Newsletter October 2017

Whetstone Stray Allotments Newsletter October 2017

October Newsletter

Committee Meeting
There will be a committee meeting at 12 noon on Sunday 1 October. Everyone is welcome to come and find out what being on the committee involves.

Rent is due this month. Please pay in the hut any Sunday in October, between 10am and 12 noon, or on Saturday 21, between 11am and 1pm. Cash or cheques only please. Rent details are on the website. Volunteers to help in the shop would be greatly appreciated, too.

Compost delivery
There will be a delivery of compost on Wednesday 4 October. It is made from food and green waste by London Waste in Edmonton, and reaches very high temperatures over several days which kills weed seeds and diseases. It is completely free but we encourage plot holders to donate 50p a barrowful to our local Hospice. You can do this on Sundays in October when the hut is open for rent payments. Please help to clear up the car park when the compost has almost all gone.

Community Plot
The Community Plot is holding an Open Day for friends and supporters on Saturday 7 October from 11am to 1pm, with a celebratory lunch from 12.15pm.
The Community Plot now has a Blog on the website under Member Contributions where members upload photos and comments. You can also follow the Community Plot on twitter at @comm_plot.

Apple Day
On Saturday 21 October we will be celebrating National Apple Day. Look out for more details on the gate nearer the time.

Annual General Meeting
Sunday 19 November. Times, agenda and documents for the AGM will be sent out in a separate email. If you would like to include anything in the agenda please email All documents must be sent in advance so people have time to read them before the meeting.

Annual Show
Thanks again to everyone involved – for your magnificent fruit, vegetables, flowers, jam, chutney, photos, paintings, model gardens, raffle prizes, delicious cakes and savouries, and enthusiastic help with gazebos, bunting and children’s fun and games. Congratulations to all the winners. You can see photos in the Events area of the website and on our flickr gallery.
Please send your photos to

We had another complaint last month from one of our neighbours, about large smokey fires which prevented children from playing in the gardens on Ridgeview Road. Bonfires are allowed after 4pm in October but please consider smoke direction and neighbours, and check for hibernating hedgehogs and other wildlife before setting your bonfire alight. Start with a small fire and add material gradually.

Top Tasks for Your Plot in October
Harvest summer vegetable and lift potatoes and beetroots before the first frost.
Cut pumpkins and winter squashes and cure them by leaving them in the sun to harden their skins and ripen their fruit.
Cover autumn salads and Oriental leaves with cloches or fleece to protect form frost.
Sow broad beans seeds for next year.
Plant garlic, onions, rhubarb and bare-root fruit bushes, such as gooseberries and currants.
Plant grapes vines and strawberries
Take down and store supports for beans, peas and tomatoes.
Clear away dead plant material and compost it – except diseased plants and perennial weeds which you should burn or take off the site..
From Allotment Month by Month by Alan Buckingham pub. Dorling Kindersley

October Recipe
Pumpkin and Lentil Soup
1 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp for frying seeds
2 onions chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
approx 800g chopped pumpkin flesh, plus the seeds
100g split red lentil
a handful of thyme or sage leaves plus extra to serve
1litre hot vegetable stock
pinch of salt and sugar
50g crème fraîche, plus extra to serve
Heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the onions until softened and starting to turn golden. Stir in the garlic, pumpkin flesh, lentils and herbs, then pour in the hot stock. Season, cover and simmer for 20-25 mins until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, wash the pumpkin seeds. Remove any flesh still clinging to them, then dry them with kitchen paper. Heat the 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan and fry the seeds until they start to jump and pop. Stir frequently, but cover the pan in between to keep them in it. When the seeds look nutty and toasted, add a sprinkling of salt and a pinch of sugar, and stir well.
Whizz the cooked pumpkin mixture with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth, then add the crème fraîche and whizz again. Taste for seasoning.
Serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche, a few herb leaves and the toasted seeds scattered on top.
Adapted from BBC Good Food magazine