July 2019 allotment news

Committee on Tour

The annual tour by committee members takes place on Tuesday 9thJuly in the early evening. This year the committee will be touring Margaret Road and Windmill Avenue fields. It is a chance for the committee to see directly how these two sites are working and think about any issues or ideas that are shared. The next regular committee meeting will be in August.

Northfield Avenue electrical work

Following their deep excavations and repairs to the high voltage cables, Western Power Distribution have now completed their work and things are returning to normal. Thank you for your patience during this essential safety work.

 

Waiting lists grow

It’s not just vegetables that are growing at this time of year; our waiting lists are growing longer too. Field stewards are working hard to find plots for these new members. If you know of any plot that is available and needs a tenant, please contact us.

Feasibility study

One of our members on Scott Road is working on a design for an efficient rain collection and storage system based on am IBC thousand litre tank and some roofing. We are looking forward to seeing it built and tested. If successful, we hope to roll this out to other plots and fields.

Time to mulch

Now summer is here it is a great time to mulch between and around our crops. Mulch will help conserve soil water and eventually improve the soil condition as it breaks down. Many possible mulches are suitable, including grass cuttings, shredded tree branches or straw. See the links below for more details

https://russellattwood.wordpress.com/summer-mulching/

https://russellattwood.wordpress.com/using-mulch/planting-brassicas-without-digging-or-weeding/

https://russellattwood.wordpress.com/the-power-of-mulch/

https://russellattwood.wordpress.com/different-ways-of-mulching/

Advertisements

May 2019 Allotment News

New Chair elected

IMG_0223

The committee has a new Chairman. Clive Thorley has stepped up and was elected unanimously by the committee at its April meeting. We welcome Clive to this important role.  The committee would also like to thank our previous Chairman, Harry Pope who retired from this position after many years of service to the committee and our Society. Harry will now pursue his other interests, including restoring his classic car.

Northfield Avenue steward vacancy

We have a vacancy for the role of field steward at our Northfield Avenue field. Training and support will be provided. If you are interested, please contact us for further details.

Think of the bees

Bees and other pollinating insects are in decline worldwide and Kettering is no exception. Allotment gardeners can play their part to encourage and help bee populations recover. Please consider planting some flowers and other plants that will help the bees, eg borage. 

Waiting lists growing

At this time of year, it is not just vegetables and flowers that put on a growth spurt. Our waiting lists are growing too. Field stewards and committee members are working hard to provide plots to those waiting. If you are finding your plot too difficult to manage and could consider reducing the area or even retiring from the allotment, please contact your steward. That way we can reduce our waiting list and waiting times for new members and prevent plots becoming overgrown.

If field stewards observe that a plot is under-used or getting overgrown they will be in touch to find out if you are OK and may well ask you to consider reducing your plot size for the above reasons. Please do not take offence, we are trying to balance out the needs of those on our waiting lists and the best use of available land by our existing members and tenants.

Thousand Litre IBC water tanks for sale

We have found a source of 1000 litre IBC tanks and can arrange delivery for the very reasonable price of £42. Scott Road already has some in stock. If you are interested in buying one or more, please contact your field steward. Each field can then find out likely demand and plan how many to order. Field stewards’ contact details are listed below:

Northfield Avenue – Harry Pope  07518 265286 

Windmill Avenue – George White 01536 518097

Margaret Road – Tony and Sue Munt 01536 392 742 or 07804 686 105  or 07736 039 042

Scott Road – Pat Mullins  07967 516625 Chris Hulston 01536  519655 

or Russell Attwood 07981 598 332

IBC

Kings Seeds discount for Margaret Road members

One of our members at Margaret Road is running a seed discount scheme with Kings Seeds. This is only available for Margaret Road members only. If interested, please call Del on 01536 485 726

Time to sow pumpkins and other squash

The month of May is the ideal time to sow many types of seeds, but indoors in warmth. A heated propagator is ideal, but a greenhouse, window-ledge or similar warm sunny place will do. Tender plants will need hardening off before being planted outdoors in early June.

April 2019 Allotment News

Successful AGM – full report on our website

Our 101stAGM was a success. The committee has invested and improved our allotments in 2018 and our finances remain sound. In particular, the new rent rule has been a success; more people paid rent punctually this year and late-payers have paid for 2 years to save the hassle of remembering in 2020. Other items raised included some very useful suggestions and comments from the members present that will now be discussed by the committee at its next meeting.

Field Steward Vacancy – Northfield Avenue

Harry, our long-serving field steward at Northfield Avenue is stepping down to concentrate on other projects. We now have a vacancy. If you are interested Harry will provide a full induction and training and the committee will be there for continued support and advice. Please apply to the secretary – use the Contact button at the top of this page.

Time to get growing – let us know if not.

Our waiting lists are growing too, so if you want to reduce the size of your plot or give up your tenancy, please let us know. You will make someone on the waiting list very happy.

Planning Permission granted for new council homes near Scott Road.

The former garages, at the location of our main gate will soon be a building site, providing much-needed council homes for Kettering people. We have been assured of continued safe access and security and will report on any developments through this newsletter. Please therefore FOLLOW US on WordPress so you never miss out on any news.

Items taken from plots at Scott Road – please remain vigilant

Bad news time. We have had reports of items disappearing (being stolen), including tools, water barrels, weed control fabric, compost bags from several different members at Scott Road. Please remain vigilant, do not leave valuable items on your plot and report any crimes to the Police and the committee. Other members have reported finding the main gate on Scott Road being left open and unlocked. This is unacceptable! Please make sure the gate is locked; leaving it unlocked may result in disciplinary action by the committee.

Scott Road request to borrow a rotorvator

One of our Scott Road members, Godfrey wants to borrow a rotorvator. If you have one that you can lend him, please call or text 07880 751 295

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?

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).

 

Allotment News August 2018

Is our data up to date?

We work hard to keep accurate records on our membership. If your contact details have changed, please let us know. We need to be kept up to date with any changes to your email, phone number, address etc. This will help our data compliance and allow us to keep you informed of our news.

Please see the following link for our data protection policy

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

Phew what a summer!

After a very wet April we have had 9 or 10 weeks of dry weather and a heat wave. Many gardeners have found this weather “challenging” to their crops. Find out how one of our members has had great yields and bountiful harvests without watering! It’s all down to the Power of Mulch.  Read the blog post on mulch by using this link

 https://russellattwood.wordpress.com/the-power-of-mulch/

Vacant Plots at Scott Road

We have a few vacant plots at Scott Road. Some of our members there have retired from allotment gardening and given up their plots. If you know anyone who wants to start an allotment, please contact us.

Thanks Kev!

One of our former members, Kevin has generously donated a Terrex autospade to be sold for the Society’s fund. Sadly Kevin had to give up his allotment at Scott Road due to health problems. He offered the spring-loaded spade as a thank you to the Society. See next article for how to put in a bid.

Terrex Spade for sale

Offers invited for this Terrex “backsaver” autospade. The spring-loaded mechanism means digging is less of strain on your back. Price new is approximately £100, see this link

https://www.backsavergardentools.co.uk/product/autospade/

If you wish to make an offer, please contact us. The spade will be sold to whoever makes the highest sensible offer received by midnight of 14th August.

Thanks Malc! (and Tony)

Many thanks to Malcolm and Tony who constructed a new ramp to the secure container at Scott Road. This will be safer and make it a lot easier to wheel machinery in and out of the container.

Thanks Pat!

Thanks also to Pat, field steward at Scott Road who was able to source some IBCs a few weeks ago. These were all sold very quickly and we are still hoping to get some more in the near future. Pat has also been working hard to get sources of tree sheddings for Scott Road for mulching. Thanks again.

Thanks Robin!

One of our members, Robin has been helping his neighbour in recent weeks. The neighbour has been unwell and not able to tend the plot. Robin and a few others have helped out, harvested crops and taken them to the unwell neighbour. A heartwarming story of allotment community life.

Cup Judging

If you see people viewing your plot and holding clip boards, do not worry. Our prestigious Bridgstock Cup is awarded annually to the best-kept allotment. The judges are now touring the fields and making their assessments. They will inform the committee of their decision at its next meeting. For details about the history of the cup, see the link below.

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