Newsletter July 2017

Whetstone Stray Allotments Newsletter July 2017

July Newsletter

Summer time and the living is easy

Well, not ‘easy’ exactly – lots of weeding, watering and feeding to be done – but now is the time when we can all enjoy the long evenings and warmer weather, as well as the fruits of our labours.

Lock and keys
The padlock has now been changed. Thank you to those people who got in touch to let us know that the code padlock, was broken.

Most people have now collected their new key. If you need a key, please collect it from the Trading Hut on Sunday 10:30-11:30am. In the meantime if you do not have a key, please ask for help from your neighbours.

Bonfires and Barbecues
Bonfires are allowed on one day: the first Wednesday of July (5th July), after 4pm. As ever, please keep your fire small and manageable to avoid complaints from others, and reduce risks.

For the rest of the month bonfires are not allowed, but we can have barbecues, and summer weekends are a great time to entertain friends and family on our plots. Please let your guests know the rules.

Stick to the paths and don’t ever wander onto other people’s plots.

Keep an eye on children – there are lots of potential dangers hidden on allotments: glass, ponds, sharp tools, rusty metal and bees.

Keep dogs on leads.

Respect other plotholders’ and neighbours’ peace and enjoyment by not playing loud music or radios.

Annual Show
Our Annual Show this year is on Sunday September 10th. It would be wonderful if everyone entered something into the show – it doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t even have to be fruit or vegetables – it could be a photo, a painting, a jar of pickle or jam, a cake, some biscuits or a flower arrangement. There are special categories for children too. We will also need baked goods for the refreshment stall and prizes for the raffle. More information will be sent next month and entry forms on August 7th.

As you know, Field 3 is completely organic so no weedkillers or pesticides should ever be used there.

Last summer we conducted a survey of plot-holders on banning the use of weedkillers containing glyphosate, the most common one is called Round Up, everywhere on the site. More that two thirds of those who replied wanted a ban but, we were not able to hold a vote at AGM due to a last minute submission by a plot holder; there will be a vote this year so please inform yourself about glyphosate before then, so you can make an informed decision. If you have any information to share with other plot holders before the final vote, please send it to us for circulation prior to the AGM.

See here for more information.

If you are using weedkillers or pesticides please keep spray well away from your neighbours’ plots, and ponds, beehives and water tanks.

Chateau Whetstone, anyone?Anyone considering taking on the vacant vineyard on Holden Road Field, may be interested in a talk on viniculture, at Lawrence Road Allotments, Mill Hill, on Sunday, 2 July 2017 at 12.30. Tony Fernandes, who produces excellent still and sparkling wine from grapes grown on his vineyard at Lawrence Road Allotments, will explain how to grow, prune and harvest grapes for wine-making. He will explain how to create a vineyard on an allotment and give a short history of the vineyard, outlining his successes – and his problems! – as a viniculturist.

The talk and visit to the vineyard will be followed by a wine tasting, accompanied by bread and cheese, tea and coffee and delicious home-made cakes.

Tickets are available on the door for £10.00 or in advance for £8.00 from Marcia MacLeod, Flat 1, 31 Dennington Park Road, London NW6 1BB. For further information contact Marcia at 020 7435 6762.

Encouraging wildlife by leaving a small corner of land untended, with a pile of rotten wood, a pond and a compost heap, is a good way to keep down slugs and snails. Very excitingly, house sparrows have been spotted for the first time this year. These little birds, which used to be so common that they symbolized the spirit of Londoners, have become much rarer because of loss of habitat. More information here.

A pheasant and slow worms have also been seen recently. For more information on encouraging slow worms visit here.

Quiet Sundays?
Les would like to introduce the idea of peaceful Sunday afternoons – meaning no noise, including no power tools could be used on Sundays after 12 noon. We will discuss this at the AGM, so please think about it in the meantime.

If you have any ideas for other changes you’d like to suggest then please let us know in time for the AGM.

North London Hospice
Our neighbours at the North London Hospice are having a street party on Sunday 16 July 12noon till 4pm. This should be a lot of fun. More information here.

Strimmer for Sale

Gian-Carlo wants to sell a strimmer, which has only been used once! Please email whetstone if you are interested and would like to be put in touch with Gian-Carlo

Help offered in exchange for space for Bonsai trees
A local bonsai enthusiast has got in touch to ask if anyone could offer him approx 1.5m x 1.5m space for his bonsai collection on their plot, in exchange for some help, i.e. grass cutting. If you want to be put in touch with him, please email whetstone.

Thank you to Dorothy for the Newsletter.
If you have any items to include please send them in. 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.