Community allotment working sessions, July - December 2019
Reports: Jenn Baker
Please note: Through the winter months, meetings will be on the first Thursday afternoon of each month.
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5th December
Not too much to do at this time of year but we had a good turn out of 9 allotmenteers.  We did quite a bit of weeding (don't they ever stop growing!), swept up fallen leaves and put them in the leaf bin to rot down, took an overgrown buddleia out of the herb bed and mowed the grass paths.  At tea time we had mince pies and a splendid ginger cake made by new member Phil - well done that man! 
The next session will be on Thursday 2nd January, so I shall attempt to give everyone a good workout after the excesses of the festive season.
7th November
The first of our monthly winter sessions brought us some sunshine and nine allotmenteers.  We got stuck in clearing the last of the tomatoes, chillies and basil from the polytunnel, pruning the gooseberries and weeding all the paths.  A couple of people also did some work on the compost bays.  We packed up pretty smartish just before 4pm when large black clouds loomed in the distance! The next winter meeting will be on 5th December.
17th October
The last weekly session of the 2019 season brought us a bit of sunny  warmth and nine allotmenteers.  We did a fair bit of clearing up, just  leaving the kale, purple sprouting broccoli and leeks to grow on  throughout the winter.  We made a start on the soft fruit pruning and  sowed some more green manure in the cleared beds.  Most of the plants  have been taken out of the polytunnel just leaving a few tomatoes to see  if they finally ripen - or be destined for chutney.   As Apple Day was  just a tad wet, we had several boxes of apples left over due to us not  doing as much juicing.  Some of these have been donated locally to the  Food Bank, Bridport Fridge and Sydney Gale House and there are also some  trays in the polytunnel for volunteers to go and help themselves. We now move on to monthly sessions for the winter period and will meet  on the first Thursday of the month, the next being on 7th November.   Hope to see you there!

29th August
About 10 of us enjoyed an afternoon in the sunshine today. We cleared up the bed where the onions were grown and sowed some green manure for overwintering.
Produce harvested included tomatoes, cucumbers and the last of the potatoes ably dug by our two guests for the day James and Frances (having a little holiday with Gran).
The strange weather has kept us on our toes this summer with one session being cancelled because it was too hot!  There's been lots of watering done during the last part of July when the heat was the most intense and most things seem to have survived well.  The climbing beans took a while to get going but are doing OK now. After a very good crop of broad beans, we cleared the bed and sowed green manure to feed it during the winter.   At the beginning of August we harvested a reasonable crop of new  potatoes, pruned the spent raspberry canes and took the netting off the  blackcurrants now they have all been picked (and some made into jam for the Apple Day stall).  The netting will now be put over the grapevine as they are colouring nicely and I'm sure the birds will notice.  Last week  we started digging the main crop potatoes which also look promising. The tomatoes and cucumbers in the polytunnel are really starting to ripen up now and, as the temperatures have been higher than usual, one of our  favourite tomato varieties, Andine Cornue, is doing very well.  This is  a South American variety which is large, shaped like a cornet and is  excellent for roasting (with lashings of olive oil and garlic!) or  making tomato sauce.  Yum!
4th July
A select few turned up today to brave the heat and get stuck into the watering - and more watering! We welcomed 2 new members and they set to work picking the first of this year's blackcurrants. We also gathered gooseberries and raspberries which everyone shared.

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