Newsletter August 2017

Whetstone Stray Allotments Newsletter August 2017

August Newsletter

Annual Show

Our 72nd Annual Show will be held on Sunday September 10th.

The deadline for application forms is noon on Wednesday 6th September. Exhibits should be brought to the trading Hut between 9am and 12 noon on the day of the show. At noon the hut closes while judging takes place. From 2pm there will be refreshments, children’s activities and raffle tickets on sale. Details, entry forms, tips and advice will be emailed to you in the next few days so look out for them in your inbox. Please get involved by entering some of your produce, photos, flower arrangements or art, encouraging your children or grandchildren to take part, making something for the refreshment stall, turning up and bringing your friends, donating prizes for the raffle and volunteering to help out on the day.

Committee Meetings
Here are the Minutes from the last Committee Meeting in July:


Everyone is welcome to come to the next Committee meeting on 3rd September, which will be a promenade around the whole site, and will include site inspection, health and safety, and decisions on the best-kept and best new plots.

With so much produce ripening and ready for harvest, theft can be a problem on allotments at this time of year. Delicious and expensive fruits such as strawberries and tomatoes are particularly at risk of disappearing. If you don’t recognise someone, please ask them politely if they are visiting a plot-holder or are lost. Keep an eye out and warn your neighbours if you see anything suspicious. If you experience a serious theft or shed break in or see anything of concern, please contact our local police officer David Morrow at or 020 8721 2975, and then let the committee know that you have done so.

Children’s Art
Thank you to all the children who have done such wonderful drawings, which you can see on the noticeboard and displayed around the site. We hope you will be entering some of the Children’s classes in the Annual show in September.

The next time you can have a bonfire is after 4pm on Wednesday on 6th September. In July, August and September bonfires are only allowed after 4pm on the first Wednesday of the month. Small barbecues are fine.

New Officers
As you know, Les and Brigid are stepping down from the Committee so we will need some new Officers to ensure that we continue to thrive. By law, all allotment sites in Barnet must have a minimum of three Officers; traditionally these are Treasurer, Chair and Secretary, but the tasks of the Committee are shared.

To help you decide if you would like to stand, here is some information about what Officers have to do:

  • let plots and collect the rents
  • keep allotment and financial records
  • actively participate in the maintenance and development of the site
  • ensure the site has enough money
  • try to ensure that plot-holders know and keep the rules
  • manage any difficulties that arise
  • send annual returns to Barnet Parks Department and Barnet Allotments Federation

The Committee meets about five times a year, including the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November. You can read the minutes of all these meetings on the Members’ Section of the website. All Committee members are expected to work for some sessions in the Trading Hut, which is open for one hour on Sunday mornings. Committee members may also choose to help at other events, such as the Annual Show, or Plant Sale.

Thank you to…
John Mant for the new signs on the gate.
The Community Plot Group, who kindly unloaded a delivery this week; there are now plenty of bags of manure (£4.00) and compost (£4.50) in the Trading Hut.

Courgette recipes
Just in case you are running out of ideas…

The Guardian: How to cook perfect courgette fritters recipe

Delicious Magazine: Courgette recipes

The Guardian: Courgette recipes

BAF Show
Whetstone, like all Barnet allotments sites, is a member of the Barnet Allotment Federation (BAF) which has its own Horticultural Show on 19-20 August. If you would like to get in some practice before our own show in September visit for schedules and entry forms.

Tips for August
Keep on weeding (and watering if this rain ever stops.)
Pinch out and feed tomatoes.
Give extra support to peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers as the fruits get heavier.
Plant out new strawberry plants.
Keep earthing up potatoes, to stop them from turning green.
Dry out garlic, shallots and onions.
Spread well–rotted mulches after rain to keep moisture in the soil.
Harvest regularly before courgettes turn to marrows and beans get stringy.