Phil Langley firstname.lastname@example.org
0117 973 1389 Date:
to: Registered Office, 2 Kennel Lodge Road, Bower Ashton, Bristol BS3 2JT
is Bristol-wide allotments’ policy that you have until the 31st
March to burn permissible items on a bonfire or in an incinerator. After
that and until the 1st November 2013, all fires are banned.
Preferably you should compost material, but if you really must have a fire,
dry, inflammable items should be burnt; no greenery.
for smoke to ensure it will not cause a nuisance to other plot-holders, nearby
residents or public highways. Remember that some people may be asthmatics and
there may be washing being hung outdoors. Smoke hazard on a highway could land
you with a £1,000 fine and the loss of your tenancy.
must completely extinguish the fire before leaving the allotment, even if it has
not burnt to completion.
must be attended at all times.
is one of our biggest costs and therefore it is essential that it is not wasted.
Where appropriate, taps must be turned off and any leaks reported to your Site
of the main priorities set out in our development plan was to upgrade the water
supplies to each of our six sites and we have a rolling programme to achieve
this. The largest site, Alderman Moores, has 230 tenants who currently have to
manage with 14 tanks from which to draw water. New systems have been installed
on all sites except Alderman Moores, which will be completed towards the latter
part of this year.
I am delighted to report that our neighbours, Imperial Tobacco, whose head office is adjacent to the Alderman Moores site, have generously gifted us £2,000 towards the cost of installing a new mains supply and an appropriate number of galvanised metal tanks for this site. There were coffees all round and photographs taken at the Store when the cheque was presented. Thank you Imperial Tobacco!
arrival of Spring heralds the real start of the cultivation. Cultivation means
that the soil has likely been turned and prepared for planting or nurturing of
seeds, or already has plants growing there without excessive weeds. The minimum
acceptable cultivation is two-thirds of the plot area at any one time. The plot
area is all of it, including the area of the path for which you are responsible.
So, masses of internal paths do not count as cultivation!
plastic or other ground cover does not count as cultivation, except where being
used as a weed suppressant for crops such as courgettes or strawberries
protruding through prepared holes.
do not expect new tenants to necessarily meet the two-thirds minimum requirement
until near the end of their first year of occupancy. But the plot and the paths
must be kept tidy and free of long grass and weeds.
the allotment is for growing vegetables, but some flowers may also be grown.
Soft fruits such as red/blackcurrants or gooseberries may be grown but must not
be the dominant crops on the plot. One or two apple trees are also acceptable
provided they are grown on dwarfing root stock.
are carried out from late March until November. The object is to ensure
cultivation standards are maintained, paths and verges are kept tidy, plot
numbers are displayed, sheds have wood preservative applied and properly felted
roofs, and the plot is not strewn with rubbish.
may get a reminder letter if there is something to be done and you would usually
get a month’s grace in which to remedy the problem.
Stores management has changed hands. Stan Morgan, who did such a magnificent job
to expand the store’s stock and turnover, has eased Elaine and Robert Griffin
into the post. I am pleased to see that they have ‘hit the ground running’
so all should be well.
gate at Kennel Lodge 2 is to be replaced with new posts, a single palisade gate
and a new lock. This will be done over the next few weeks.
hauling-way exit through the Alderman Moore's gates is to be re-contoured and tarmaced
so that potential damage to the undersides of vehicles is avoided. Again,
weather-willing, this will be done this month.
hops are periodically becoming available in bags from a local brewery. The first
consignment was delivered to the Alderman Moores site and was quickly snapped up
on a first-come basis; they are free.
Cass will let you know through our website when the next delivery is due; so far
it appears to be a weekly routine.
those who are unaware of their benefit, spent hops are considered to be one of
the best soil conditioners going. Slightly acidic, especially when fresh, they
should be forked into the ground where they will rot down. They are ideal for
blueberries and the like.
a word of warning if you have a dog: some animals may chew them and become
subject to severe gastric pain or worse. Please keep all animals away from spent
hops. All animals must in any case be kept under control and contained to their
Pellets and Garden Chemicals
a thoroughly wet winter, we expect to see lots of slugs and snails, which can
wreak havoc with tender seedlings. Slug pellets are one of the more popular
means of affording protection. We are no longer able to sell loose slug pellets
as it is illegal to do so. Pellets have to be sold in a manufacturer’s
original container, with application advice printed on the container. We now
stock a similar product in 700g plastic bottles. We also have a good organic
alternative; this only dispenses a small amount each time. Nematodes are a
biological alternative and you can ‘grow your own’ – see Editor’s
Touching on slug pellets and all gardening chemicals, pesticides and growth products, it is incumbent on tenants to keep such items out of the reach of children and animals, as laid down in our Health and Safety rules – see the Association website.
must sadly report the death of the very popular Jim Addison from the Bower
Ashton site. Jim succumbed to cancer after a long and painful fight. A wonderful
thanksgiving service was held at Christ Church, Clifton on the 1st
March, with a packed congregation. The Association was well represented and
referred to in the Eulogy.
News – A Welcome from Elaine and Lesley
If you haven’t already done so, please visit
the Alderman Moores’ stores. Lesley and I hope to build on the success of Stan
and Ron in providing a shop where members are able to find all the gardening
Most items on sale represent very good value for money. This in turn enables the allotment sites to be maintained and developed for the benefit of all members. If you are looking for a particular item and we don’t stock it, we are happy to see if we can get it for you – just let us know! Our stores are 'manned' by volunteers who will be happy to help with any queries.
Our very large selection of seeds is purchased
through the National Allotment Society. Currently there is a wide variety of
green manure seed. If you’re not sure what to sow then come and consult one of
the books in our library.
Making sure the shop is continually well stocked
entails a weekly visit to the wholesalers and contacting new suppliers if we
think they have items of interest. For example, we currently have in stock hazel
poles, coppiced from woods, sourced from a local cooperative. There is a small
section devoted to organic items and, of course, what we sell is very much
dictated by what members buy!
We would like to thank Stan and Ron for all their
help in this transition. Thanks also to all the other volunteers who give up
their time to help run the Stores. More volunteers are very much welcome. We
look forward to seeing you soon.
Elaine Griffin (Store Manager, with help from
Robert) and Lesley Woodward (Seeds Manager)
Question Time and Other Talks
are recommencing with our programme of talks and activities to be held at the
Alderman Moores’ site starting in April.
Tim Foster – who is un-missable and literally down-to-earth – will be giving
a talk on ‘Preparing the soil and getting started with vegetable growing’.
With all the delays with weather it will surely not be too late!
22nd May: Gardeners’ Question Time,
chaired by Derek Aldred of the National Vegetable Society, has proved very
popular and great fun in the past.
9th July: Nick
Wray of the University Botanic Gardens will give a talk on Plants
and Landscapes of Cuba (the largest of the Caribbean islands with the
greatest number of plant species). He will focus on how plants are grown,
orchards, and the vegetable gardens (organoponicos) on the outskirts of urban
talks will start at 7.30pm at the
Alderman Moores’ store. A charge of £2 will be made on the door to cover
costs and refreshments.
A very big thank-you to Helen
Slater for organising these events.
Your Own Nematode Slug Killers
Many thanks to Nigel at
Middlecombe Nursery – Wrington Road, Congresbury – for allowing us to
re-publish this edited article from their Summer 2012 newsletter.
Nematodes are biological
parasites that are available commercially as a highly effective alternative to
slug pellets and other slug/snail deterrents. They can, however, be quite
expensive to buy and not always readily available. You can instead cultivate
Collect as many slugs as you
can in a jar that has a few small air holes punched in the lid. The more you
have the better it works. Add a few weed leaves for them to eat. Once you have
caught around 10–20 slugs, decant them into a bucket with an inch or so of
water in the bottom for humidity and add a few more handfuls of leaves to make
an edible floating island. With the slugs safely inside, place a firm cover over
the top to seal them in. The bucket is the perfect environment for nematodes and
bacteria to breed. Nematodes spread in water so check regularly, giving the
slugs a stir with a stick. The idea isn’t to drown them but to keep them moist
so the nematodes can hunt them out.
Water the sieved brew around vulnerable plants – the raised nematode population will seek out and destroy resident ground-dwelling slugs. Like the shop-bought version, this slug killer gives up to six weeks’ worth of protection. Save the contents of the chicken sieve to start off your next nematode brew if you are so minded.
No-one could have failed to
notice or read about the declining numbers of bumblebees in our gardens and
hedgerows as a result of intensive agricultural practices and the use of
pesticides over the past 50 years. Three of the 25 native British species are
now extinct and another six seriously threatened.
A number of Association members
keep bees on their plots. Yet you do not have to keep bees in order to help
their numbers or indeed receive their help in ensuring your allotment flowers,
vegetables and fruit trees and bushes are well pollinated, so you can directly
benefit from better crops.
Run a 12- to 18-inch length of
hosepipe (>18 mm diameter) underground and into the pot, leaving a prominent
entrance for the queen bee. Be sure to make some drainage holes in the pipe.
Covering the entrance hole with a slate or tile to create a shady overhang seems
to work best in attracting queens. A nail across the centre of the entrance will
deter large snails.
Bees love traditional
cottage-garden flowers and a number of familiar allotment species such as
chives, borage, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, thyme, raspberries,
dandelions (controlled growth please!), geraniums suspended in pots, and of
course, sunflowers. The bumblebee season lasts typically from March to August.
This article was drawn from a publication by David Goulson of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, (www.bumblebeeconservation.org).
Recent government figures
reveal that the proportion of fresh fruit and vegetables grown for personal
consumption by Britons has almost doubled in the past four years. Staggeringly,
almost a third of all fresh beans consumed in this country are now home-grown.
For soft fruit, the figure is 10%, for apples, 9%, for potatoes, 7% and for
tomatoes, 6%. Georgie
Willcock, a spokesman for the National Allotment Society said that the Society
estimates there are now up to 150,000
people with their names on allotment lists. At the extreme end, the waiting list
in some parts of inner London is now up to 40 years!
The increased trend in
home-grown produce has been attributed to the rising cost of fruit and
vegetables in supermarkets and from calls by celebrity chefs for people to
“grow your own”.
Thanks to Lesley (Seeds
Manager) for providing the original article (The Sunday Times, 30/12/2012).
Rhubarb Crumble Muffins
Rhubarb Crumble Muffins
excellent-sounding recipe is a novel take on a perennial favourite and
has been taken from the BBC Good Food Guide website.
For the muffin mix:
For the muffin mix:
g caster sugar
g rhubarb, halved lengthways then diced
tbsp sunflower oil
tsp vanilla extract
g plain flour
tsp baking powder
tsp bicarbonate of soda
the crumble topping:
g light muscovado sugar
g plain flour
g porridge oats
tsp ground cinnamon
Mix together the
muscovado sugar with the flour, oats and cinnamon, and then rub in the
butter until clumpy with your fingertips.
Stir the oil and egg,
vanilla and buttermilk into the sugary rhubarb. Now add the flour,
baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and stir well.
Quickly spoon into the cases, then scatter each with a thick layer of the crumble mixture. Bake for 15–18 minutes until golden and a cocktail stick poked into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!