August 2020 Allotment News

Bonfires Allowed ! – but follow the law and guidance

The guidance from the National Allotments Society has been updated.  Barbecues and bonfires are now permitted. It is vital that all safety precautions are taken and we follow the law. See our website for full guidance on bonfires.

  • Dark smoke is a criminal offence under the Clean Air Act 1993. Only burn dry woody material that will not smoke
  • Never burn plastic, rubber, foam etc
  • do not leave fires unattended – the Fire Brigade may be called and you risk getting a bill for the call-out fee. Have sufficient water to extinguish any fire if it risks spreading
  • check with your neighbours and the wind direction. Avoid fires if smoke will disturb your neighbours
  • Our policy is to discourage bonfires and avoid where possible. Use composting or recycling for waste if at all possible. Click here for more on how to avoid fires
  • If your bonfire is a nuisance, the Council can send warning letters, serve legal Notices, serve Fixed Penalty Notices of £100 or prosecute offenders in the Courts

Successful field tour

The committee has not been able to hold regular meetings since the lockdown. However, we were able to conduct the annual field tour in July, The committee toured the Scott Road field and were impressed by the high standards of the plots. The committee recognises and appreciates the hard work done by members to maintain their plots. 

Cup judges appointed

One piece of formal business was conducted by the committee during the field tour. The cup judges were appointed for 2020. The judges tour all four fields and make their decision. More about the Bridgstock Cup and its history is on our website. http://www.ketteringallotments.co.uk/cup.html

And the winner(s) are:

The judges have come to their decision. They commented on how many excellent plots there are and congratulate the members who have been working hard tending their plots.

For the first time, the judges have awarded the cup to joint winners. These two plots were both equally excellent. 

Joint winners are Jacqui Nix (plot 112 Margaret Rd) and Pat Mullins (plot 132 Scott Road)

Best newcomer award goes to Nick and Karen Needle , plot 54 Scott Road

The following plots are  Highly commended:

Plot 18 Windmill Avenue – Phillip and Greta Lilley

Plot 177 Margaret Road – Michael Nietsche

Plot 32 Northfield Ave – Alan Haynes

Plot 25B Scott Road – Glenn Cherry

Plot 15 Scott road-  Darren and Corrina Stanion 

Plot 9 Scott Road-  Sue Johnson 

Water barrels for sale- Scott Road

One of our members has some water barrels and an IBC tank (thousand litres) for sale. Please contact Darren or Corrina to buy on 07841 938 252

Health and Safety review

It’s Common Sense – so what’s the problem? 

The problem is that common sense is not that common. We all have different ideas of what is sensible and safe. We all know someone who doesn’t seem to have any common sense at all. We all make mistakes; what is important is to learn from them.

As an allotment society we have a Health and Safety Policy. This is needed for our insurance and to protect our members, visitors and the public from harm. From time to time, we review and update our Health and Safety Policy. We welcome suggestions and comments on how we can improve. Please have a look at our Safety documents and contact us with any comments.

Health and Safety is no accident! – a near-miss or lucky escape is the perfect opportunity to re-think and improve what we do. Please contact us if you have a near-miss and we can all try to learn from it to prevent any further incidents. 

Remember – While growing cress, risk assess!

 

Speed limit reminder

Please remember rule number 20 – the speed limit for vehicles on allotments is 5 mph (walking pace). If you want to get to your allotment faster, leave the car behind and run there.

speed

Rats. Constant vigilance pays dividends 

Earlier in the summer, some members reported seeing rats near their plots and unfortunately some broad beans and peas were eaten. Constant vigilance to remove rat hiding places and use of traps has kept the rat population low. Rats may visit compost heaps, so please stay vigilant. See the link below for more on rats in compost heaps

https://www.allotment-garden.org/composts-fertilisers/composting-making-compost/rats-in-the-compost-heap-weils-disease-safety-concerns/#.Xv75ugkwVO8.email

Helping out shielding neighbours

Some of members are shielding at home because of the virus pandemic. They have not been able to tend their plots and weeds have been growing. Fortunately their allotment neighbours have helped out. The photos below show one example. In the first photo, the weeds have grown and are about to flower and seed; a nuisance for the member and his neighbours in future years…

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One section of the plot was covered with 100gsm weed control fabric and weighed down with pallets. The weeds will die and rot and the shielding member will find the plot easy to use when he returns.

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Another section was covered with card and straw. Again the weeds are no longer a problem and the soil will be well mulched and weed-free in a few weeks time.

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Fly tipping – please be vigilant

see the story below as reported in the Evening Telegraph

https://www.northantstelegraph.co.uk/news/crime/staggering-amount-rubbish-fly-tipped-kettering-woods-2906827

Interesting newspaper article on allotments in lockdown

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/11/allotment-hobby-lockdown-lifeline-trade-deals-britain-food

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.

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?