September 2021 Allotment News

Bridgstock Cup Winner and other Awards

The committee appointed judges representing all of our 4 sites to decide who is awarded the Bridgstock Cup. They also award best newcomers prizes. This year the Cup is awarded to Russell Attwood, Scott Road. Best newcomers are Gosha, plot 12 Margaret Road and also Sarah and Dale Dexter, plot 87 Scott Road. Highly commended awarded to Maria Chagas plot 6 Margaret Road. Commendation awarded to Rob McIntyre, plot 88 Scott Road who has helped Sarah and Dale clear a huge amount of rubbish and create a new plot. Many thanks to the judging team for all of their hard work.

Site Safety reminder- please note carefully the list of prohibitions

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Accidents and near-misses

As part of our continuing commitment to improve safety on our allotments, we do want to know of any accidents or near-misses you have witnessed or experienced. Near-Misses are particularly valuable, as fortunately nobody was hurt but we can all learn how to improve and prevent future accidents. Please contact us if you know of any.

Discounts 

See the discounts page at

https://russellattwood.wordpress.com/discounts/

Question of the month – to raise or sink your bed?

Many members are building raised beds on their plots.

These constructions have been made popular by TV gardening make-over programmes, but are they a good idea? More on this, including the Goldilocks Challenge on our website.

Are you able to take the Goldilocks Challenge?

(comparing a raised bed, a sunken bed or staying level-bedded)

(equal opportunity note – you can try this challenge whatever colour your hair is, no need for golden locks)

The challenge: Carry out an experiment to find out which beds work best on your plot. Create 3 equal beds, one raised, one sunken and one level. Grow identical crops in each and treat them the same (eg feeding, weeding, watering) and measure your crop. Like Goldilocks and her porridge, you will find out which bed system is just right (for your plot).

News from NSALG (National Allotments Society)

https://online.flipbuilder.com/cwao/ofeu/

News from London Road Garden Shop

2022 seed potato catalogue launched, see it here

http://www.ketteringallotments.co.uk/CATALOGUE2022.pdf

Robot weeders – I want one!

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/14/weedkilling-robots-farming-pesticide-use-sustainable

Blackberry Picking by Seamus Heaney

One of my favourite poems. So beautiful, it encapsulates blackberry picking so perfectly and has many layers of deeper meanings… watch and listen to Seamus Heaney himself reading it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhBK5_zLwJY

News about looking after our soil to reduce global warming/climate change.

Soil Management a key part of reducing global warming, 

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/sep/10/soil-our-best-shot-at-cooling-the-planet-might-be-right-under-our-feet

https://www.soilassociation.org/causes-campaigns/save-our-soil/five-ways-you-can-save-our-soils-at-home/

https://www.soilfoodweb.com

Another tip to look after your soil – don’t leave it bare over winter..

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/aug/21/tip-for-gardeners-dont-let-soil-lie-bare-in-winter

Composting in the News

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-58261972

August 2021 Allotment News

Cup Judging

We understand that the cup judges have made their decisions and will be reporting to the committee at its August meeting. A full announcement of the results will be made once the committee has ratified this adjudication.

Well done!

One of our members discovered a well on her plot. This was unexpected and could have been a serious hazard. Quite rightly, she consulted the committee who are working with her to take steps to make it safe. 

Please let us know if you find any unexpected hazards on your plot.

Stay safe on allotments

Stay safe, and risk assess. Being safe is no accident. Remember that “common sense” is not very common at all. Perhaps it should be called extremely rare sense? The committee is committed to keeping our allotments as safe as possible. That is why we have a safety policy and recommend all members read and follow its guidelines. See the policy on our website

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

Or maybe study the hazards checklist and suggest any improvements…..

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

Contact us if you have any comments on safety or our other policies.

Field Tour by the committee

The committee were able to tour Margaret Road and Windmill Avenue fields on 20 July. They were very pleased with the progress being made and recent improvements at Margaret Road. Windmill Avenue continues to be a successful and beautiful part of the landscape. Well done to all the members and stewards of these two fields who have been working hard on their plots.

Margaret Road teamwork to clear verges and weeds

On Saturday 10th July a team of stewards and helpers used strimmer and scythe to clear some of the overgrown verges and weeds. Many thanks to all who helped and to Peter for organising. Peter is considering whether to do more sessions soon, so if you are interested in helping please email him on peter.new2@btinternet.com

Peter with his compost

Facebook goes from strength to strength. – new members are joining, competitions, advice and ideas.  Find us on Facebook as Kettering Allotment Society. We are trying to keep things positive, so if you have something negative to report, please contact your steward privately. Stewards will deal with these things discretely rather than putting news of them on Facebook.

Welcome Gosha

Gosha has joined the stewards team at Margaret Road. She is now the steward for the second riding.  To contact Gosha, please email margola82@wp.pl

Buying Straw

More members are using mulch to suppress weeds and conserve water. One source of bulk straw is Lisa Middleton. She supplies large and small bales of straw and hay, delivered to your plot. There is a minimum delivery order of £55, so it is probably best if a few members organise a delivery between them. To contact Lisa Middleton, text her on 07923 471 513 If you know of any other suppliers of straw, please let us know.

Please avoid smoky fires

We have had a few instances of smoky bonfires  recently. Allotment members have had their precious gardening time spoiled by breathing smoke and the air has been polluted. Please don’t burn green waste and try to avoid smoky fires. The question many members ask is “What shall I do with these weeds?”

What can I do with these pulled-out weeds?

Turn the weeds into compost, either in a compost bin or covering them with cardboard, see photos below

Use the pulled-out weeds as mulch on top of cardboard. They will soon shrivel up at this time of year and rot. See photos below…

Give the weeds to some chickens, they will love scratching around looking for worms and insects and turn them into eggs and manure

Put “difficult” weeds in your green waste bin at home. Some weeds may grow back, so best to remove and the green waste bin at home is ideal.

Take the weeds to the recycling depot (council “tip”) 

Woody waste, eg blackberry branches may be burned when dry, but is quite useful if put into any gaps in the boundary hedges. Their thorns will help improve our security.

pulled-out weeds placed on top of card. they soon shrivel and die in the summer

Cardboard is the cheapest weedkiller

Some members have been using cardboard to kill the weeds on their plots

Cardboard placed directly on top of weeds. It needs something to secure it
pallets have secured the card. Note the weeds in the patch beyond still thriving!

Turning food waste into compost – amazing device (but a bit pricey…)

https://www.t3.com/news/im-shrinking-my-food-waste-into-compost-with-sage-foodcycler-and-it-is-weirdly-satisfying

IBC water tanks (1000 litres) available for £45 delivered to your plot

Contact Roy Edmunds, phone Roy on 07515 915 197

The cost is great value for money – only £45

IBCs – for £45 including delivery phone Roy on 07515 915 197

or email Roy at windermere.logs@gmail.com

https://www.windermere-logs.co.uk/

July 2021 Allotment News

Cup Judging Month- enter now!

The month of July is when the cup judges appointed by the committee observe and deliberate. They are judging the annual award of the Bridgstock Cup.

See http://www.ketteringallotments.co.uk/cup.html  for details of the cup’s history. 

Enter now, by contacting your steward or phoning 01536 723682  or email kettcivic@gmail.com

You need to include your plot number and name when you enter.

The criteria we look for are: your plot must be numbered,  you must have followed our rules, a neat and tidy weed-free plot, a variety of produce, vegetables, soft fruit, flowers, evidence of composting, collection of rain water for irrigation and general good gardening practices. 

Great news from KTC – thanks Des, Emily and James

Good news for Scott Road! A piece of land owned by the Council next to our site is going to be cleared and made safe to create new allotments. This will help us in three ways;- the additional plots will help clear our waiting lists, the site is currently not safe with many hazardous items on it and the site is not as secure as our other boundaries, so once it is made safe we can improve security.

Our thanks go to Councillors at Kettering Town Council, including Des Dell, James Towns, Emily Fedorowycz and Keli Watts who have all supported our requests for something to be done about this land.  

Des and James visited the site to view the condition of the land on 25 May and Keli Watts visited last summer when she was Mayor of Kettering. See the photo below of Des, Emily, James and other Councillors…

Councillors Des, Emily and James

More news from the Council

Our new Town Council held a meeting to hear reports from community groups on May 27th. We were privileged to be allowed to speak. Our secretary was able to inform the Council that allotments in the town are thriving and we value their support. Our comments were listened to respectfully.

IBC water tanks (1000 litres) available for £45 delivered to your plot

Contact Roy Edmunds, phone Roy on 07515 915 197

The cost is great value for money – only £45

IBCs – for £45 including delivery phone Roy on 07515 915 197

or email Roy at windermere.logs@gmail.com

https://www.windermere-logs.co.uk/

Committee Field Tour 

Once a year the committee tours some of our sites instead of holding a formal committee meeting. This year we are touring Margaret Road and Windmill Avenue on 20 July. The annual tour is always informative and informal, but not part of the cup judging process.

Asbestos removal from Margaret Road

The committee has arranged for a specialist company to remove hazardous asbestos that has been found at Margaret Road. This will make our field much safer.

Recycling Weeds

Most allotment members turn their weeds into compost.  But what if you have pulled out the more “challenging” weeds like couch grass that often keeps on growing in the compost bin? What if you have just taken on a very weedy plot and there are so many weeds and not enough composting bins? 

Members at Scott Road have found an ingenious solution to recycle these weeds and turn them into eggs. The weeds are given to Stephen (who has a large tonne bag outside his plot) who gives them to his chickens. The weeds soon disappear and get turned into chicken manure and eggs. The hens love scratching around in the weeds looking for worms, insects etc so are happy girls.

So, if you have a lot of weeds and don’t know what to do with them, try donating them to some nearby hens (first get permission from the hen-keeper)

News stories from the media

Gardening good for your health – official

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/jun/13/james-wong-on-gardens-gardening-is-good-for-mental-and-physical-health

Rainwater better than mains – do your bit for the environment and collect free rain

see the article below…

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9639871/Gardeners-urged-make-switch-mains-rains-save-water.html

June 2021 Allotment News

Advance notice of road closure next Saturday – Scott Road

Scott Road will be  closed to vehicles on Saturday 5 June all day. This is to allow BT to install infrastructure for the new houses being built. Pedestrian access will remain.

Please mow the ridings

Now we have ended no-mow May, please mow or strim the grass paths and ridings adjacent to your plot. This time of year the grass is growing well. Please remember to keep the grass mown near your plot. (see rule 34 of our RULES)

Great source of IBC water tanks (thousand litres) delivered to your plot

The cost is great value for money – only £45

Contact Roy Edmunds 

IBCs – for £45 including delivery phone Roy on 07515 915 197

or email Roy at windermere.logs@gmail.com

https://www.windermere-logs.co.uk/

Fox’s Pallets also sell water barrels, IBCs and other useful allotment items. 

01536 515000

Email sales@foxspallets.com

location= A14 roundabout, Rothwell Rd, Kettering NN16 8XF

News from the committee

Disciplinary policy reviewed and updated. The committee has reviewed and updated our disciplinary policy. This can be found on our website

News from National Allotments Society

https://online.flipbuilder.com/cwao/lpnd/

Kind words from a new tenant received by text 

It’s great to have good news to report. This text was received by a steward from a new member…

“Good afternoon, trust the family is well. We are very grateful for the allotment. We are loving our plot with special thanks to Patrick who is very pleasant and helpful. Kindly help us to say a big thank you to him. He has been very helpful in every way. We are mainly there Sunday afternoons and Mondays, our day off and hope to see you there one of these days.”

Facebook competitions and more

Our Facebook group goes from strength to strength and there are now some fun competitions with great prizes. Look for Kettering Allotments on Facebook

Your Questions Answered…

We always welcome feedback and questions. Recently a member queried why we are discouraging tyres on plots. The following link to an article explains why tyres are considered toxic waste and should not be used on gardens.

https://brightonpermaculture.org.uk/permaculture-resources/growing-food-in-tyres/?fbclid=IwAR21XRAv6BVDMbF0BItW52KpV7UWUBZOQhV5UixH1RjogRUViWkldbLlr0Q

The facts about tyres

Tyres are extremely durable. During manufacture, natural rubber is combined with synthetic rubber and treated with a cocktail of chemicals, some toxic or known carcinogens, others more innocuous, to make the tyre withstand all the forces that will act upon it on the road.

Each of these forces works in a different way on the tyre, but over time collude to break it back down into its constituent parts.

During this process, the various chemicals and compounds are slowly released through off-gassing, particulate matter or ‘tyre dust’, or as chemicals, leaching out into water.

Tyres and toxins

Most off-gassing occurs within the first year, for example, that ‘new carpet smell’, and given that tyres typically are 3 to 5 years old before being discarded, this would not really seem to be an issue.

What should be of greater concern to growers, is the gradual erosion through water and sunlight, and any leachate of chemicals and toxins that may occur to contaminate the surrounding the soil and anything grown in it.

The point is that if there is a source of pollution, then the important thing is to remove the risk by eliminating any pathway from it.

In this case, placing potatoes and soil in a tyre and then watering it is not eliminating the pathway; it is exacerbating it by joining the dots so that toxins can flow freely from the tyres into plants and then build up in the food.

Remember discounts are available for you

Discounts at B&Q and  Screwfix

Thanks to Guv, our members can apply for discounts at ScrewFix and B&Q 

Email Guv at .info@purchasingfor business.co.uk  You will need to provide name, address and email to get the discounts

See Guv’s message below:

I can provide all your allotment members exclusive access to a 10% discount at B&Q & 5% discount at Screwfix. They can email me and state you are from Kettering Allotments info@purchasingforbusiness.co.uk  

https://www.purchasingforbusiness.co.uk/contact-us/ and request the discounts and reference your membership for Kettering Allotments. To sign them up for the discounts we would need there name, address, phone and email and we can then set up there discounts

Discounts at Hevey

Hevey are still offering discount for our members. Please ask for your Kettering Allotment discount  when purchasing there.

GB Plastics

We have been informed of another discount for allotment members. This time it is GB plastics on the Telford Way industrial park in Kettering, details below. You will nee to identify yourself as a member of Kettering Allotments Society to get the discount. Show your key fob or allotment key.

May 2021 Allotment News

IBCs to purchase (delivered to your plot)

We have found a good source of thousand litre water tanks (known as IBCs) delivered to your plot for a fair price of £45. Please contact Roy on the number below.

IBCs – for £45 including delivery phone Roy on 07515 915 197

or email Roy at windermere.logs@gmail.com

IBC

Facebook Group

The Scott Road site has had an active Facebook Group for a while now. The committee has agreed that this can be opened up to members from our other sites. Please check out Facebook and search for Kettering Allotment Society to join.

New notice boards ordered

For those of us who are not on Facebook, the committee has agreed to invest in new notice boards for all of our 4 fields. These are being ordered and will help inform members of news and announcements in the traditional way. 

Another discount

We have been informed of another discount for allotment members. This time it is GB plastics on the Telford Way industrial park in Kettering, details below. You will nee to identify yourself as a member of Kettering Allotments Society to get the discount. Show your key fob or allotment key.

Remember there are also discount schemes for B&Q, Screwfix and Hevey– see the April newsletter for details.

GB plastics – Unit 8 Baron Avenue, telford way NN16 8UW 01536 484 824, email =kettering@gbplastics.com

Skips away

We have recently had skips at the Windmill Avenue and Margaret Road sites. This has helped clear the non-recyclable rubbish that had accumulated. Skips are costly, so the committee discussed the issue at its recent ZOOM meeting. We aim to reduce the need for skips in the future by adopting a better waste management policy and being more considerate to the planet we live on.

skip

New policy on waste

The committee has therefore adopted a new policy on waste management. This formalises our current practice and is not revolutionary. The reason for the new policy is to clarify one or two points that were not written down and may have caused some misunderstandings. The policy has been published on our website and is copied below, at the end of this newsletter. Please let us know if you have any comments or questions about waste on allotments.

Plastic waste in the news…

click on the link to read about the problems of plastic waste. Let’s minimise the waste where possible.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/plastic-rain-acid-rain-hidden-132154198.html

or watch the expert, Charles Dowding on YouTube

Clive is our Chairman

Clive Thorley has been re-elected as the committee Chairman for the next 12 months. Many thanks to Clive for his continued service and diplomacy.

IMG_0223

No-dig veg plots on TV – the BBC programme Beechgrove

click on the link to see this on the BBC iplayer. There is no need to dig

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000v1v6/beechgrove-2021-episode-2

AGM

There is still no date. The committee is keeping a watching brief on when it will be safe to hold an AGM. Meanwhile, if you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Rat control

We remain vigilant to control vermin, including rats, on allotment land. This time of year the rats may be breeding, so continued vigilance and control measures are especially important. Thank you to everyone who is doing this. See below the news story about rats and COVID. 

https://uk.yahoo.com/news/rats-could-fuel-next-coronavirus-164422163.html

And finally..

A much more positive story in the news…

https://news.sky.com/story/gardening-regularly-improves-mental-and-physical-wellbeing-rhs-study-shows-12287363

April 2021 Allotment News

AGM and annual accounts summary

The 2021 AGM has been postponed until it is safe to hold a physical meeting. However, our accounts for the year 2020 have been audited and the treasurer presented these to the committee using ZOOM during the March Zoom committee meeting. The treasurer has prepared a statement to summarise our financial position click here to see this statement.

Discounts at B&Q and  Screwfix

Thanks to Guv, our members can apply for discounts at ScrewFix and B&Q 

Email Guv at .info@purchasingfor business.co.uk  You will need to provide name, address and email to get the discounts

See Guv’s message below:

I can provide all your allotment members exclusive access to a 10% discount at B&Q & 5% discount at Screwfix. They can email me and state you are from Kettering Allotments info@purchasingforbusiness.co.uk  

https://www.purchasingforbusiness.co.uk/contact-us/ and request the discounts and reference your membership for Kettering Allotments. To sign them up for the discounts we would need there name, address, phone and email and we can then set up there discounts

Discounts at Hevey

Hevey are still offering discount for our members. Please ask for your Kettering Allotment discount  when purchasing there.

Scott Road housebuilding and new road

IMG_0198IMG_0197

The house building at the entrance to Scott Road is proceeding at a good pace. Many thanks to all those at Jeakins Weir for their considerate approach. Thanks also to our members who have shown patience when the entrance has been blocked or muddy due to the heavy vehicles working on the site. The new road will soon be tarmac and then the current track will be taken up ready for houses to be built. That means that at some stage in the near future we shall be using the new road to access our allotments. Arrangements are being made to reuse or replace the gate. Your patience and understanding are appreciated and we continue to support the provision of new social housing in the town.

Margaret Road improvements

Many thanks to our new team of stewards. A new car parking area has been cleared. Stewards are making arrangements to level it and add gravel etc in the near future. Scrap metal is being collected in a central point ready for collection and recycling. Other rubbish is being collected ready for a skip. Please talk to your stewards if you are able to help out or need advice. Please do your bit by removing any rubbish from your own plot and taking home to bin it (or to the tip/recycling depot). If we all took a bag of rubbish home there will be less need for skips (which are expensive). See below for the contact details of the stewards:

Northfield Avenue – Harry Pope  07518 265286 

Windmill Avenue – George White 01536 518097

Margaret Road

John Negus 01536 420 381 email johnnegus@talktalk.net

Rachel Moulton 07429 138 114 email:  rachelmoulton@btinternet.com

John Roberts 07525 474 302 email: john.roberts999@googlemail.com

Peter New ‭07857 854377        email peter.new2@btinternet.com

Goodbye KBC

The new Council will take over this month. The North Northamptonshire Council (Unitary Authority) replaces the County Council as well at Kettering, Wellingborough, Corby and East Northants. There will be a Town Council for Kettering town only. We look forward to working with the new Council and say thanks and goodbye to KBC, our previous landlord for many years.

Waiting lists moving

Since the lockdown restrictions have been eased slightly, our stewards have been cautiously and safely meeting new tenants and letting those plots vacated over the winter. The waiting lists have moved a bit, but many people are still waiting for plots.

Are you struggling?

If you are finding your own allotment a bit too much and would like to consider reducing your plot size, then please contact us or your field steward. We are always happy to consider plot reductions to help get those on the waiting list a chance.

March 2021 Allotment News

AGM 2021

The 103rd AGM postponed 

Covid lockdown restrictions mean the 103rd Annual General Meeting has been postponed. No date has been set yet, but as soon as it is safe the committee will arrange the AGM. Meanwhile our accounts have been audited and will be available soon. Another important function of the AGM is to listen to our members. We are always happy to receive your views online, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Latest News Magazine from National Allotments – click on the link below

https://online.flipbuilder.com/cwao/dlkt/

Lockdown news – some plots ready to re-let to patient people on waiting lists as soon as it is safe

Lockdown has meant that we have had to pause re-letting vacant plots to new members. As soon as it is safe and allowed, we shall re-let these plots. The waiting lists continue to grow longer, so thank you for your patience if you are still waiting. 

Gate repaired

Many thanks to Darren for repairing one of the gates at Scott Road that was getting frozen in the cold weather.

Floods at Margaret Road

the heavy rain has caused serious floods at Margaret Road. Many plots were knee-deep in water. Hopefully the recent drier spell has allowed some plots to be worked. 

Paying respects to Don (“Snowy”) 

The funeral of Don was on 11th February. The cortege stopped in Margaret Road and some members were able to pay their respects to his coffin 

Terrible news from Whiteford Drive (not in our society)

https://www.northantstelegraph.co.uk/news/crime/devastation-after-suspected-revenge-arson-attack-at-kettering-allotments-3145652

Advice section

Mulch now while the soil is still wet

See youtube film below

And 

We have had wet winter, as mentioned earlier in the news about flooded plots. If we then get a dry spell, all will be well for a little while but then we may wish for a bit of rain for our crops. Unfortunately our weather seems to be either deluges or droughts. One way of coping with such extremes is to mulch with thick layer on the soil. The mulch prevents soils drying out in droughts and conserves water from the winter long into the summer months. Crops may never need watering is there is a thick mulch around them. Suggested mulches include:

Cardboard (needs covering  with other layers listed below)

Manure

Compost

Shreddings

Straw

Tree leaves or leaf-mould

More news from National Allotments

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National Allotments Week 2021 – 9 August till 15 August. Our theme in 2021 is Plotting for the Future; we will be celebrating  the contribution that allotments make to a sustainable future. Look out for more news in the next magazine and on the website.
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Picturesque Plots


Many thanks to Tim Bennett of Overstrand in Norfolk for this beautiful image of a snowy plot.
If you took a snap of your plot in the snow or frost send them in to diane@nsalg.org.uk  by 24 February and we can make a gallery in the next issue of the magazine; when all the cold weather will be a distant memory!
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The My Harvest research project is on-going this year and the team would love to hear from new gardeners who would like to take part and measure their 2021 harvest. The evidence collected will be key to providing the vital evidence base to support the use of land for growing spaces within our cities and towns, at a time when people are becoming increasingly interested in growing their own fruit and vegetables.
Compost Survey
Composting is an important part of waste management, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and the need for bonfires on the allotment. We would like to increase our understanding of the number of members who compost and the method they use and have put together a short survey. CLICK HERE to complete
We are also hoping to start Composting Training sessions at Stokes Wood Allotment Composting Demonstration site in Leicester as soon as the lockdown restrictions permit.  We are  planning to introduce a basic session for those new to composting or wishing to develop their basic skills and more specialised sessions on Hot Composting, Bokashi composting, making plant and compost teas, vermiculture and allotment community composting.
Those completing the relevant session would receive an Allotment Compost Mentor Certificate. The sessions would include practical activities  on the demonstration site with lunch and refreshments being provided. In addition, we are hoping  to produce an on-line or distance learning version that might include an optional practical session on site.
Watch Your Back campaign returns
The sun protection campaign returns in 2021 and we are looking to create some resources and advice specifically for allotment holders.
Do you have a story to tell? A member contacted us recently about an allotment acquired wound on his head that did not heal and turned out to be skin cancer – caused by twenty five years of too much sun and too little hair. He was keen that we reinforce the need for sun protection whilst gardening and curious to know about protective headwear members could suggest – he has resorted to a re-inforced baseball cap! contact diane@nsalg.org.uk
Kings Seeds, Covid -19 
The Kings team are still on track to have all orders that have been received up to the end of January despatched by the end of Feb- despite the snow! However, most of their office staff have tested positive for covid 19 and now working from home, so please try not to chase your orders.
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We are Proud of our Members
The NAS took the opportunity to thank all those members who give their time and skills to supporting the allotment movement. We realise that there are many hundreds of you and you can read about the actions of just a few in this edition of the Hyphen magazine.
COVID19 Update   We have updated our guidance on the NAS website to cover safe use of allotments during the latest lockdown. To view CLICK HERE
Gardening on your allotment is a legitimate form of exercise during the pandemic/lockdown and they can be used safely if we all follow hygiene and social distancing advice.

February 2021 Allotment News

Rest in Peace Don Thurland 1927-2021

We are sorry to announce the death of Don Thurland on 12th January. Don was one of our long-standing members, renting plot 45 on Margaret Road. His nickname was Snowy to those who knew him. He was born on 24 March 1927 and was nearly 94 when he died.  He is survived by his wife Pam who will continue cultivating the plot. The funeral is on 11th February and the procession and hearse will stop at the gates of Margaret Road allotments at 13:50 for his allotment friends and neighbours to pay their respects in a safe and socially distanced way.

Thanks Hevey

https://www.hevey.co.uk/our-branches/kettering

Thanks again to Stuart and Hevey Timber for the free wood, delivered to Scott Road. Very useful for our allotments. Remember to mention you are a member of Kettering Allotments when you shop at Hevey for a discount.

Lockdown restrictions pause new lettings

We would normally re-let vacant plots at this time of year to those on our waiting lists. Some plots become vacant when previous members give up at the end of the year. We do want to re-let these plots as soon as it is safe, but the lockdown rules and risk of infection have caused us to pause the process. To those on the waiting lists, thank you for your patience.

Seed Potatoes in stock at Garden Shop, London Road

A wide range of varieties in stock now. Selling quickly, so be sure to get yours before stock runs out. 

Online seed companies reporting delays to orders. Covid restrictions, staff shortages because of isolating and unprecedented demand means some seed companies are reporting significant delays in processing orders. See this message from Kings Seeds

Unfortunately, due to an unusually high volume of orders, coupled with COVID-19 restrictions and a significant number of staff isolating and the need for social distancing in our warehouse we have temporarily suspended ordering via our website and Phone lines.  We hope to re-open the website and phones very soon.If you already have placed an order, we are still trying to complete existing orders and are currently fulfilling orders  in 14-21 working days of receipt. We apologise for the delay

AGM 

Our AGM is an important part of our society and its democracy and legal status.

The AGM is normally in March. It may well be another casualty of the virus pandemic. The committee will meet on ZOOM in mid February to make a final decision. Some possibilities are 

  1. Delay until the pandemic is over and it is safe to meet

2. Hold a virtual AGM on ZOOM or similar

3. A combination of the above, with a virtual AGM in March to cover legal technicalities and a follow-up meeting once it is safe.

Respect the no vehicles signs

There have been reports of vehicles using the grass ridings at Margaret Road in winter. This will ruin the track, so please respect the sign and obey the rules (rules 20 and 21)

Petition HM Government

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/564572?fbclid=IwAR1B-zjX9VhRGZBhoUfo21EG3_6mXeDdefwoFCscoGOfInNbf1OSgEfePeQ

There is a petition to urge the government to provide more allotments. You may wish to consider signing it?

January 2021 Allotment News

Rents due now – thanks for paying promptly 

2021 rents are due on 1st January. Many thanks to all those who have paid already. See this link for how to pay. The best way to pay is online banking. If you wish to pay cash at HSBC Kettering branch, please ask for a pre-printed paying in slip at the counter. Always remember to include your field, plot number and name as a reference. If we do not know these details then our records may show you have not paid.  If you do not pay your rent you will lose your tenancy and the plot will be re-let to someone on the waiting list. If you have any queries about rents, please contact the treasurer on 07745 363 236

  • Contact the treasurer if you have any questions 07745 363 236

Waiting lists were moving

Since lockdown our waiting lists have grown much longer. In recent weeks we have been able to shorten them and welcome new members to our society after clearing rubbish from vacated plots. Some of our previous members have given up at the end of the year or were evicted for non-cultivation of their plots. Our new policy has also helped as new members will only rent smaller 5 pole plots. This means that when a large 10 plot plot becomes vacant we can allocate 2 new people from the waiting list a small plot each.

Waiting lists paused in Tier 4

Current Tier 4 Covid restrictions mean we are not able to meet new tenants, so allocating plots to them will be delayed until restrictions are eased and it is safe to do so.

Deposit Policy for new tenants

The committee has agreed to charge a £25 deposit for new tenants from now on. This money will be kept in a deposit bank account. Deposits will be returned when the tenant leaves or is evicted as long as the plot is vacated with no rubbish. Recently we have paid for several skips.

What counts as rubbish? Some examples of unacceptable rubbish recently removed from vacant plots include: – carpet, large numbers of bricks, old doors, PVC windows, window glass (some broken), toilet pan, plastic items, beer cans, 

What can I leave on a plot when vacating? (and not lose my deposit)

Any shed that is structurally sound, a few slabs (eg a single path), a few bricks (no more than 20 per plot, intact tools, a few pallets or compost bins (no more than 6 pallets). 

Preparing for the AGM

Our AGM is traditionally in March. With current restrictions a physical AGM may not be possible. No final decision has been made, as the situation keeps changing. The committee is considering alternatives to a physical meeting, for example using ZOOM or similar technology to hold and online AGM. 

We do need an AGM to approve the audited accounts, to vote for officers and committee members and to approve new rules etc. Please let us know what you think.

New shed size limit and no more concrete, glass or uPVC

Another new policy agreed by the committee is to limit any new shed to a maximum size of 10 by 8 feet and to ban concrete bases or concreting in of posts along with new hard standings for car parking on plots. Only a few slabs are permitted, so please check with your field stewards before bringing slabs to your plot. Any further uPVC windows and glass are also banned.These restrictions will be proposed to the AGM as a new rule.

Floods on Margaret Road

Once again, very heavy rain has lead to flooding at Margaret Road, as it is located in the valley of the river Ise. Floods were also experienced at Geddington and Warkton on the same river. 

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Respect the signs

Please respect the “NO VEHICLES IN WINTER” signs on some of our ridings and tracks. Heavy rain and soft ground do not mix with vehicle traffic and the tracks will be ruined. As soon as the ground dries out the ridings will be re-opened by stewards.

IMG_0192

Scott Road house building

The land near the gate leading to the track for Scott Road is scheduled for new council houses. We believe that construction work will start early in 2021. The contractor has already met with our chairman and we have established lines of communication. Take care near the construction site and observe all signs and safety measures.

Northfield Avenue electricity cabling

Western Power (the electricity grid) are installing new cables under the railway line and connecting to the existing cables at Northfield Avenue. They are keeping us informed of all developments. Be aware that these cables carry thousands of Volts so keep your distance and observe all safety signs and warnings.

Keep Hens and other poultry indoors – bird flu – Government rules – now law

 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55201167

Hens, turkeys and other captive birds in Britain will have to be kept indoors from 14 December to prevent the spread of bird flu, the government has said.

The chief vets for England, Scotland and Wales made the decision after a number of cases were detected among both captive and wild birds.

“Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, from 14 December onwards you will be legally required to keep your birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds,” read the statement.

“We have not taken this decision lightly but it is the best way to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.”

A good time to order seeds

We recommend Kings Sings, Real Seeds and the London Road Garden Shop

Allotments in the News

https://theconversation.com/allotments-have-been-disappearing-from-cities-heres-why-they-are-ripe-for-a-comeback-147871

December 2020 Allotment News

It’s Official – allotments are good for you

See the newspaper article below…

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/nov/08/its-official-allotments-are-good-for-you-and-for-your-mental-health

2021 Rents due soon – click this link for how to pay.

Our annual rents are due on 1st January. Please see the link above for how to pay. The easiest way to pay is online banking. Typical rents for 2021 are £32 for a large 10 pole plot and £17 for a 5 pole plot. If you are not sure how much to pay, contact the Treasurer on  07745 363 236

Treasurer’s email = allotment.moneyman@gmail.com or phone  07745 363 236

Margaret Road stewards

Recently we announced the retirement of Sue and Tony Munt after many years of service on our committee. Many thanks to Sue and Tony.

For Margaret Road members, the first point of contact is your steward. Each ride has a steward and we are appointing new stewards. Many thanks for the kind offers and the hard work of the stewards listed below:

For the first ride, (closest to the street) (Margaret Road) your steward is Rachel Moulton 07429 138 114 email rachelmoulton@btinternet.com

For the second and third rides, please contact John Negus on 01536 420 381 email johnnegus@talktalk.net

For the bottom ride please contact John Roberts on 01536 391153 email john.roberts999@googlemail.com

Changed address, phone or email?

If you change address, phone number or email please let us know. We send out rent reminders at this time of year. If you have moved and do not receive your reminder and do not pay we may have to assume you have given up. Our waiting lists are very long, so your tenancy is at risk

Leaflets available for newcomers

We have a stock of leaflets produced by the National Allotments Society for new allotment gardeners. They have advice on how to cultivate your plot. If you would like a copy, please contact John Negus on 01536 420 381 email johnnegus@talktalk.net

Marrow and Pumpkin Competition winners 2020 (Margaret Road)

Many thanks to the Margaret Road members who organise a friendly competition every year and judge winners in October. Congratulations to the winners below. Some questions come to mind: 1. are you already preparing for next year? and 2. what can you do with an 82lb pumpkin?

MARROW,PUMPKIN AND RUNNER BEAN RESULTS COMPETITION MARGARET ROAD FIELD held on October 18th 2020

MARROW 1st Mark 21lb 15oz 

2nd Pete 15lb 6oz

3rd Dai 14lb 10oz

RUNNER BEAN 1st John 37cm

2nd Mark 35cm

3rd Jackie 33cm

PUMPKIN 1st Dai 82lb

2nd Pete 54lb 10oz

3rd= Jackie 21lb 15oz

3rd= Pat 21lb 15oz

Thank you to all who made an effort and joined us on the 20th Oct. We hope to see more of you next year.

Margaret Road news

Stewards retire

After many years of service, two of our stewards for Margaret Road have retired from this role. Sue and Tony Munt have stepped back.

Thanks Tony and Sue

We would like to thank Sue and Tony for all that they have done for the committee and the allotments.

The committee will soon be appointing new stewards and is considering applications now. Meanwhile, the other stewards will be your points of contact:

Mr John Negus 01536 420 381 email johnnegus@talktalk.net

Rachel Moulton 07429 138 114 email:  rachelmoulton@btinternet.com

November 2020 Allotment News

RENTS INCREASE for 2021

The allotment rents will be increasing for 2021. Rents are payable on 1st January.

The new rate is £3 per pole, so a typical large plot will now be £30 plus £2 membership fee, TOTAL = £32 per year

A small plot will be a total of £17 per year

We encourage members to pay promptly, preferably using Internet Banking. Details of how to pay are on our website and here.

For any queries about rent, please contact the treasurer, John Burn on

07745 363 236, or email

allotment.moneyman@gmail.com

Notice have been put on all of our 4 fields- on gates or notice boards

Committee ZOOMs ahead!

With the current COVID restrictions banning physical committee meetings, we have used ZOOM software to have a video meeting. Attendance was excellent and the meeting went very well, efficiently chaired by Clive Thorley. A few committee members do not have ZOOM, so were telephoned and their contributions counted, so no-one was left out.

Discount at Hevey

Remember to ask for a Kettering Allotment Discount when you shop at Hevey. Thanks again to Hevey for their kind donation of free wood to Scott Road.

Skips away!

Many thanks to the members from Margaret Road who helped clear a mountain of rubbish and filled two skips. Removing this rubbish has helped to clear areas that can now be re-let to people on the waiting list. Special thanks to all who helped, including Peter New, Pat Draper, Dai Johnson, John Negus. 

Please help prevent the need for more skips

There are several things each and every one of us can do to save the costs and effort of hiring more skips.

  • Please keep the gates locked and prevent unauthorised “visitors” to allotments who may fly-tip
  • Please don’t bring useless items to allotments – especially hazardous material like carpet and tyres
  • Take your rubbish home, including any plastic waste etc that cannot rot down
  • Recycle other waste, eg scrap metal

Remain vigilant- Northfield Avenue water buts go missing, sheds broken into and burned at Windmill Avenue

One of our members at Northfield Avenue has reported that her water buts have been taken. If you saw anything or have any information, please contact us. Please remain vigilant and keep in touch. Ten sheds broken into on Halloween and one completely burned down. Fire Service attended but the shed had already been lost. NEVER leave petrol, GAS or other fuels in shed or on allotment land, take all of these home.

SEED POTATO CATALOGUE now available from London Road Garden Shop

you can view or download the catalogue here

New Policy on Waiting Lists

The committee has adopted a new policy on waiting lists. This is because our waiting lists have grown enormously since lockdown. We now have over 100 people waiting. The new policy aims to be fair to those people who have been waiting for many months. The text of the policy is below:

Policy on Waiting lists – October 2020

  1. Each of our 4 fields (sites) has a separate waiting list and field steward(s).
  2. To join a waiting list, applicants contact the relevant steward for that field and provide full contact details, such as name, phone, email. Field stewards’ contact details are published on our website.
  3. Applicants may be on more than one waiting list.
  4. The tenancy conditions are such that applicants must be named individuals who may represent a household/family or an organisation. The named individual remains responsible for the tenancy. Applicants must be adults..
  5. Waiting lists are chronological, with no queue jumping.
  6. Whilst demand is considered high for allotment plots new applicants will be restricted to one 5-pole plot per household. Existing plot holders with more than one plot will not be affected.
  7. Existing plot holders who wish to apply for additional land will be treated sympathetically. When demand is low and there is no waiting list, it may be possible to rent additional land. Such requests may be granted only when there are vacant plots and the existing plot holder’s current plot is fully cultivated.
  8. Due to high demand for allotments, if the applicant wishes to decline the plot they have been offered but to remain on the waiting list, their details will be moved to the bottom of the list.
  9. All applicants on the waiting list will be contacted annually in December to determine whether or not they wish to remain on the list. If no response is received within 28 days, their details will be removed from the waiting list.
  10. This policy was adopted by the committee at its meeting in October 2020.
  11. This policy may be reviewed and amended by the committee.

Waiting list policy ends

October 2020 Allotment News

Lock the Gate please!

Reports from Margaret Road have been made that the gate has been left open on occasion. This compomises our security. Please keep the gate locked at all times. Lock after entry; lock after exit.

Mains water off – time to collect rain for next year

As usual, our mains water is turned off from October until April. Now is the ideal time to fix guttering to your shed or any other rain-collecting surface and feed rain into barrels, buckets etc.

Skips at Margaret Road

Stewards and members at Margaret Road have been working hard to clear rubbish and make vacant plots suitable for new tenants. Many thanks to all of those who helped and contributed in different ways. We are working through our waiting list and getting closer to having all plots being cultivated. Once all the rubbish has been cleared, there will be more plots to let out.

Change of stewards – Margaret Road

We are pleased to welcome Rachel Moulton as our new field steward for the top riding at Margaret Road. John Negus is now steward for the second riding. Our thanks and best wishes go to Lee Farmer and Claire Wallis who have now stepped down from being stewards on this field.

Rachel Moulton 07429 138 114

email: rachelmoulton@btinternet.com

Discount at Hevey

One of our members has negotiated a discount for us at Hevey – a fabulous supplier of timber, tools, kitchens etc etc.  When you visit their branch on Gerrard Way, near Telford Way, just identify yourself as a member of Kettering Allotments Society and ask for their discount on your purchases. 

https://www.hevey.co.uk/our-branches/kettering

Allotments in the news

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/sep/02/a-silver-lining-to-the-big-black-cloud-allotments-during-lockdown

Why not try No-dig ?

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/sep/13/james-wong-on-gardens-no-dig-mulch-with-bonus-mushrooms

latest news from Charles Dowding

Demolition at Scott Road entrance

The former garages are being demolished ready for building new council homes