Newsletter January 2018

Whetstone Stray Allotments Newsletter January 2018

January Newsletter

Seedy Sunday

Plotholders Rita, Weldon, Peter and Dorothy are organising Whetstone Stray’s first ever Seedy Sunday on Sunday 18 February, at 12 noon.
Bring your saved seeds, surplus seeds, slightly past-their-sow-by date seeds and take away lots more seeds. Everything is completely free – envelopes provided – just bring pen and paper to write sowing instructions. Peter would also like to meet other plotholders interested in sharing the cost of buying specific new seeds, as there are usually far more than anyone needs in one packet.

If you bring along a sample you can test the pH value of the soil on your plot, and peer at seeds and bugs through a daylight microscope.

Facebook Group
Allison has created a Whetstone Stray Plotholders facebook group. It’s already become a useful meeting place with 39 plotholders getting to know each other, and sharing information and photos. It is a private group – to join just go to the Whetstone Stray Plotholders facebook page, click on Groups at the bottom of the lefthand column, and send a request to join, with your name, field and plot number.

Stormy Weather
Whetstone Stray suffered trashed sheds and buckled fruit cages earlier this month but it seems that Storm Eleanor, not mindless vandalism, was to blame. With climate change, extreme weather conditions are likely to become increasingly common in future, so make sure your sheds, greenhouses and other structures are secured, and when storm warnings are issued get down to the site and check that everything is safe.

Thanks to Crispin for ordering and overseeing delivery of the eco-compost, which was collected by eager wheelbarrowers and had disappeared completely in a couple of days. Unfortunately, London Waste can only deliver mid-week , which means weekend only plotholders often miss out. If you have transport, there are hubs in North London where you can collect it free, such as outside Alara Wholefoods, Camley Street, Kings Cross, N1C 4PW.

Whetstone Events 2018
Seedy Sunday Sunday 18 February 12 noon
Big Dig and BBQ Saturday 21 April
Plant Sale May (date to be confirmed)
BBQ June (date to be confirmed)
Annual Show and Harvest Celebration Sunday 2 September
Apple Day Sunday October 21
Bonfire Sunday 4 November
AGM Sunday 18 November
Dates of Committee meetings and work parties to be decided.
Volunteers and contributions are needed for all of the above (especially enthusiastic cooks and BBQers please).

Annual General Meeting (AGM)
At the AGM in November the following proposals were agreed:

The use of Glyphosate products is not allowed on Whetstone Stray Allotments, due to concerns that there may be a risk to health.
Most commonly known as Roundup or Weedol but present in many other products so please check the label. For more information on the arguments against glyphosphate and advice on how to garden without weedkillers visit

Quiet Sunday afternoons
Please don’t use strimmers, lawnmowers or other power tools after noon on Sundays.

At no time are contractors to be given keys to let themselves on and off site.
Plotholders should arrange deliveries themselves and oversee the unlocking and locking of the gate, and clearing up after delivery.

All plotholders should be encouraged to do some communal work on Whetstone Stray.
Allison and Dorothy, who proposed this, have already met to action this. Minutes of their meeting will be posted under Skills and Volunteering Committee on the website. They plan to create a questionnaire to collect the opinions, skills and interests of plotholders, and consider ways of making it easier for volunteers to come forward.

The Community Plot will be the lead for the Plant Sale and will retain and re-invest profits into future plant sales. All profits from the Plant Sale should go to the Community Plot.
The Plant Sale is a wonderful Whetstone tradition and a great source of healthy seedlings at fantastic prices, especially for new plot holders. Please plant extra seeds to donate. The sale takes place in mid-May. Details nearer the time.

Minutes of the AGM in November will be posted in the Members Area of the website

Spring Newsletter will be published at the beginning of March.

Photo: Andrew
Webmaster: Brian
Newsletter: Dorothy