Happy new year to all Woodhouse Allotments members. I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas holiday and are getting ready for the new growing season.
We currently have a skip on site to enable you to clear any remaining rubbish from your plots. Please use the skip ONLY for non-compostable, non-metal items – this will be mostly plastics.
Anything metal can go in the scrap metal bay, and we also hope to have these items cleared this week. Your green waste should either be composted on your plot or packed out into green bins.
The on-site skip should only be used to dispose of items from your plot. Do NOT bring items on to the site to put them into the skip – anything you want to get rid of that is currently off-site should be taken to the recycling centre on Summers Lane.
We hope that by using the skip properly, our whole site will be looking much tidier and ready for spring.
We have a new delivery of soil improver on site. This is composted waste from the local authority and is available to our members free of charge.
Do please keep to our society guidelines for collecting soil improver. From now until Saturday (January 30th) you can take up to six wheelbarrows-worth for your own use. From Sunday January 31st, you can take more than this. This is to enable as many members as possible to make use of the soil improver.
Note also that the soil improver is for use on your own allotment plot. It is not to be taken off-site for use in your garden or elsewhere.
We now have seed potatoes on sale in the Trading Hut. Choose from the following varieties at a price of just £1 per kg:
- King Edward
- Spunta (a Cypriot style potato)
- Maris Piper
We also have the salad variety Charlotte available at £3.50 for a 2.5kg bag. Do let us know if there is any other variety you would particularly like.
There are also have a few packets of Japanese Senshyu onions left and some elephant garlic cloves at 90 pence per clove.
The Trading Hut will be open this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, from 11.00am and 1.00pm. See you there.
Woodhouse Allotments took a stall at last Saturday’s North Finchley Feast food market, promoting our allotment site, selling plants, and offering tastings from a range of jams and jellies created by our members using allotment produce. Despite the rain, there was a good turnout and we’ve already received allotment applications from some of our Feast visitors.
Many thanks to all members who donated plants and preserves.
You will have noticed that the school plot at number 63 is now taking shape and there has been a whirl of activity over the past week by a team from Lawsons, other volunteers, children, parents and teachers.
The work is due to reach its final stages throughout the course of this coming week.
We would like to inform all plotholders that the top part of the through road will be closed to vehicles in the morning this Friday 16th May (from 9am for approximately three hours) to enable the children to barrow their compost, etc, to and from their plot safely.
The school plot coordinators have thanked everyone for their cooperation, support and the welcoming way they have been greeted by their fellow plotholders.
If you have any old tools, equipment, seeds, plants, etc, you can donate to help get them started, please let us know.
The next plot inspection will take place on Friday April 25th, the same day as our next working party.
Plots will be inspected in the morning prior to the working party, which starts at 11.00am. If you think your plot needs some tidying up, now is the time to get going. The list below details the area which the inspectors will be looking at.
- General condition of the plots. Plots should be kept tidy and free of rubbish.
- Overgrowth and weeds – should be kept to a minimum.
- Extent of cultivation. Two-thirds of the area of the plot should be under cultivation – this is a requirement of the Woodhouse Allotments rules. New plotholders are given time to bring their plots up to standard.
- Condition of paths between plots. These should be clearly marked and kept trimmed.
- Plot numbers. Clearly marked and visible.
Most plots usually pass inspection without further comment. Owners of plots which do not meet the standards listed above will receive a letter outlining the improvements that need to be made and a reasonable time limit given to carry out these improvements.
Please talk to a member of the committee if you need some temporary help with your plot, if you have been unwell or otherwise incapacitated.
As you’ll have seen, the next working party is also on April 25th, a Friday. At the last AGM it was agreed to vary the days on which working parties are held, to enable people with specific weekend commitments to still be able to come along.
Start time is 11.00am and we expect to be finished around 1.00pm. Refreshments will be provided for workers.
You do not have to let us know in advance if you’re coming to the working party, but it does help us to figure out what can be done in the time available if you we have a rough idea of numbers. But do feel free to just turn up on the day!
Every summer the Barnet Federation of Allotments and Horticultural Societies organises a competition to find the best plot and site out of the 49 in the Borough. This year’s competition is now open for entries.
Each allotment site in the Barnet Federation can nominate one of its plots to be considered for the Plot Competition 2013. Once the plot has been entered for the competition, it will be inspected by a panel of judges who will mark it according to criteria which include the following:
- Variety and health of crops being grown
- Good planning and tidiness of the plot
- Good condition of the soil and mulch (both organic and inorganic)
- Sustainability (evidence of water saving and composting)
- Lack of weeds
- Well-maintained boundaries
- Well-built and maintained permanent structures such as sheds and greenhouses
- Neat and tidy temporary structures such as cloches, with marks given for innovative use of materials
If you would like the Woodhouse Allotments committee to consider your plot to be nominated in this year’s Barnet Federation competition, please let me or another member of the committee know by Tuesday July 2nd. The closing date for entries to go forward to the competition proper is Sunday July 7th.
Further details and documents for the competition are also available in the members’ area of the Woodhouse website.
2012 was a disastrous year for honey bees throughout the country, described by many as “the most difficult beekeeping year ever”. You can read full details of the British Beekeepers Assocation’s honey survey on their web site