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Community Allotment Group: working sessions 2018
Reports and photos: Jenn Baker

18th October 2018
The final weekly meeting for 2018 was held on 18th October and we had a  fine, sunny day to finish off the season. We harvested some tomatoes from the polytunnel, which are still  ripening, along with beetroot, kale and chillies.  From now on we shall meet on the first Thursday of the month, starting  1st November, when we'll discuss all the winter jobs that need tackling like replacing some of the edging boards, clearing out the polytunnel and sorting out the sheds - all good housekeeping work to set us up for late March 2019  when the weekly sessions will recommence.
6th September
Not too much effort required today, mainly harvesting fruit and veg. Cut the first bunches from our black grape vine which are very sweet as a result of the hot, sunny summer.
7 allotmenteers this afternoon and a couple of them did some apple picking in the orchard, ready for the first juicing session on Sunday.
No photos today - I forgot to take the camera!"
31st August Everyone wanted to be out gardening this afternoon so we had 13 volunteers, including a new member, Celia. As instructed by Monty Don on last week's Gardeners World, we pruned the blackcurrant bushes now all the fruit has been picked. This is something we normally do over the winter so it will be interesting to see if there's any difference next year. Lots of harvesting was done including squashes, borlotti beans, pink fir apple potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes, cucumber..........yum! Grass clipping, weeding and tidying was also carried out though, thankfully, not so much watering after the nice downpour we had at the weekend.
23rd August
It was a pleasantly warm afternoon with a few allotmenteers - we didn't expect many, as it was Melplash Show day. We mainly watered and harvested with a bit of tidying thrown in for good measure. And Colin mowed the grass.
26th July
It was another hot afternoon but, despite that, 13 volunteers turned up.  We picked what was ripe and ready and dug up the first Pink Fir Apple potatoes which produced a reasonable crop. Mainly, though, it was watering........and more watering!  Rumour has it that there will be rain on Sunday - let's hope so as everything desperately needs it.
12th July The volunteers were grateful that the temperature was a bit cooler this week and we got quite a bit done.  More blackcurrants were harvested along with some fine cucumbers and quite a few tomatoes. We also dug up a row of new potatoes (Charlotte) which had done reasonably well despite the lack of rain.  Sadly the shallots and onions didn't fare so well and were very small but they will all end up in some chutney so nothing will be wasted.  As usual we all took turns ferrying cans of water from the trough at the bottom of the allotments to give everything a bit of a drink. A local film maker, Rob Jayne, is producing a piece called A Year in the Orchard and he comes and films at our monthly orchard working sessions.  This week it was the turn of the allotment and he did some very unobtrusive shots while we were all working.  He then interviewed me about leading the allotment group which was a bit nerve-wracking but I'm sure it will be fine once Rob has done some judicious editing!
5th July: Another lovely warm afternoon and nine allotmenteers came for a bit of gentle gardening. Lots of watering, of course, but we also harvested many punnets of soft fruit along with the first few ripe tomatoes from the polytunnel. All the bed edges were strimmed and several self-seeded giant fennels cut down so everything now looks neat and tidy.
28th June
Too hot today for an early afternoon session, though 6 or 7 brave souls turned up. We watered everything, though volunteers are doing the main watering early morning or late evening. We harvested some more rhubarb, the redcurrants and some very sweet gooseberries.
21st June
We had a good session today despite the very hot sun; mustn't complain, though we could do with some rain! A lot of watering was done but we really need a sustained rain shower (preferably overnight) to get everything properly soaked. The bed that held this year's broad beans was cleared and planted up with brassica seedlings. These were then well mulched with plenty of ripe compost from the bays in the orchard and hopefully this will help them get a good start without drying out. They were then covered with veggie mesh to keep the beasties away. Blackcurrants are coming along fine and the redcurrants and gooseberries are almost ready for picking.
17th May: We had a good crowd of 13 today to do some gentle work in the sunshine. The potatoes were earthed up, squash & courgettes planted out, polytunnel tidied and, of course, lots of watering and weeding.
3rd May
A sunny day brought our lovely volunteers out - we had 17! And welcome to our latest member Alistair. Jobs tackled this week included planting out some more strawberries, putting up the enviromesh tunnel ready for the brassicas, weeding the paths and continuing with work on the herb bed.
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22nd March First weekly session for the Community Allotment this year. Despite the chilly afternoon, we were well attended and did some warming jobs like digging in the green manure to enrich the soil. We also harvested some lovely leeks and the last of the winter kale. We were joined today by Pam from START, an NHS initiative which aims to help people through support, transition and recovery. We hope they will send some volunteers to come and enjoy gardening with our friendly group!
8th March A lovely sunny afternoon after last week's snow. Eight allotmenteers came out for a breath of fresh air. We sieved compost to top the beds, added odd bits of wood to the bonfire pile and did general tidying up.
1st February. The community allotment meeting was well attended this month and we enjoyed a lovely sunny afternoon. Tasks included tidying the pollinator bed, relocating a large sedum plant, cutting back in the herb garden, installing new posts and wires for the grape vine and sorting out the shelves in the shed - probably the tidiest they'll be this season!