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Community Allotment Group
What we did in 2014
reports from Jenn Baker, Community Allotment Co-ordinator
Jenn's reports will also appear in BCOG's Newsletters.
December 2014 report:
❂ At the December meeting we installed another stake for the grape vine to extend it all along the fence. An old, unproductive fruit bush was dug out and ditched. The polytunnel was cleared of old plants and the walls washed down inside and out. Jenn & Colin took one of the rotted stakes from the raspberry bed back to Groves to show them what had happened after only one year. They blamed inferior quality wood and gave us 5 free stakes from their new supplier.
November 2014 report:
❂ The Community Allotment has now finished its 2014 season with the weekly meetings stopping at the end of October. Through the winter we shall only meet once a month (first Thursday & weather permitting) to carry out any essential tasks and to make any alterations now that the beds are mostly free of crops.
We have already cleared all the raspberry canes which had become too old and congested and which did not crop at all well this summer . We have prepared another bed and purchased new canes from Groves which will be planted soon. Another winter task will be to extend the post and wire support for the grapevine that did so well this year. You never know – one day we may well be able to produce our own “Chateau Allotment”!
I have devised a new planting plan for the 2015 season and, along with all the usual fruit and veg, I thought we might try growing some melons in the polytunnel. They should do OK as long as we have a nice sunny summer again – or is that too much to hope for! We shall also be taking part in a trial of a new runner bean called “Snowstorm” which has been developed by Sea Spring Seeds. It is a long, straight bean that has some French bean genes so the skin is smoother than a normal runner. It should also be very uniform and therefore suitable for competitions.
I know it's a bit early to be thinking about next year's gardening for most people but it seems that we shall have several raised beds available if anyone is interested. Please get in touch with our Chair Jill Lloyd for more information.
Jenn Baker, November 2014
❂ Community Allotment Open Afternoon - 7th August from 15.00 p.m. until 18.00 p.m.
On Thursday 7th August we held our second Open Day to coincide with National Allotment Week. Once again we were extremely lucky with the weather which encouraged about 60 visitors to come and see what we do. We also handed out 3 new membership forms.
As usual we had allotment tours, plant “sales” and a talk from Bridport holistic therapist Sue Wheeler on the benefits of using home grown plants as remedies. But the star of the show had to be the refreshment stall which was laden with lots of goodies made by the members and using lots of ingredients from the allotment. We had cakes & biscuits, scones & jams, buns & cheese straws……..all washed down with lashings of tea and cordial!
All the visitors were very generous with their donations to both the plant and refreshment stalls and we doubled the takings from last year which was excellent news. The funds will be put towards both allotment and orchard projects for the benefit of the community.
A big thank you goes to all the members whose hard work made the day such a success, particularly Susan Readman who spent a lot of time and effort on the organisation and publicity.
❂ Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset's September Newsletter carried a writeup of the event: http://www.clsdorset.org.uk
❂ August 2014
Today we harvested a lot of produce and also sowed a green manure mix in an empty bed to overwinter. This should help to keep the weeds down and in spring will be dug in to nourish the soil.
❂ July 2014
A selection of our wonderful produce...
More photos on the Orchard Gallery page
❂ May/June 2014
Our tomatoes and cucumbers are doing well in the polytunnel with this lovely warm weather. We have experimented this year by planting them in large pots with the bottoms cut off and then sunk halfway into the soil. This method was recommended by Joy from Sea Spring Seeds, to concentrate the water around the base of the plant. We have just sown our runner bean seeds which, this time, we are growing over an archway – I only hope we don’t get too many high winds!
We have recently had two new members join us and we also welcomed a group from Moving On, who have planted up a raised bed with salad crops.
❂ April 2014
- Wellers delivered 10 scaffolding boards and these have now been installed by Colin & John. I phoned and thanked Mr Weller and reminded him to save us 10 more.
- There is now a grey compost bin in the bottom corner of the orchard for putting pernicious weeds in where they can rot down without contaminating other compost.
- Several crops have been sown/planted and all the other beds have now been prepared for more in the coming months. We have also started planting in the polytunnel.
- A raised bed has become available as Hillie Maynard no longer wants one. The Moving On group contacted by Susan have taken theirs last week with 3 people from the group coming to have a look.
- Ella Squirrell came and took photos of us working for an Urban Garden project at her school.