Newsletter September 2018

Whetstone Stray Allotments Newsletter September 2018

September Newsletter

Annual show
Many thanks to Brigid, Dianne, Gia, Helen, Kim, Marion, Allison, Rita and Weldon, everyone who donated raffle prizes or baked cakes, all of the Committee members and everyone else who took part or helped on the day to make our 73rd Annual Show so successful.

Although some categories were under-represented, largely due to the very difficult growing conditions we had this year, other classes made up for it and the Trading Hut looked as seasonally festive as always. Photos at

Congratulations to our trophy winners:
Everest Trophy and Kennedy Cup: Siobhan and Rik
Owen Cup, Novices Cup and Best New Plot: Rita and Weldon
Best Plot: Sabina
Whetstone Stray Trophy and Wilmot Trophy:
Community Plot
Ashby Trophy and Best in Show: Anne and Paul
Jaquie Jones Cup: Leo
Dean Shield: Maia
Sunflower Trophy was shared between Maria, Joanna, Anne & Paul and Siobhan & Rik

NB If you still have a cup you won last year ( or even the year before) please return it.

Capital Growth Urban Harvest
Brigid writes:
‘Everyone is invited to take part in the Capital Growth Urban Harvest on Saturday 22 September, on the Community Plot from 11am to 2pm. We will welcome in visitors and volunteers to take part in harvesting activities, followed by vegetarian food prepared with produce grown on the Community Plot. Please join us to celebrate all of our achievements this year.’

Crispin is arranging the removal of some sheets of asbestos from our site. This is a specialised job – not just regular rubbish removal – so please let him know of the existence and location of any asbestos you are aware of so he can take photos to get quotes for the job. Contact Crispin at

Community Plot
The latest issue of The Jellied Eel, London’s sustainable food magazine, has included our Community Plot in their list of Ten of London’s Best Food Gardens.

Wednesday 5 September after 4pm is the only day you can have a bonfire this month. Please keep your fire small and under control – last month a concerned plot-holder called the fire service to deal with a very large, smoky bonfire on Field 1. Please remember that bonfires are just to burn material accumulated on your plot, not rubbish brought in from outside the site.

Training session
Last month’s Capital Growth Training session on herbal medicine was a great success. Carmen said she had ‘made peace’ with brambles after learning how to use their roots and leaves. Lots of visitors commented on what a lovely site Whetstone Stray is. Photos at

Next session is Grow Your Own Skincare on Saturday 6 October. Book at with a 50% discount if you have volunteered on the Community Plot this year.

Remember payment for your plot is due in October.

Seasonal Tips
Make a note of your triumphs and failures so you can plan to do even better next season.
Clear away dead plant material and compost it – except diseased plants and perennial weeds which you should burn or take off the site.
Harvest summer vegetables and lift potatoes and beetroots before the first frost.
Cut pumpkins and winter squashes – cure them so they will keep over winter by leaving them in the sun to harden their skins.
Cover autumn salads and Oriental leaves with cloches or fleece to protect from frost.
Sow broad beans seeds outside or start them in pots.
Plant garlic, shallots and onions and check them regularly as birds love to pull them out.
Plant rhubarb and bare-root fruit bushes, such as gooseberries and currants.
Plant grapevines and strawberries.
Take down and store supports for beans, peas and tomatoes.

Seasonal Recipe
Fried Green Tomatoes
by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
This classic dish from the American south is a delicious way to use up green tomatoes. Choose ones that are quite firm and serve as a snack or as part of a cooked breakfast. Serves four.
4 medium-large green tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g plain flour
½ tsp cayenne pepper
100ml milk
1 egg
5 tbsp cornmeal (fine polenta)
150g fine white breadcrumbs
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Rapeseed or vegetable oil, for frying
Cut the tomatoes into 1.5cm slices. Sprinkle with salt and place on a rack to drain for 10 minutes. Pat dry with kitchen paper.
Meanwhile, make the coating. Whisk together the flour, cayenne pepper and some salt and pepper in one bowl, the milk and egg in another, and the cornmeal, breadcrumbs, thyme and a good seasoning of salt and pepper in a third.
Heat about 1cm of oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat until hot (the tomatoes should sizzle gently as you put them in the pan). First, dip the tomato slices in the seasoned flour and shake off any excess, then dip into the egg and milk, and finally dip into the breadcrumbs and cornmeal. Fry the slices in batches – don’t crowd the pan – for about four minutes a side until golden. Drain on paper towels and eat immediately.

Newsletter: Dorothy
Website: Brian
Photo: Carmen