Newsletter March 2016

Whetstone Stray Allotments Newsletter March 2016

March Newsletter

Cartoon by John Ferdinand


February Working Party

Thank you very much to Su, Viktoria. Dorothy, Matthew, Brigid, Les M and Les C. This was a very busy Working Party, including the preparation of difficult areas. Three and a half plots were planted.

The Holden Road Field Path Native Hedge Project is now nearing completion. There will be two more days in March to finish this part of the Holden Road Field Path renovation. Please put these days in your diary and prioritise taking part, especially if you are a Holden Road field plot holder.

March Working Party for Native Hedge Planting

We will meet at 10:30am on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th March. We hope also to carry out some dry hedging to the South/West boundary.

As always, the Working Parties 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

Shop: Opening Saturday 5th March

This year the Shop will be open on the first Saturday of each month from March to October. It will not open on the first Sunday of each month, but will be open on the following Sundays.

This year’s stock order will be completed following the Committee Meeting in mid March, please let us know before then, if there is anything you think that the Shop should stock. You can either email or use the Comments Book in the Shop. We will not always be able to stock everything, but the Committee will consider all requests, and provide them, if the budget allows.

Thank you to Jean for her work on the stock take, and for volunteering to update the Price List – this will be circulated after the order has been made, and updated on the website. We look forward to seeing you in the Trading Hut.

There are some seeds left over from last year, which will be available, free of charge, to anyone who agrees to grow seedlings for the Plant Sale as well as for their own use.

Plant Sale

The Plant Sale will be held in the Trading Hut on May 1st. Now is the time to sow seeds, when you are sowing seeds, please sow a few extra for the Plant Sale. The Plant Sale is a great way to share. Proceeds go towards other activities on site, such as the Annual Show.

Rubbish Collection

The next rubbish collection will be after Easter weekend. Look out for an email with details. Please keep rubbish on your plot until you receive the email giving instructions for what to do. Never dump rubbish anywhere on site; it can lead to flytipping and makes our site look bad. If you are not available on the weekend of the rubbish collection, you can either make an arrangement with a neighbour, or wait for the next rubbish collection, which will be in October.


When digging over your compost heap to use as mulch or for digging into your beds, please look out for slow worms, because they are a gardener’s friend and they may be sleeping in your nice warm compost.

This is also the time to cut back hedges and vegetation from the paths, before nesting begins. Many thanks to Charlie for the work he has done to the Field 2 parking area, and to everyone who mows, trims, prunes and strims our communal areas. So, please lend a hand.

Tips for March

Gardeners never stop, but if you have had a few weeks away from your plot, now is the time to get back to it, to avoid being left behind by the rush of Spring growth.

By the end of March, there will be potatoes to plant, and all manner of seeds to sow, so now you should make sure that your beds are ready, and mulched with compost and/or manure. Many plot holders still don’t have compost bins, now is the time to get them made, ready for all of the weeding, trimming, mowing and peeling to come. The best way of making compost bins is to use pallets. It may be possible for the Association to arrange a bulk delivery of pallets, if you would be interested in this, please get in touch:

Dorothy suggested that new plot holders may like to be in touch with each other to share ideas, plans and ways of working : e.g. Dorothy is using a ‘no dig’ method to cultivate her new plot. If you would like to join a circulation list for new plot holders, please let us know :

Disabled Access Composting Toilets Update

The igloo shaped composting toilet on Field 1, next to the Tin Hut, is now ready to use.

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 – this is necessary because these toilets are different from the ordinary ones :

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

Thank you, once again, to all the wonderful, generous plot holders who contributed via SeedMoney to the Community Plot. In February, we were awarded a Merit Grant for the Project by SeedMoney, which gained an additional $400 for the Project, giving us a total of £540.00 raised via SeedMoney.

There will be a Meeting for the Community Plot, on 21st March at 1pm. Representatives from the following organisations will attend : Barnet Mencap, Barnet Public Health, Barnet Timebank, Eclipse, CSV and JVN. If you would like to get involved with this project and/or attend the Meeting, please get in touch with Brigid :

Thank you from Nighat and family

We want to thank everyone deeply for their support, encouragement and words of wisdom without which our project at the bottom of Field 1 would have had difficulty in materialising. Whetstone allotments looked really impressive in the programme (Big Dreams Small Spaces). It is a pity that the editing missed out lots of lovely interviews so a special thank you to all who made the time. We really appreciate the efforts of John, Brigid and Les for ensuring the kettle was on the boil and there was access to the hut. Thanks also to anybody else we have missed.

A big THANK YOU to all

from: Nighat, Kausar, Abir and Humzah

PS Nighat has offered to do a session for plot holders about bees. It would help her if she has an idea of what people would like, e.g. something for children, or adults? Information about bees, or bee keeping. Drop a line to or drop into the Trading Hut, so we can let Nighat know what would be most interesting and arrange a date and refreshments.

News from BAF (Barnet Allotment Federation)

Trip to RHS Wisley on 19th March 2016 – see model gardens and visit plant fair – PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU MUST CONFIRM YOUR INTEREST by 3rd MARCH 2016.

Barnet Allotment Federation have arranged a day trip to RHS Wisley, one of the great gardens of the world, with many model gardens giving design and cultivation ideas. The visit will be on 19th March 2016 when there is the Spring Plant Fair, where you can buy from specialist growers and nurseries.

Trip costs are £18 per person, covering coach travel and entrance. It is open to plot-holders, friends and family. To book your place send a deposit of £10 per person by the 3rd March (cheque only, made payable to Barnet Allotment Federation) to Mrs Burgin, 15 Burlington Rise, East Barnet, Herts, EN4 8NH. The remaining cost is payable on the day.

Departure will be at 9:30am from North Finchley on 19th March 2016, returning around 5:00pm.

Along with your cheque, please provide your:
* Name
* Allotment site
* Email address
* Let us know if you have RHS membership (so you can enter for free)

Note: if we don’t have enough interest by the 3rd March we will cancel the trip, let you know and return deposits. Other than that, deposits are non-refundable. If you have any queries please email the Barnet Allotment Federation: