Newsletter September 2015

Whetstone Stray Allotments Newsletter September 2015

September Newsletter

August Barbecue

The August Barbecue was a great success. Hassan and family cooked up a storm (though luckily the rain held off). The Persian food was expertly cooked, everything was delicious, and the portions were huge. When rain threatened, we retreated into the Trading Hut, with corn-on-the-cob, to enjoy Crispin’s mandolin playing and singing. The picture above was taken by Viktoria (more of Viktoria’s pics are on Flickr), more pics will be added to the website soon.

A big thank you to Hassan who made this a day to remember.

70th Annual Show on Sunday 6th September

The Robinson-Brown family, who donated the Novice Cup, will be presenting it to the winner in the Novice Class this year to celebrate our 70th Show.

Becky Robinson-Brown contacted our site to tell us about the Cup, and also sent very interesting photos of the site, and the Show in the 1960s and 1970s. It would be great to know if anyone recognises the people or the plots in the pictures. You can find them in the ‘Times Past’ folder, by clicking on the ‘pictures’ link to Flickr on our website.
You are classed as a Novice if you have had a plot for 3 years or less (see the Show Schedule and entry form, link below). There are a lot of categories in this class and taking part in the Show is a great way of keeping the traditions of our site alive. While there have been a lot of changes since the Robinson-Brown pics were taken, we still like to get together each year to celebrate and show our produce.

We look forward to seeing as many new faces (especially children), as possible each year, as well as the experienced growers, bakers, flower arrangers, photographers, painters, picklers, jam makers, vintners and fruit dryers. We all have a lot to learn from each other.

Get your entry forms in by Saturday, and bring your entries to set up on Sunday morning.

Click here to download the Schedule and Entry form:

Donations for Annual Show Raffle

The Committee are collecting together prizes for the raffle, and would welcome donations. Alcohol, chocolates, children’s prizes and gardening equipment are all popular, please either bring to the Trading Hut on Sunday 6th September, or if this is not possible, email to arrange a time for drop off.


A baby weasel was found on the site recently, unfortunately, he was in need of medical attention, and was taken to the Abbey Veterinary practice on the High Road. If you find any animal that needs care, this vet has expertise in wildlife, and is open til 7pm.

Toilets Update

The good news: Barnet Council have now given the go ahead for our composting toilets.

However, as we have chosen a new design for one of the toilets (in the car parking area by the Trading Hut), it is not ready yet, and won’t be installed until after the Annual Show.

We still need to level a small area in the Field 2/3 car park, for the base of the second disabled access composting toilet.

Anyone willing to help out with this, please get in touch with Les: 07957 388033


Thank you to whoever removed the large builders bag of garden prunings from the car parking area near the Trading Hut. If it was the person driving the white car, who was seen dumping it, thank you for having second thoughts.


Bonfires are only allowed on the first Wednesday in September, after 4pm – Wednesday 2nd September.


The shop will re-open in the Trading Hut on the Sunday after the Annual Show from 10am – 12pm.

Jacquie’s tips for September

Following the recent rains, be extra vigilant looking out for tomato blight and remove any infected crops from the site immediately.

Many crops are very late due to the poor summer, but we may still have two months of growing yet. It’s not too late to try a last sowing of chard, spinach, and hardy oriental greens, and start thinking where to put the onions and broad beans you will sow next month.

Choose a dry day for lifting main crop potatoes; and store them out of sunlight or warmth in paper or hesian bags.

Click here to read all Jacquie’s Tips.

Recipe for September

This was going to be a tomato recipe, but as many of us are still waiting for sun to ripen our tomatoes, here is a recipe for chard, which seems to be doing very well all over the site:

Italian Greens

Wash and shred chard leaves, chop the stems
Gently fry some garlic and chilli flakes in olive oil in a large frying pan, add the chard stems, cook for a minute or two, then add the wet greens, and cover with a lid.
Add a little water if the chard sticks during the cooking process.
Finish with chopped parsley and lemon juice.

Info for website / Newsletter

Please get in touch with : old photos; newspaper cuttings and stories for the ‘Times Past’ feature we will be adding to the Gallery; recipes (perhaps preserving recipes and tips for October?); comments and ideas.

For more information about issues affecting the site, and to keep up-to-date with what is happening, you can log-in to the Members area of the site, where you will find Minutes of the Committee Meetings, and of last year’s AGM.

Website passwords

Everyone with an email address was sent a password for the Members area of the new website in July.

If you did not receive it, please get in touch.

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