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Autumn news

Hi everyone

A good turnout at the recent Soup and Squash event on site, despite the kerfuffle about weather…  in the event the morning was sunny and people warmed up with Jan’s excellent soup (2 varieties). The winner of the biggest pumpkin was this little beauty, produced by Winston! Shown here with other excellent examples of the squash family.

In other news, we are going to have the last social even of the year tomorrow on site – fill your boots with bacon or sausage butties! And manure, which has now arrived (though you may not want to fill your boots with it obviously).

Barbara recently wrote to you recently about the rat problems some plot holders are experiencing. Unfortunately the Council is unable to help. The Committee recommends that you use non-toxic ways to repel the vermin. The use of rat poison is really not good for the other critters that live in our site. This problem does tend to vary with each year, so hopefully next year will be better!

Sustainable St Albans – Open Allotment this Sunday
For the third year running, we are taking part in the Sustainable St Albans Open Food Gardens event tomorrow, Sunday 4 August, from 11.00am to 1.00pm. Tea, coffee and cake will be available. It is a great opportunity to show off your plot to an admiring new audience!

You can also help us by offering produce for us to sell on a donation basis, proceeds to go to our funds. Please see any member of the Committee who will be on site from around 10am.

Finally, we are delighted to be able to offer honey for sale from one of our plot holders, Klaus, who has recently introduced two bee hives to the site. The honey has been made by bees foraging in our site and in nearby gardens, so you cannot get more local than that!

If you are planning to come to the site tomorrow, it would be great to see you. It should be a lovely event.

 

A very hearty congratulations to our Burydell plot holders who achieved well-deserved accolades for their hard work this year! The results are:

  • Best Plot – Derrick Davis (Plot 34)
  • Runner Up Best Plot – Cliff Pickett (Plot 28A)
  • Best Newcomer – Rob Flanagan (Plot 8)
  • Runner Up Best Newcomer – U3A (David Choppins, Martyn Roberts, Mark Taylor and Heather Spencer-Smith) (Plot 33A)

Pictured on the left is the winner of the Best Plot, Derrick Davis and on the right representatives of U3A, who won the Runner Up Newcomer (Plot 33A).  Aside from a lovely certificate, these plot holders were also awarded gift vouchers from Ayletts, who kindly judged our competition again this year.

 

 

We are having our usual first Sunday of the month get together from 11.00am on Sunday July 7th. Coffee, cake and a catch-up. Look forward to seeing you.
Best Kept Plot
Judging took place yesterday and the winners of the Best Plot and the Newcomers Best Plot will be presented with their Ayletts vouchers on Sunday. Another reason to come along!
Sustainable St Albans Open Gardens – 4th August 11am to 1.00pm
We encourage you and your friends to come along to this event. It would be good if you could work on your plot at this time and be prepared to chat to visitors. If you have spare produce to offer up for sale, all donations will go to the Association coffers. We will be providing coffee and cake. If anyone is able to make a cake or maybe has some jam this would be gratefully received. If you are planning to bring a cake please let Barbara know.
A Harvest Special! Coffee at the plots with a difference – October 6th
Please bring along your pumpkins! We will provide the barbecue .

PLEASE LOCK THE GATE!

It has been brought to our attention that on more than one occasion the gate to the allotment site has been left unlocked, presumably all night as it was found unlocked early in the morning. We don’t need to spell out the implications given the recent rough sleeper in our Hut and theft of around £100 worth of items. In addition, it is a continuing concern that travellers could enter the site and cause considerable disruption. (This did happen some years ago and the site was closed for 6 months.) Please be vigilant and keep a look-out and let Pat know if anything seems amiss. Any theft from your plot should be reported to the police.

HOW DECISIONS MADE AT THE AGM AFFECT YOU

Thanks to all those who attended the AGM last Sunday – great turnout! And thanks to those who purchased seedlings to boost the BLAA coffers. The coffers were an important item of discussion, as following one year without membership subscriptions, the Committee reported that our financial situation was not sustainable and put forward a proposal to  introduce a £5 site contribution per plotholder, per year. Burydell Lane Allotments have considerable site expenses including fencing and site maintenance, a requirement to pay site insurance, and funds are also needed for maintenance to the Hut. (In that vein there will be a working party shortly to repaint the outside and we will let you know the date.) This was unanimously approved and the new scheme will start with immediate effect. If you want to see the audited accounts that were made available for the AGM, please see here.

Pat as Site Liaison Officer will collect the £5 contribution, or alternatively, you can let Barbara have the £5 in an envelope with your name and plot number. Post through the door at 2 Mill. Again, just to clarify, it is £5 per plotholder NOT plot. The plotholder is the individual who holds the tenancy agreement with the Council.

YOUR COMMITTEE 

The new Committee members are as follows – please also see the updated committee page.

  • Officers – Kim Scrivener (Chair), Heather Spencer-Smith (Secretary), Chris Feakes (Treasurer)
  • Members – Jan Castle, Derrick Davies, Sonia MacArthur, Christine Miles, Jim Miller, Barbara Vernon
  • Pat Solomons is a committee member by virtue of her role as Site Liaison Officer

NEW COUNCIL RULES

Have a look at the new Council Allotment Rules which apply to all allotments in St Albans. Key points are:

  • Use of hosepipes
  • Bonfires
  • 75% cultivation
  • Shortened eviction process (no NC2)

WATER WATER

Please use water responsibly and make sure that you turn off the tap after you have finished. There have been a few occasions when a tap has been left on and this not only damages the ground but wastes a valuable resource.

BEES ON THE SITE

There will soon be two resident beehives on the site, belonging to Claus Schnorr. We will shortly put some more information on the website and by email.

Newsflash!

No coffee morning next Sunday
We normally have coffee in the hut on the 1st Sunday of the month but we are not having a coffee morning on the 5th May because of the AGM on the 12th May.
AGM/Plant Sale/Social Event
Please join us on 12 May at 11.00am. Please bring any spare plants or seedlings or gardening-related items you may wish to swap or sell. After a short AGM tea/coffee/Danish pastries will be served.
We are looking for a new Treasurer
Unfortunately our Treasure is standing down so if you think you might be interested in this role and would like to find out more about it please email Kim (our Chairperson) – Kim – KIM.SCRIVENER@gmail.com. We are a small friendly committee and the job of Treasurer should not take up too much of your time!
Squash Growing competition
Time to get planting now. The biggest squash is the winner! Top tip – lots of muck and water!

Dear all

This is to let you know that the plant swap and AGM will be happening on Sunday 12 May 2019 on site at 11am with light refreshments.

The agenda is here and the minutes of last year’s AGM are here. If you have any items you’d like to raise, please let Heather Spencer-Smith know (hspencersmith125@gmail.com).

Look forward to seeing you there!

Kim (Chair)