December 2018 Allotment News

A stitch in time…

The dark cold days of December are a quiet time on the allotment. There is one silver lining to this – the weeds have stopped growing! (well almost…)  Here in Kettering we have fertile soil and our weeds grow amazingly well in the Spring, Summer and Autumn. A few hours spent now on weed prevention  will save you hundreds of hours next growing season.

We can prevent weeds next year by mulching now. Mulching can be done in most weathers, so is a really good winter job.The two most effective ways of mulching are 

  1. Black weed control fabric – uses 100gm thickness as anything thinner will be shredded by wind etc and weeds will still grow through. Make sure the plastic is thoroughly secured with heavy weights. Good examples of suitable heavy weights are sacks of pulled-out weeds, pallets or bricks.
  2. Using cardboard and shreddings (wood chip) or straw, tree leaves. Make the layer of shreddings,  straw or tree leaves thick (about 6 inches thick is ideal.

More detailed guidance is on our page in the link menu abovedifferent ways of mulching and using mulch to control weeds

https://russellattwood.wordpress.com/using-mulch/

Rents for 2019

The rents and membership fees are due on 1st January. Rents have not increased for 2019, so you will pay the same as last year. If you do not pay your tenancy may not be renewed and your plot may be re-let to someone on the waiting list.

New Rule  (11B in our list of rules) now in force- if have not paid by 1st February you will be required to pay for 2 years, so your outlay will double. This means you will have to pay for 2019 and 2020 so we don’t have to chase up your late payment next year! 

Contact the treasurer if you cannot remember your plot number or how much to pay. 

Changes to your plot size or contact details? -tell us

Contact us if you have had any change of circumstances, address, contact details, giving up your plot, reducing the size of your plot or hoping to take on an extra bit. If you are intending to give up your plot we can make arrangements for a smooth transfer to someone on our waiting list. We can also stop pestering you for rent!

Seasonal Jobs

This time of year is great for tidying up and pruning many plants. For example, blackberries can be pruned. Use any thorny pruning to reinforce the boundary fences and hedges near your plot. This will help our security and is much better than burning. 

Try to avoid bonfires – see our November newsletter and  website for further guidance on this issue.

Remove plastic waste – take home for recycling or landfill.

The recent news about plastic waste in the oceans, including the documentaries by David Attenborough has highlighted a problem that every allotment gardener is well aware of – that plastic does not rot down and become compost. The additional concern that has only recently been publicised is that plastic physically breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces that we cannot see, called microplastic. This microplastic still does not rot, but stays there in the oceans and the soil and can then enter our bodies through the food chain. 

With the above in mind, please remove any plastic waste on your plot. Broken items, such as buckets, watering cans, plant pots that are no longer useful should be removed and recycled or binned at home. 

Please also remove toxic or dangerous waste – eg old carpet, car tyres, broken glass. These are not allowed on allotment land, so should be removed. Seek advice from your field steward if you have any concerns, or contact us

SCOTT ROAD -metal shed available for free (you will need to bolt it together)

We have a dismantled metal shed at the Scott Road site. It is free to any member who does not already have a shed. It is heavy steel and will need bolting together and a coat of rust protection paint. Contact the field stewards, (Pat, Chris or Russell) if you are interested.

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Scott Road Housing Development Plans

Please be advised that Kettering Borough Council has now formally applied for planning permission to build 22 homes on the derelict land that was formerly garages on Scott Road. This is where our main gate to the Scott Road allotment field is. As neighbours to this development we are being consulted. 
 
Kettering Allotments Society is very supportive of this development as it uses brownfield land to provide much-needed social housing. We welcome this. We have only two questions that need further clarification:
  1. A guarantee that full vehicular access to the allotments is maintained throughout the construction phase and upon completion. We have received verbal assurances of this, but expect to be assured in writing by all parties and will be delighted to support the application if this clarification is provided. Vehicular access includes tractors delivering manure and skip lorries, so not just cars.
  2. We also need an assurance that a secure gate will be constructed between the new houses and the remainder of the track leading to the allotments. There is a public footpath along this track which we are happy to support; however if there is no gate preventing unauthorised vehicles proceeding then the allotments security and other land to the North of the development will be vulnerable. Many years ago when there was no gate at Scott Road and the former garages were still present there was a great deal of fly-tipping and “joy-riding” by unauthorised vehicles. It is vital for the security of properties and land owners in the vicinity of John Clare Court, Milton Court and Brambleside as well as the allotments that a secure gate is provided to prevent unauthorised vehicles accessing this track.
 
Therefore, please check out the application online, using the link below. Please then comment giving your support to the development and raising the above 2 points which require further clarification. If we all do this, then there is a greater chance of success. 
The application is on the website now and the application can be found here: https://www.kettering.gov.uk/planningApplication/128345 . The application reference is KET/2018/0799. Comment on the planning application can be made online by emailing planning@kettering.gov.uk or in writing addressed to ‘Head of Development Services, Kettering Borough Council, Municipal Offices, Bowling Green Road, Kettering, NN15 7QX’. Please ensure you refer to the site address and use the reference number of the planning application if you choose to comment. Any support for the application is also welcomed.
 

Application = KET/2018/0799

Do you want to be on TV?

BBHC Social Media B 1308

 

November 2018 Allotment News

Good News about 2019 rents

The good news is that, once again, there will be no increase in the rents for 2019. Our rents have been held for many years at the same rate, thanks to prudent control of our expenses. The rent reminders will be sent out in December and payment is due on 1st January 2019. The rent is £2 per pole plus £2 membership subscription, so a 10 pole plot costs £22 per year in total and a small 5 pole plot costs £12 per year. More details of how to pay are available by clicking on the link at the menu on the top of this page and also on our website at

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

 

Remember, remember… (bonfire hazards)

Less good news is that we have had more complaints about bonfires at Northfield Avenue. Members of the public were driving along this important highway found their vision and breathing impaired by smoke that was also drifting across the railway line. The law allows bonfires, but not the smoke pollution. Our society rules and policies discourage bonfires, particularly if they are smoky. This pollutes the planet and annoys our neighbours. If there are more complaints, we may be prosecuted and fined. The committee will be discussing this issue at its next meeting. Any comments or suggestions are welcome, please use the contact button on the menu at the top of this page

More guidance is available on our website at:

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

Bonfire guidance from Kettering Borough Council 

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

If you really want a bonfire, then November 5th is a day when you can probably get away with it. The rest of the year, please use composting, your grey bin or the civic amenity recycling tip for any allotment waste.

For sale – Thousand-litre IBC water tanks

One of our members, Grant, has 6 IBCs for sale. They are clean and have been rinsed out with water. The price is £40 each. Delivery may arranged. Contact Grant if you are interested on 07984 075 226 or tggonzo@live.co.uk

Cordial exchanges with our new neighbours

More good news, we have congratulated Kettering Football Club on their purchase of land next to Scott Road allotments for their new stadium. We are already on good terms with our new neighbours and hope to continue a friendly dialogue as they develop the site.

Want to cook on the BBC?

We have been approached by the company that produces the BBC show “Britain’s Best Home Cook with Mary Berry and Claudia Winkleman. They are currently looking for new fabulous home cooks who might want to apply to be on the BBC1 show. Apply via their website, link below

https://britainsbesthomecook.co.uk

 

Records Broken at Margaret Road

Margaret Road allotments had their annual competition. The winners were:-

Heaviest marrow = 28lbs grown by Rebecca

Longest runner bean = 47.5 cm grown by Rebecca – a new record!

Heaviest Pumpkin = 132.4 lbs grown by Dylan – a new record!

Well done everyone. Time to start planning for next year?

Last chance to see the Pumpkin Show in 2018

This entertaining show will educate you about an amazing way of gardening with no digging, no weeding and no watering.

This is the final performance in 2018 of the popular pumpkin show that has been on tour for many months and returns to the home town of Kettering.

All proceeds to the Kettering Mayor’s Charity appeal. See poster below for details and tickets.

Pumpkin Poster 29Oct2018

Click on the link above for details

October 2018 Allotment News

Brian Nix

Brian Nix, one of our committee members representing Margaret Road died suddenly a few days ago. His funeral was on the 27thSeptember at Kettering Crematorium. Brian was twice the winner of the Bridgstock Cup, our annual competition for the best allotment in our four fields. The plot he tended with his wife Jackie has been one of the best maintained in our society. Brian also served the committee in many ways, for example keeping the ridings mown for several years and helping repair and strengthen the boundary fences at Margaret Road.

cupwinner

For sale – Thousand-litre IBC water tanks and blue water barrels

One of our members, Grant, has 6 IBCs for sale. They are clean and have been rinsed out with water. The price is £45 each. Grant also has blue barrels for sale at £10 each. Delivery may arranged. Contact Grant if you are interested on 07984 075 226 or tggonzo@live.co.uk

More 200 litre blue plastic barrels for sale

At our Scott Road field, we have sourced some of these strong and durable plastic barrels, ideal for collecting rainwater in the coming winter. They are only £5 each, buyer collects. Contact Russell using the Contact button on the top of this page and “email the secretary” link.

Car Park improvements

Our main car park at Scott Road is being improved and the task is nearing completion. The ground is being levelled and we plan to create an area for wood shreddings and compost to be deposited neatly for use by our members. The old well-rotted mulch remaining from woodchips of many years ago has been separated from other material (weeds, soil, rubble and plastic litter) and this compost has been taken by many grateful members at Scott Road. Many, many thanks to all those who have helped out, especially Ryan and Pat. We appreciate your hard work.

Catalogues published

The catalogues of seed potatoes and seeds from the Garden Shop on London Road, Kettering is now published. Pop in for a copy and see their wide selection of garden supplies. Click here for a pdf version of the catalogue.

 SEED POTATO CATALOGUE 2019

https://russellattwood.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/seed-potato-catalogue-2019.pdf

Kettering Football Club

http://www.ketteringtownfc.com/news/official-statement

Recent news stories have stated that Kettering Football Club has agreed to buy land off Scott Road to build a new stadium. This was news to us, but we have sought reassurances from KBC. We understand that the land in question is the empty field next to us, known as French’s Field. The structures will not be large enough to cast shade on our plots and the Football Club will have to consult us on any plans before a planning application is made. The following is a quote from the message we got from our contact at KBC:

I would like to reassure you that all that has happened at this moment  is  the council has agreed, in principle, the disposal of the land.  The development of the site is some way off as the  club will need to resolve issues of access before they can do anything on site.

We have been advised the club have modest ambitions for the development of the site – there will not be large buildings right next to allotments; in any event the planning process will be the right mechanism for consultation on the impact of any development and the allotments will not be at risk.

Moving forward I  will keep you posted on any developments.”

Waiting lists

Our fields currently have short waiting lists. In is anticipated that some plots will become vacant soon, as a few members have indicated they may be retiring or relocating. Stewards are working hard to allocate plots as soon as they become vacant. If you wish to reduce your plot size or retire from your allotment, please contact us. We will be able to make someone on the waiting list very happy and allow them to start their allotment journey sooner rather than later.

Data Update

Our Data Manager, Ilona Bickle is working hard to keep our data up-to-date. If you have moved, changed phone or email etc, please contact us as soon as possible. This helps us keep in touch and makes our membership lists accurate, as well as making sure we comply with the new data protection laws (GDPR).

 

September 2018 Allotment News

Rainbow over Scott Road allotments

file1

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

DCIM/100MEDIA/DJI_0074.JPG

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