an immediate response from Janet Holmes and with her permission I have copied her email below:

Dear Susan,
Brian and I are delighted with the progress you have make with these allotments and are only too pleased to request the removal of the rubbish from the car park. I have today completed the appropriate request form and added that I feel this is an important issue. Should their work load be such that they can not complete everything on the list, rest assured we can get it moved through other measures.
Please feel free to contact me again on this, or any other subject in the future.
Kind regards,

Janet Holmes.

The 'you' refers to all of us not just me! Thought that I had better make clear that I don't take credit for all your efforts. So watch this space or watch the car park and cross your fingers and anything else that may help.
As you are aware once the car park is cleared no more rubbish will be dumped there as this was an interim agreement with the council to help new tenants.
If you have any rubbish still on your plot I would suggest that you pop it on the pile as soon as possible.

Ever the optimist I hope that our car park will be back to being a car park very shortly.

Just received an email from Councillor John Sharp as follows:

The area is on the programme for clearing up.

So with support from all three of our councillors things are looking good!

Tuesday, February 6

Organised events


Is there any thing you would like to do on the allotments this year?

Some suggestions have been:
BBQ’s on Bank Holidays
send in your ideas or fill in one of the forms on the notice boards.

Sunday, February 4

Was this weekend really February?

What a lovely weekend it's been? Lovely sunshine and warm weather - just what you need to encourage you to work down on the plot.
Some were indeed hard at work:
Men at work on the plot

Whilst others relaxed in the sunshine:
Relaxing in the sum

And others - well they just got on with life!

To view all the photos that I took this weekend click here. There are lots of photos so allow time to enjoy them - just click on the orange single arrow at the bottom right of the slide show. To pause the show then click on the two vertical orange lines.
Before I get hate mail - again! I apologise if I have missed out your plot - it isn't intentional but the sun was very low and prevented me from pointing my camera in some directions. Also I had to guess plot numbers so again apologies if I have got yours wrong!
I have posted a form on the site secretary's notice board asking for permission to photograph people and close ups of individual plots so could you please sign if you want to give your approval for this.
It would be good later in the year to feature individual plots and plot holders so if you are up for this then let me know! It will give you a chance to have a little bit of fame or notoriety if you prefer!

Saturday, February 3

How closely do you look at nature? - clues

Just for those of you who tell me you are struggling to identify the picture on the web - click here to view - here are a few clues.
1. a flower

2. a vegetable
3. the flower of a vegetable
4. an insect
5. a fruit
6. a wild flower
7. an animal
8. a vegetable
9. an insect
10. a vegetable also used as an ornamental plant
11. an insect
12. an animal - to say too much here would give this away

Go on have a guess and post your answers here!
Any ideas now Pat? Jo has already got number 11 - well almost!