Newsletter May 2017

Whetstone Stray Allotments Newsletter May 2017

May Newsletter

Plant Sale

The Plant Sale will be held on May 21st from 10:00am until 12:00. This is a great opportunity to donate and/or buy home grown plants. Those of you who have not got plants for the Plant Sale can still contribute, because we also need cakes for the refreshment stall.

Plants can be dropped off for sale on Saturday May 20th, or early morning on Sunday 21st. We welcome any plants and seedlings, not only vegetables but also herbs, flowers, fruit…

Cakes to be donated for the refreshment stall should be brought in on Sunday morning.

If you would like to use the Community Plot poly tunnel to raise seedlings for the plant sale (and yourself), please get in touch, there is space to share with plot holders.

Committee Meeting
There is a Committee meeting on Sunday 7th May at 12:00. All plot holders are welcome to attend. If you are not able to attend, but there is something that you want to raise, please get in touch.

Minutes will be published in the Members Area of the website, as soon as possible after the meeting.

The Shop will be open from 10:30-11:30am every Sunday this month. We have recently had a delivery, including compost and manure. These are very reasonably priced : organic compost is £4.50; manure is £4.00, and it’s convenient to buy on site.

Tips for May
Sow leafy crops, such as lettuce, spinach and parsley, while it is still cool.

Until the risks of frost are over do not plant out tender plants, such as beans, tomatoes, courgettes and the like. If you want to plant these vegetables out before the risk of frost is over then they need protection under glass or fleece, which is available from the Trading Hut Shop.
It’s now too late to start, from seed, plants which require a long growing season, i.e. tomatoes, peppers and aubergines, so if you haven’t got these already growing, see if you can find them at the Plant Sale.

The Big Dig
21 people took part this year, our second Big Dig on the Community Plot.

Most of those who participated this year were from our site (last year we had more volunteers from outside). Thank you to all the plot holders who helped to make this a great day and especially to Neil and Angela for cooking the delicious BBQ lunch. This was well earned, as a great deal got done on the Community Plot, and the Group thoroughly enjoyed the day, especially learning how to prick out seedlings with Dorothy.

Fires are not allowed on site at any time during May. The full bonfire rules are in the FAQ section of the website.

The water is turned on approximately the same time every year (late March to mid April), after most of the risk of freezing pipes is over. At the same time, a check of all of our water stands is made by our plumber, who also does more than 30 other sites in Barnet. It can take him a while to get round all the sites, and this year was slightly later than last year.

Our experience last month of unseasonably hot weather while we were waiting for the water to be turned on, should remind us all of the importance of saving water. The climate is changing and we can no longer rely on April showers to see us through until our water is checked and turned on. Everyone should have at least one water butt on their plot to collect rain water.

Rule Reminder
Plot holders and visitors/ groups are reminded not to enter any plots unless you are invited, or have agreement from the plot holder to do so.

Rubbish Collection
The Spring rubbish collection was the largest our site has ever known, more than double the usual amount was removed, at more then double the cost. Let’s hope that we are now reaching a point where we no longer have large quantities of ‘potentially useful’ (?) items on our plots, there are no old carpets leaching chemicals into the ground … and nobody brings any household or office furniture to their plot, or if they do mistake a sofa for a garden bench, they remove it themselves, at their own cost.

Thank you
Thank you to Dorothy who has donated two gazebos to our site, and to Simone, who has donated loads of children’s chairs. These items will be used at our Annual Show, and other events.

Thank you to Richard, who has donated a water butt to the Trading Hut. Please get in touch if you can help to install this.

News from BAF (Barnet Allotment Federation)
Two other sites have plant sales this month. Gordon Road Allotments, Finchley N3, are famous for their big plant sale, which is held on two Sundays – 21st and 28th May 10am-1pm.

Lawrence Street Allotments, Lawrence Street, Mill Hill NW7 4JU, are having their Plant Sale on 14th May 11:30-3.30pm – their refreshments are legendary!

BAF also has a new website – thanks to our own webmaster, Brian, who kindly volunteered to do BAF’s website as well.

Get in touch
Please get in touch with any ideas for the Newsletter. The deadline for the Newsletter is 4 days before the end of the month.

We would also love to hear from anyone who would like to add artwork, information or any other ideas to the Members Contributions area of the Website. Children’s contributions would be especially welcome.