September 2018 Allotment News

Rainbow over Scott Road allotments

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Bridgstock Cup Winner 2018

The winner of our fabulous cup for the best allotment in 2018 is Pat Mullins, Scott Road. Many congratulations to Pat and his grandson Ryan who helps out on the plot. Pat has done wonders to his plot and is also a trained Master Composter, making amazing compost and growing great crops. His nickname is “The Riddler”, but that is another story…

The Runner up is Norman Elson, on Margaret Road. Well done Norman.

The Best newcomer for 2018 is Sonia Wasowska, Northfield Avenue. Well done Sonia.

Many thanks also to the Cup Judges for all of their hard work.

Come and see the Pumpkin Show

  • Want to find out how to grow amazing vegetables with no digging, weeding or watering? 
  • Want to find out more about pumpkins?
  • Want a great evening’s entertainment?

Then come to the Pumpkin Show on Friday 28 September, 7:30 pm at All Saints Church, William Street, Kettering.

 

Break-ins at Scott Road

Bad news, unfortunately. Thieves broke into Scott Road field by cutting through a very strong hardened steel gate padlock, broke shed doors and stole strimmers  lawnmowers, cultivators and other tools. (Overnight on 21-22 August and again on 29-30 August). Please be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to your stewards. Report any crimes to the Police. Please take petrol powered tools home for security rather than leaving them in sheds. Please remove sledgehammers or similar tools that might be used to break open sheds. The link to report a crime online is below – quicker than calling 101

https://www.northants.police.uk/webform/online-crime-reporting

Still time for solarisation.

The most dangerous weeds are those with seeds. These weed seeds will germinate in future years and cause a lot of hard work, so many gardeners are reluctant to put weeds with seeds on their compost heaps. A similar problem occurs with those weeds that grow back from a small piece of root. WE DISCOURAGE BURNING WEEDS, so what can we do with them?

One answer is Solarisation – using Solar Power to kill the weeds and their seeds and make them safe to compost. Solarisation is simple but requires sunny warm weather. There is hopefully still some of this weather to come in September, especially if we have an “Indian Summer”.

How to use Solarisation to kill weeds – simply put the weeds in a thin layer on top of some cardboard and cover them with clear polythene (plastic). The plastic layer will trap the sun’s heat just like a greenhouse or a car on a sunny day. This heat will kill the weeds, their seeds and roots and make them safe to compost. You can also use large clear polythene bags to solarise weeds, just put the weeds in the bags, seal them up and leave them in the sun.

Data manager

We are delighted to announce that we have a new officer on the committee. Our Data Manager will help to maintain our records and ensure we remain compliant with the new data protection laws (GDPR). Our Data Manager is Ilona Bickle who is well versed in GDPR and has excellent IT skills to be able to manage our data. You may well be contacted by Ilona to check that our records are accurate and up to date. If your contact details have changed, please let us know using CONTACTon the main menu on this website, or use this link

http://www.ketteringallotments.co.uk/allotmentcontact.html

Thanks Rob!

Once again, our thanks go out to another member who has volunteered and helped our fields. Robert was able to fix one of the gates at Scott Road, so they open much more smoothly. Thanks again to all those members who help each other and do great service to our society. It is most appreciated.

Time to tidy your plot.

As Autumn draws near, it is a great time to tidy your plot. Crop residues and weeds can be composted and other recyclable waste taken home to your blue bin. Non recyclable items can be taken to your black bin. We discourage burning and bonfires – see our guidelines on this on our websitehttp://www.ketteringallotments.co.uk/bonfires.html

If each of us took a bag of rubbish home this month to bin, then our allotment fields will look much neater and tidier in the coming months. Take another look at your plot, are there any items that you really don’t need and should be binned? Please take them home and bin them!

Spot your plot?

Some of our members have taken photos from flying drones. You have a chance to see a bird’s eye view of our fields. See if you can spot your plot…

DCIM/100MEDIA/DJI_0051.JPGDCIM100MEDIADJI_0017.JPG

Finally, a sunset over Scott Road

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Vacancy for new service role

Vacancy – a service opportunity to be our first

Data Manager

The committee is seeking to appoint a data manager for our society. The appointment is initially until April 2019, thereafter the post is reappointed on an annual basis, in the same way as field stewards. There is a small annual allowance for expenses (£30) plus a rent-free plot.

For more information or to express and interest, please contact the secretary.

Full details and a job description are available on our website at the following page

http://www.ketteringallotments.co.uk/Datamanager.html

 

Allotment News August 2018

Is our data up to date?

We work hard to keep accurate records on our membership. If your contact details have changed, please let us know. We need to be kept up to date with any changes to your email, phone number, address etc. This will help our data compliance and allow us to keep you informed of our news.

Please see the following link for our data protection policy

http://www.ketteringallotments.co.uk/data.html

Phew what a summer!

After a very wet April we have had 9 or 10 weeks of dry weather and a heat wave. Many gardeners have found this weather “challenging” to their crops. Find out how one of our members has had great yields and bountiful harvests without watering! It’s all down to the Power of Mulch.  Read the blog post on mulch by using this link

 https://russellattwood.wordpress.com/the-power-of-mulch/

Vacant Plots at Scott Road

We have a few vacant plots at Scott Road. Some of our members there have retired from allotment gardening and given up their plots. If you know anyone who wants to start an allotment, please contact us.

Thanks Kev!

One of our former members, Kevin has generously donated a Terrex autospade to be sold for the Society’s fund. Sadly Kevin had to give up his allotment at Scott Road due to health problems. He offered the spring-loaded spade as a thank you to the Society. See next article for how to put in a bid.

Terrex Spade for sale

Offers invited for this Terrex “backsaver” autospade. The spring-loaded mechanism means digging is less of strain on your back. Price new is approximately £100, see this link

https://www.backsavergardentools.co.uk/product/autospade/

If you wish to make an offer, please contact us. The spade will be sold to whoever makes the highest sensible offer received by midnight of 14th August.

Thanks Malc! (and Tony)

Many thanks to Malcolm and Tony who constructed a new ramp to the secure container at Scott Road. This will be safer and make it a lot easier to wheel machinery in and out of the container.

Thanks Pat!

Thanks also to Pat, field steward at Scott Road who was able to source some IBCs a few weeks ago. These were all sold very quickly and we are still hoping to get some more in the near future. Pat has also been working hard to get sources of tree sheddings for Scott Road for mulching. Thanks again.

Thanks Robin!

One of our members, Robin has been helping his neighbour in recent weeks. The neighbour has been unwell and not able to tend the plot. Robin and a few others have helped out, harvested crops and taken them to the unwell neighbour. A heartwarming story of allotment community life.

Cup Judging

If you see people viewing your plot and holding clip boards, do not worry. Our prestigious Bridgstock Cup is awarded annually to the best-kept allotment. The judges are now touring the fields and making their assessments. They will inform the committee of their decision at its next meeting. For details about the history of the cup, see the link below.

http://www.ketteringallotments.co.uk/cup.html

July 2018 Allotment News

Starter plots available at Windmill Avenue

There are 3 small plots vacant at Windmill Avenue. They have been cleared of weeds and are ready for new members to cultivate. If you know anyone who wants a plot, please ask them to contact the Windmill Avenue steward George on 01536 518 097

Field Tour by the committee

Our committee’s annual tour of two fields takes place on Tuesday 10th July. Your committee members will be viewing the Northfield Avenue field first, followed by Scott Road. This is an opportunity for committee members to see other fields than their own. We all learn a lot and pick up ideas from each other.

IBCs sold out

Scott Road field were very fortunate to have a small batch of thousand litre IBC water tanks delivered. Many thanks to Pat Mullins, field steward who sourced them and arranged delivery. They were sold at cost and were all spoken for within 24 hours of delivery. We continue to look for more supplies of these valuable rainwater collection and storage tanks. See photo below

IBC

more IBCs wanted

One of our members on Margaret Road would very much like to purchase two IBC tanks for a reasonable price. We are appealing to Margaret Road members with the following questions:

  • Do you know where we can buy thousand litre IBCs and get them delivered to plots?
  • Do you have an IBC that you no longer need or use that you could sell? (if so at what price?)
  • Do you have any contacts who can buy, sell or transport water buts or IBCs?

Hosepipes always banned on Kettering Allotments

One of our rules (Rule 41) specifically states that hosepipe use is not permitted on our allotments. We have had reports of a member breaking this rule recently by using a pump and pipe to empty one of our mains water troughs. This is ingenious but not permitted and any further reports may lead to disciplinary action. Other members were upset as the trough was emptied and they could not fill watering cans. Our rents include the cost of water, but only in reasonable quantities; if the water bill rises our rents will go up next year.

Car Park improved at Scott Road

We have recently been able to extend the useful area of the main Scott Road car park. Previously this part was very uneven ground with a large dip, so not accessible to vehicles. It was also overgrown with brambles. We have levelled and cleared this area at no cost to the society. It means more vehicles can be parked, especially in winter when the ridings are closed and the lower part of the car park gets muddy. Photo below

car park

Rats controlled

The Pied Piper of Windmill Avenue (no connection to the nearby pub) has succeeded in controlling the rats on our allotments there. Many thanks to our steward George and the other members who helped. Of course, we are never very far from a rat, so continued vigilance is necessary. If you spot a rat or see evidence of rats or other vermin, please report it to your steward as soon as possible. Please also take suitable control and prevention measures in your sheds to make sure the rats do not return.

Easy gardening

Click on this link to see the easiest way to grow things on your allotment. No weeding! This method uses woven black weed control fabric (100gsm) with crops planted through holes cut in the fabric. The method also works with cardboard instead of fabric, but the cardboard needs a layer of mulch (eg grass cuttings, tree shreddings) on top to secure it.

Please close the gate at Margaret Road

We have had reports of members leaving the gates open at Margaret Road. It is really important that we close the gate on entry and exit. This is for our security and keeps our allotments safer. The committee has recently spent hundreds of pounds on improving security at Margaret Road, please do you bit by locking the gate. If you see anyone leaving the gate open or unlocked, please note the time, description and vehicle registration (take a photo with your smartphone) and contact us.

June 2018 Allotment News

Not much news (a good thing in June)

This time of year the weeds (and hopefully our crops) are growing rapidly and allotment gardeners are very busy. Perhaps it is a good thing that there is not too much to report, as we need as much time as possible to tend our plots.

Also, there is a lot of truth in the saying that “no news is good news”

Investment in Margaret Road

One piece of good news is that the committee has bought Heras panels to reinforce the fence at Margaret Road. This method has previously been successful at the Scott Road field. The idea is that in the medium to long term we can grow brambles in between the wires of these panels. The combination of metal fence and thorny bramble is very effective for security.

Therefore is your plot is on a fence boundary at Margaret Road, please allow brambles to grow through the fence and in between the metal mesh. Please do not cut any existing brambles that are on the boundary fence. This will help your security as well as everyone else’s. If you need any help or have any comments on this, please contact your field steward.

Field stewards appointed

Our constitution and committee structure is such that the field stewards are appointed by the committee every year. The names of the stewards for each field are listed below. Please contact your steward in the first instance if you have a query, suggestion, problem etc. You are always welcome to contact us directly (see contact us) if you have news or suggestions.

Margaret Road – Tony Munt, Sue Munt, Lee Farmer, Claire Wallis

Northfield Avenue – Harry Pope (there is a vacancy for a second steward)

Windmill Avenue – George White, Ilona Bickle

Scott Road – Chris Hulston, Pat Mullins, Russell Attwood

Slug Patrol

We have warm and wet weather and planted our young tender vegetables, so perfect condition for slugs. Do you have any advice or tips for slug control? Let us know your preferred method.

Rats at Windmill Avenue

We are aware that there was a rat problem at Windmill Avenue earlier in the Spring. Please accept our assurances that rigorous control measures are in place. Many rats have been caught and disposed of and extreme vigilance is being maintained to eliminate the problem altogether. Many thanks to the stewards and members at Windmill Avenue who have worked hard to solve this problem. If you spot a rat, please inform your steward. Please make sure that your plot does not have places for shelter or food that might encourage rats.

May 2018 Allotment News

Plant Tool Offer (35% off)

35% discount off normal book prices for members of Kettering Allotments Society. Simply print off this newsletter and mention Paul Archer to claim your discount of 35%

planttool

A family owned, local tool hire company, situated by the Tesco superstore on Orion way. We have 6 branches across the midlands that we can draw stock from

 This is the message from Plant Tool

Here is a small list of the equipment that we think could be of use to members.

·         Mid tine rotovators

·         9hp/13hp hydraulic rotovators

·         Chippers

·         Shredders

·         Scarifiers

·         Post hole borers (manual,1 man petrol, 1 man hydraulic)

·         Turf cutters,

·         Petrol mowers

·         Petrol hedge cutters (inc long reach)

·         Garden rollers

·         Weed dragon flame guns,

·         Various sized diggers, dumpers and rollers

 We have an excellent Web site www.hirecentres.com where you can view all our current hire equipment

 

Please feel free to contact us on the telephone number below or call in (we will put the kettle on). We look forward to hearing from you. Kind Regards, Paul Archer, Assistant Manager, Kettering Depot, Telephone 01536 411212

Improving Security

Unfortunately there was a break-in at Scott Road allotments last month. Several sheds were opened and a rotorvator was stolen. The incident was reported to the Police (dial 101) and a crime number obtained. Members have since been working hard to improve security. The place where the intruders entered has been secured, other gaps in our fence have been closed and a tree surgeon was able to trim some of the very tall hedge hawthorns. Thanks to all the members who helped out, particularly on a very wet Saturday morning (see photos below). The hawthorns will grow back thicker and thornier to block gaps and the prunings have been used as extra deterrent.

Mayday May Day – time to Spring into Action

The Bank Holiday weekend is around the corner and hopefully there will be some spring weather. Best wishes to all members as the planting season gets into full swing and we spring into action.

Questions or suggestions for the committee

The next committee meeting is soon. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please let us know. Either contact us from this website or speak to your field steward. We are a democratic society and want to hear your views.

News from the Police

Off-Road Motorcycle rider arrested and put before Court

Off-Road Motorcyclist arrested and put before the Court for disqualified driving and other driving related offences.  Suspect stopped near to COOK’S SPINNEY, KETTERING using a unlicensed off-road motorcycle.

Community intelligence is vital when dealing with motorcycle nuisance. If we don’t know, we can’t act.  Please call 101. Thank you.

Message Sent By
Ivan Bentley (Police, Neighbourhood Officer, Corby & Kettering)

April 2018 – Allotment News

“Snow joke!” – winter refuses to go away…

snow

The month of March is supposed to be “in like a lion, out like a lamb”. This year the Spring season has been late in arriving. Allotment gardeners are waiting for a bit of spring so they can plant their potatoes and other early crops. Let’s hope they can soon spring into action…

The Pumpkin Show returns

Your chance to learn about how to grow veg without digging, weeding or watering.

Come and see the amazing talk on lasagna gardening and pumpkins on Wednesday 11th April at 7:30pm at Barton Seagrave Village Hall NN15 6WF

Entrance £4

This is your chance to see how cardboard and grass cuttings can transform a wild overgrown allotment into a beautiful pumpkin patch. The talk is given by Russell Attwood, your secretary and is guaranteed to educate and entertain you.

A successful AGM

Our 100th AGM was held on 14th March and was a success. Thanks to everyone who attended and heard the annual financial report and discussed our society’s work and progress. Hear’s looking forward to the next 100 years.

New rule for 2019 rents

Our annual rents and membership subscription are due on 1st January every year. Most members pay promptly and this helps the smooth running of the society. Many thanks.

A few members have not paid rent promptly; this causes a disproportionate amount of work for our treasurer and field stewards. Our new rule gives a strong incentive to pay promptly. The new rule is

If rent has not been paid by the 1st February and a member wishes to continue the tenancy, then a non-refundable advance payment will be required of a further year’s rent”

The new rule was voted on and adopted by members at the AGM on 14th March. It has been added to our rule list on our website – it is rule 11B.

Don’t stone the crows, collect your pebbles

stones

Many thanks to this member who placed these stones in a pothole/puddle on the track at Scott Road. Your hard work and community spirit is much appreciated. 

Fabulous leaf compost piled up at Scott Road car park

The Society arranged for KBC tractors to heap up the tree leaves and shreddings that had been given to us last Autumn. They were spread all over the car park and the area needed clearing. We now have a fabulous pile of beautiful compost that is “help-yourself”. many members have been collecting this by the barrow load to use as mulch and compost on their plots. Everyone agrees that it is really good stuff.

leafcompost