Newsletter February 2016

Whetstone Stray Allotments Newsletter February 2016

February Newsletter

A fox on Bill’s plot


January Working Party

There was snow on the ground on the day, so the hedge planting had to be postponed. Instead, the Working Party focussed on the Trading Hut.

By the end of the day, the Trading Hut had been transformed, with a new layout, new shelving and a sink! Many thanks to Sean Eliott for the donation of the sink and shelving, and to all those who took part in the Working Party: Sean, Jean, Dianne, Suhad, George Bogadov, Dave Emmins, Nighat, Brigid, Les and Les.

February Working Party for Native Hedge Planting

We will meet at 10am on Saturday 20th February, on Holden Road Field Path.

Volunteering a couple of hours to join a working party is a great way to contribute to self management on our site. As always, the Working Party will be followed by a delicious lunch for all who take part. It helps to know how many are taking part to arrange the catering: please email or call Les to let us know: 07957 388033

Signs for our Site

We are looking for someone who would like to create signs for our site: a ‘Whetstone Stray Allotments’ sign for the main gate; signposts to direct people walking through the public access paths on site; and signs for the Community and Educational Plots. Please get in touch if you are interested in doing this.


The shop will remain closed during February. It will re-open in March. This year, it will be open on the first Saturday of each month, and on Sundays for the rest of the month.

Thank you to all our wonderful Shop Volunteers this year: Marie; Marion; Maggie; Rebecca; Maria and Ann Philips. Committee members and volunteers look forward to seeing you in the Trading Hut, from March 2016.

Rubbish Collection

The next rubbish collection will be after Easter. Look out for details in the March newsletter.


Fieldfares have been seen recently, but seem to have moved on already this year. If the mild weather carries on, it shouldn’t be long before the Spring visitors start arriving, so do let us know if you see anything interesting.

Tips for February

Pruning of apples, pears and grape vines should be carried out this month, if you haven’t done so already, but stone fruits (plums, cherries etc), should wait until the Spring or Summer, to avoid possible viruses.

February is the time to start sowing tender seeds indoors (tomatoes, peppers, chillies) as they need a long growing season. On the allotment, you can plant shallots and garlic this month and providing the weather is kind, you can be sowing broad beans and peas at the end of the month.

Disabled Access Composting Toilets update

The igloo shaped composting toilet near Field 1 still needs some work done before it is ready to use. It should be completed by the end of the month.

If you want to use the toilets, you must get in touch to arrange to meet with a Committee member, to be given the key code, and a short induction:

All those who have key codes will be responsible for keeping the toilets clean and tidy, and collecting supplies as needed from the Trading Hut.

Community Plot update

We have been awarded £2,000 by the Postcode Lottery for the Community Plot. We are continuing to fundraise, but this is a good start!

We had a very helpful visit from a Consultant from Thrive (the disabled gardening charity), and are now members of the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens.

Barnet Mencap, Barnet Public Health, and Barnet Timebank are involved in the Community Plot Planning Group. If you would like to join the Group, please get in touch with Brigid. If you/your school are interested in the Educational Plot, please get in touch with Dianne (both Committee members can be contacted on the whetstone email).

Tree Surgery

Following the tree surgery which was done in January, there are logs available on site at the main gate, and at the top of Field 2, please help yourself.

News from BAF (Barnet Allotment Federation)

The BAF AGM will be held at 8pm on Monday 15th February, at the Pavilion, Rathbone Allotments, Ryalls Court, Oakleigh Road North, N20 0RY.

Click here for the Agenda of the BAF AGM.

The guest speaker, at the end of the meeting, will be Caroline Washington, former bee inspector for North London, who will give a talk on beekeeping on allotments.

All plot holders are welcome to attend the BAF AGM, if you have any questions you would like to raise with BAF at the meeting, please email BAF before the meeting to

Click here for BAF News and Notes.