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)

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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

Allotment News – March 2018

AGM on a Wednesday!

Click here for details (formal notice of AGM, agenda, annual report)

In a break with tradition, our 100th AGM is on Wednesday 14th March at 7:45 pm at the Corn Market Hall.

It’s your chance to meet the committee, to hear the financial report and elect officers and committee members.

More details available on our website:-

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

We also have a proposed new rule to discuss. All paid-up members have a vote.

The proposed new rule is this:

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”

(in other words, anyone who hasn’t paid rent by the 1st February will have to pay double the amount, covering two year’s rent)

Rationale for proposed new rule.

Our annual rent is very low and the vast majority of our members pay promptly. A small number of our tenants still have not paid by the middle of February. The committee does not think it is fair or reasonable for these late-payers to be subsidised by the rest of our membership. Late-payers cause a lot of extra unnecessary work for the Treasurer and Field Stewards chasing them up. Making them pay for two years in advance will give such late-payers an incentive to do the right thing.

New Data Protection Policy

In view of the new government regulations on data protection, the committee has now adopted its data protection policy. The policy is on our website.

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

A date for your diaries

Come and see the amazing talk on lasagna gardening and pumpkins on April 11th

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, you secretary and is guaranteed to educate and entertain you.

Broken or old tools in your shed?

New service to recycle or repair them in Northampton

There are now two different charities in Northampton where you can get refurbished tools.

The long established Tools for Self Reliance in Clare Street (near the Kettering Road), see their website

http://www.tfsrnorthampton.co.uk

They do amazing work both here and in less-developed countries.

There is also a new service from the Hope Centre, Northampton’s amazing charity for the homeless. This service will repair or refurbish your broken tools, sharpen blades or build bespoke tools for your size and shape. You can buy and donate tools at 35 Ash Street, Northampton, NN1 3HW

Please click on the link below for more information on the amazing work done by the Hope Centre

http://www.northamptonhopecentre.org.uk/we-need

AGM notice – Wednesday 14 March

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

KETTERING ALLOTMENTS

the 100th

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

of the members of the above association will be held at the

CORN MARKET HALL

KETTERING

Wednesday March 14th 2018

at 7-45 pm.

To receive the committee report for the year ended 31st December 2017 and the balance sheet as of that date, to elect officers and to transact the general business of the association.

The following members of the committee retire and are eligible for re-election: –

H Pope, G White, M Ozdemir, I Bickle

Proposed new rule


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

Further nominations or proposals should reach the secretary by Wednesday 28 February 2018

***************************************************************************

R.Attwood, Secretary

http://www.ketteringallotments.co.uk

February 2018 Allotment News — russellattwood

Seedy Saturday on February 17th in Northampton https://www.facebook.com/events/786746508195316/ from 10am – 4pm at Castle Hill United Reform Church, Doddridge Street, Northampton NN1 2RN. Entrance fee £1 Dates for your Diary – our 100th AGM 2018 AGM is on a Wednesday! A real break with tradition – (the Corn Market Hall was not available on our […]

via February 2018 Allotment News — russellattwood

February 2018 Allotment News

Seedy Saturday on February 17th in Northampton

https://www.facebook.com/events/786746508195316/

from 10am – 4pm at Castle Hill United Reform Church, Doddridge Street, Northampton NN1 2RN. Entrance fee £1

Dates for your Diary – our 100th AGM

2018 AGM is on a Wednesday!

A real break with tradition – (the Corn Market Hall was not available on our usual Tuesday)

This is our 100th AGM! – on

Wednesday 14th March at 7:45pm at Corn Market Hall

More details on our website – link below

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

Bagged Alpaca Manure for Sale

Bags of alpaca manure, commonly referred to as ‘Black Gold’ for sale.

Alpaca manure is said to be one of the richest organic manures available, with high levels of nitrogen and potassium. It does not need to be composted before using and can be placed directly on or around even the most delicate plants.

Bags weigh approximately 12lb and I charge £1 per bag, collection is from Broughton.  To arrange purchase, contact Rachel either via email or on 07590 610056. email address

rmoss@live.co.uk

Other manure available – see website

For other suppliers of manure, see our website page

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

To dig or not to dig, that is the question

To dig or not to dig, that is the question. Whether it is nobler for the veg for soil to suffer the outrageous fortune of spades and forks, or to take up mulching against a sea of weeds and by smothering end them?”

No doubt if Hamlet had an allotment he would be pondering this dilemma. Several of our members have reported interest in the “no-dig” gardening methods as extolled by Charles Dowding. There is a lot of information on his website

https://www.charlesdowding.co.uk

The evidence is strong that “no-dig” give better crops, is better for the soil and easier than digging or rotovating. The TV programme Beechgrove Garden also did a trial last year and found the vegetables in the “no-dig” plot were bigger than the dug plot.

See page 7 of the factsheet (link below)

http://www.beechgrove.co.uk/module_uploads/2/Factsheet_2017_-_Prog_18.pdf

So perhaps it is a case of “mulchers of Kettering unite, you have nothing to lose except your spades”

But let’s leave the final words to the poet Seamus Heaney

Digging

BY SEAMUS HEANEY

Between my finger and my thumb   

The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound   

When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:   

My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds   

Bends low, comes up twenty years away   

Stooping in rhythm through potato drills   

Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft   

Against the inside knee was levered firmly.

He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep

To scatter new potatoes that we picked,

Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.   

Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day

Than any other man on Toner’s bog.

Once I carried him milk in a bottle

Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up

To drink it, then fell to right away

Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods

Over his shoulder, going down and down

For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap

Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge

Through living roots awaken in my head.

But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb

The squat pen rests.

I’ll dig with it.

seedysatposter2018-4

January 2018 Allotment News

Happy New Year to our members

Almost imperceptibly the daylight is increasing and we can plan another growing season. If you have not yet ordered your seeds, it is not too late to consider mail order or online shopping.

We recommend Kings Seeds and Real Seeds, although there are many interesting varieties in Marshalls and Seeds of Italy or the Organic Gardening Catalogue.

For potatoes, onion sets seeds and other gardening why not try the Garden Shop in London Road, Kettering?

http://www.thegardeningwebsite.co.uk/the-garden-shop-i2676.html

Rent is now due

Our annual rent is due on 1st January. You should have received a reminder by email or post. The rents and membership subscriptions are the same as last year. You can pay online, by cheque or by cash at the HSBC branch in Kettering. Full details are on our website www.ketteringallotments.co.uk

Vacant Plots – waiting lists cleared on 3 of our fields

Good news for anyone in Kettering who wants an allotment; we have now managed to clear the waiting list on 3 of our fields. The only field with a waiting list is Scott Road. We hope to be able to allocate plots to those waiting quite soon. A few plots usually become vacant at the end of January from those who have not paid their rent.

News from the National Allotment Association (NSALG)

Please click on this link for the latest newsletter from the National Allotment Society.

http://mailchi.mp/nsalg/nas-winter-news?e=b13995087f

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Perhaps it wanted to go to Lidl? We received reports just after Boxing Day that a chicken was loose in the area of land around the Slade river along Northfield Avenue. Field stewards have been trying to contact allotment poultry-owners in case they have lost a bird, but it is possible the chicken escaped from a nearby property, eg Railway Avenue, as we are aware that some households in that vicinity do keep them.

Virus warning about Ulloco

Advice from DEFRA (the Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) about a virus that could affect potatoes and other crops in Ulluco

https://www.nsalg.org.uk/news/have-you-grown-ulluco-this-year/

https://www.nsalg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/ULLUCO-VIRUS-INFO-NOV-17.pdf

Poultry keepers are watching out for news of bird ‘flu

Bird flu may arrive with migratory species and can devastate poultry, so please keep your hens away from any wild birds to be safe, see below for details

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-in-winter-2017-to-2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8G7Y5k__9o

Please consider joining the Friends of the Green Patch

Please note this message from Sue McKay of the Green Patch:-

The Green Patch is in the process of forming a Friends of The Green Patch group so that we can apply for funding.  We are hoping next year to build a new hen area and install a new bee hive, plus replace the skins on our current poly tunnels.  I would like to ask you and your members if anyone is interested in being part of this group.  It would not require much of a commitment as we will only meet up occasionally.  Please give it consideration as it would mean such a great deal to us.  Thank you.

Sue Mckay

Environmental Project Officer

Tel:   07739327022 

Pumpkins against Poverty – near and far

a story of finding good uses for surplus veg

In 2017 one of our members grew far too many pumpkins and squash. The seeds were sown in May but in June it became clear that a serious miscalculation had occurred and he was left with 54 seedling plants and no space left on the allotment. Fortunately his allotment neighbours were very generous and three different neighbours agreed to having some extra pumpkins and squash on their plots.

The summer was good and a marvellous harvest was produced, so now the problem was what to do with so many pumpkins and squash?

The orange pumpkins were taken to this member’s place of work and used for a charity fund-raising project. An amazing £166.25 was raised for Pumpkins Against Poverty – a scheme run by Practical Action

https://practicalaction.org/pumpkins-against-poverty

See this great video link https://practicalaction.org/support/pumpkins

By December there were still a lot of surplus winter squash, many were too large for a family meal. Johnny’s Happy Place was approached– this is an amazing and welcoming weekend cafe space. “Pay what you can afford” hot food is served every Saturday and Sunday lunch. http://www.johnnyshappyplace.com

From a contact at Johnny’s Happy Place the squash were donated to the people organising Christmas lunches for those in need at St Edward’s Church. The squash were served on Christmas Day and any surplus used for the soup kitchens around Kettering.

https://www.northantstelegraph.co.uk/news/volunteers-putting-on-christmas-day-lunch-for-homeless-in-kettering-1-8264519

So these Kettering pumpkins and squash managed to help people in need both near and far.