Newsletter February 2017

Whetstone Stray Allotments Newsletter February 2017

February Newsletter

Cartoon by John Ferdinand

January Working Party
The Work Party got the vegetation cut back from the path, in the area of Field 2. We collected at least 8 builders bags’ full. We also picked up rubbish in the area.

It’s amazing what we can achieve when we work together. Many thanks to Elspeth, Matthew, Marc, Marie, Lyn, Ollie, Cathal, Charlotte, Raphael, Les and Brigid.

When you are walking through the site, please do your bit to keep the paths tidy, use your secateurs to cut back as you go, and pick up litter when you see it. These actions make a big difference to the appearance of our lovely site.

Field 3
There are still some bags of prunings at the far end of Field 3, any plot holders having a bonfire on F3, please try to burn as much of this material as you can – it will burn easily.

It would also be much appreciated if the person who left allotment rubbish in the car parking space could take it back to their plot until the next rubbish collection (March).

February Winter Pruning Demonstration
Les will demonstrate restoration pruning to a large old apple tree on Ann’s plot on F2. Please get in touch with Les if you would like to come along.

The shop will remain closed during February. It will reopen in March. We aim to keep it open every Sunday during the busy months.

If you would like to volunteer in the Shop, please get in touch. You will always be with a Committee member, and it’s a great way to get to know people.

Asbestos Collection
We are aware of some asbestos on Field 3, which needs to be professionally removed from the site. If you know of any asbestos on site, please let us know and we will arrange for its safe disposal if possible.

The Association has invested in two security cameras for the site, which are currently being tested. We will review how they are working at the Committee meeting in March. Thank you to Matthew and John Mant for advice.

Fieldfares have been seen recently.

Jacquie’s Tips for February
Pruning of apples, pears and grape vines should be carried out this month, if you haven’t done so already, but stone fruits (plums, cherries etc), should wait until the Spring or Summer, to avoid possible viruses.

February is the time to start sowing tender seeds indoors (tomatoes, peppers, chillies) as they need a long growing season. On the allotment, you can plant shallots and garlic this month and, providing the weather is kind, you can be sowing broad beans and peas at the end of the month.

Community Plot update
Last year we were awarded £2,000 by the Postcode Lottery for a polytunnel on the Community Plot, which has now been purchased. The plan is to put the polytunnel up on Saturday February 25th, anyone who would like to help – especially if you have done this before – would be very welcome, we will also prepare the plot for the Community Group. Please give Les a call: 07957 388033

Donations to North London Hospice
Last year, we raised £110.00 for the Hospice.
A couple of plot holders have mentioned that they made donations for compost in the Hospice Charity Shop. We encourage you to donate in the Trading Hut, because having good links with the local community is good for our site, and one way of doing this is to collect money for the Hospice. So, if you haven’t already, please make your donation in the Trading Hut when it reopens, thank you.

Thanks to the Woodland Trust
The Woodland Trust has awarded the Community Plot 3 fruit trees.

News from BAF (Barnet Allotment Federation)
The BAF AGM will be held on February 27th at the the Pavilion, Rathbone Allotments, Ryalls Court, Oakleigh Road North, N20 0RY.

This year, the formal business of the AGM will be preceded by a talk by Karen Kenny. Karen is an environmentalist, freelance garden writer and public speaker on various organic gardening subjects, and is currently the President of the National Allotment Society. She will present and take questions on ‘the answer lies in the soil’.
Please get in touch if you want to attend, so that we can let BAF know the numbers to expect.