Mousehold South Allotment Association

an association to help all the allotment holders in Mousehold South.
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Mousehold South Allotment Association



Inspiring webpage!


Here is a very nice photo essay from The Guardian of a Bristol allotment during National Allotment Week.



Keep digging!


There’s a very timely warning from the National Allotment Society that we should all try to keep our profile as high as possible in the public eye and particularly the Council's eye. Otherwise, as the example of Brighton shows, councils can suddenly decide to re-designate allotment sites as suitable for housing. The pressures to find more housing are always there and unless our allotments look well used they can easily seem attractive plots! Have a look at this National Alloment Society page and get digging and promoting! Their website is full of helpful tips on growing too!


Future events planned

Barbecue: Sunday 4th September, 1.00- 3.00.

AGM: Monday 14th November at 7.00pm at Silver Road Baptist Church.


NEWS

The Association is very pleased that Plot 26 (opposite Plot 43 and slightly higher up the hill) has been made available by the City Council, free of charge, for us to grow vegetables specifically for the Norwich Food Bank. Michael Lansdell has taken a lead in getting this brilliant idea off the ground - but he would welcome any help that other members can give him. The plan is to keep it simple and grow things that will be really welcomed by the families who might benefit. Thanks Michael!

As usual we would welcome any photographs or news you might like to share. The web-master is very good at up-dating the site when he has new stuff to put up. But tends to let things lie fallow when no new material is available. Isn’t that just like a gardener!

Something to look forward to!

May Blossom


All the best from your committee


Last Year’s Walkaround

This was a great success, helped by the fact of it being the warmest day of the year so far.

We visited about a dozen of each others sites including the very impressive mini-plots. And everyone found things to admire and to copy from each other. The main general lesson is the need to keep feeding our rather poor sandy soil to retain as much moisture as possible. Where this had been done for some years the results were truly impressive.

Congratulations are due to Michael Lansdell our mini-plots co-ordinator for his initiative in applying for, AND GETTING(!), a grant to help improve and refurbish the mini-plot beds.

Well done!

Michael can be seen here introducing us the the mini-plots on our walkabout where every inch of space is used to the full.
Walkabout1

Walkabout2

And here on higher ground, some members on the walkabout.

Walkabout2
Beware! Potato Rustlers!

Please make sure you lock the main gate behind you when you leave, I know the padlock is extremely awkward to use but next time it could be your prize vegetables gone!

Please do report any thefts to the police and to the Council Allotement officer, Matt Hewes, () as it will help the pressure to upgrade out fencing and general security.
Cautionary Tale

Take care, there are more threats to allotments round the country, so keep digging and growing to demonstrate a continuing need. The more our plots look productive the harder it will be for any council to make moves to take them away from us.

Story in the Guardian newspaper
Working parties.
  • The Allotment Officer, Matt Hewes, has provided a new notice board. The existing board will be removed and repositioned on Plot 43 (John has offered to repair the board before it is re-sited)
    Photos welcome!
    We’ve had some wonderful photos of the winter snow by Louise McDonald but now that autumn has finally upon us we do need something a bit more seasonal.
    Please do send any good photos through the year to the .

On the subject of wildlife on our allotments, Richard has asked me to remind everyone "to help the wildlife on the allotments, by simply leaving water out and making sure it is ice free, also leaving food out, if enough people do it, at least somewhere they will find ice free water and food, while the weather is bad, as it is rather bleak for them. In the spring the allotment holders will be rewarded with their presence, eating all the bugs, aphids etc. and with their delightful song. "

Not all wildlife is equal in everyone’s eyes though, and some may not wish to encourage rats, mice, squirrels and woodpigeons, so take care how you offer your food.

There is a helpful and attractive PDF booklet by Natural England which you can download by clicking on this link Wildlife on Allotments

But here is a summary of advice for the winter months from the allotment department of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

January

  • Birds need to bathe to keep their feathers in good condition, so provide a bird bath and enjoy the sight.
  • Food is scarce at this time of year, put out appropriate food for the bird species local to your site at least until spring.
  • Order your wild flower seeds..
  • Fix a box designed for bats on a tree, though they may prefer to roost under loose tiles or in the loft of surrounding houses.

February

  • Well designed and located nest boxes are used by tits, robins, sparrows, house martins and other birds. Make sure boxes are clean and in good condition.
  • Prune fruit trees & cut back hedges as late in winter as possible to avoid reducing food and shelter when wildlife needs it most.
  • Plant trees and shrubs.
  • Put out slug traps around new sowings and plantings - preferably a week or two before sowing or planting.
  • Dig up over-wintering brassicas as soon as you have finished harvesting as they can harbour pest and diseases.

March

  • Catch rainwater in butts and to reduce evaporation caused by the sun's heat, water plants in the evening.
  • Divide established marginal, pond and wetland plants.
  • Cut back shrubby herbs such as lavender, sage and thyme.
  • Prune shrubs that flower on new shoots, eg. Buddleja Davidii
  • Look out for the first show of bees and other insects, bird's nests and spring flowers.
  • A good mulch and minimal cultivation (no-dig approach) is an ideal environment for ground beetles - the best slug predator.

Vision of the Future!

By way of contrast maybe here is what we have to look forward to if global warming comes to pass!
But note the poor vegetation.

Thanks to Bryan for cheering us up in these cold days.


NEW BROOM

There is a new Allotment Officer (Matt Hewes) in charge of us on the Council and he seems keen to (re-)establish order and good practice amongst us!

He has made an initial visit and served weed control notices on quite a number of plot holders, reminding us all that we do need to keep our plots in good order, particularly as there is a long waiting list of people wanting a plot. Also he reminds us that all plots should be clearly numbered and any sheds should also carry their plot numbers.

To email him please use this link.

A full copy of the official Council allotment rules can be seen here
with the replacement page 5 here. Maybe someday they will get round to amending the original document!


Useful Vegetable Sowing Calendar

This looks like a useful resource when you are wondering when to sow that new vegetable you want to try. Also a possible source for seeds. Nickys Seeds - Vegetable Sowing Calendar

Sunday 26th June 2012 Walkabout pictures

The arranged walkabout and chat went very well and lots of plots were visited. If you click here you can see a slideshow of photos taken by Bryan of some of the plots .


Useful website

A useful looking website for us with lots of useful advice. Allotment Vegetable Growing


Miniplots available

Following the refurbishment of plot 43 there are a number of raised beds which are being offered to people on the waiting list for an allotment plot.

If you are on the waiting list for an allotment at Mousehold South your waiting days could be over.

Mousehold South Allotment Association have created some raised beds on their community plot and are offering these “mini-plots” to people who are currently on the waiting list.

There is no charge, but in order to qualify for a mini-plot you do need to become a member of the allotment association (annual subscription 5). There would also be a refundable deposit for keys.

This is a great way to try out whether the idea of growing your own produce is for you and also will give you a chance to meet like-minded people. The raised beds were created with help from a grant from Norwich City Council and are also available to local community groups.

If you want to take advantage of this offer, please Michael Lansdell


The Shed is Dead - Long live the Shed!

For the full slideshow of the work on this plot click here Mousehold South Allotment Association
This is how the shed and its plot looked a few short weeks ago.

Mousehold South Allotment Association
Last rites were given the old wreckage by several people including John and David

Mousehold South Allotment Association
Then Andy built the foundation plinth (no photo alas) and the creation of a wonderful area of new raised beds by Ian and the workers of TNG could begin.

Mousehold South Allotment Association
At the same time John, more or less singlehandedly built the new shed on the new plinth.

Mousehold South Allotment Association
The finished shed and the plot transformed.

For the full slideshow of the work on this plot click here
We will try to use this website to keep you informed and to announce anything of interest.

If you have any news, or gardening tips or nice pictures of our allotment area, please do send them by to David who is running the website. With your help we can make this entertaining and useful to us all.



A busy Saturday morning

Mousehold South Allotment Association in action

Mousehold South Allotment Association map
Disclaimer! Neither the Google photo nor the council’s map are entirely up-to-date.
If you have any corrections you can offer the allotments officer, please by clicking this link.