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.

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