The 2018 growing year brought us a cold, wet spring followed by a warm, dry summer, with some spectacular harvests of fruit and other crops. This year we discovered that chili powder is a good repellent for rats and squirrels on our sweet corn. Thanks to Ros Dunlevey for this tip.
The Committee met seven times this year, discussing the usual allotment business, and also organized a number of other events.
We are very grateful to Angie Willshaw, who is stepping down after four very active years as our Secretary. She has been the main driver in all of our successful projects during her time, including the new fence and gates, the communal toilet and tool shed, the senior plots, and much more, even including improvements to the public footpath along the bottom of our site.
Many thanks to John Balfour, Jenny Tennant-Jackson and Sandra and John Olive, who are also stepping down after giving generously of their time and efforts.
Our events this year included
- A plant bring and buy sale on 3rd June, which featured lots of beautiful vegetable seedlings and plants raised by our members, and open to all.
- Our autumn show on 9th September, also open to all.
- An open day on 18th August, during National Allotment Week.
- An apple juicing day on 6th October, when we hired equipment from Leeds Urban Harvest and members brought along their own apples for juicing.
- Several work parties which also involved members of the public and volunteers from Morgans City Living. We improved the public footpath, tidied up the site, cleared an overgrown plot, and more.
Volunteers do a lot of important day by day work around the allotments: cutting grass, maintaining the hedges, looking after the composting toilet, letting out plots, collecting rents, and all the other jobs that need doing just to keep the allotments running.
The Trustees do three plot inspections each year on about 1st of March, June and September, with three follow up inspections six weeks after. The committee meets each time to decide what to do about any problem plots.
This year there were seven evictions. This is our least favorite job of all, but a necessary one. Several plot holders received warnings, and managed to improve their plots.
Security was not too bad this year. There was no vandalism, but we had several instances of sheds broken into and property stolen. On the last occasion we could not see any evidence of entry around the boundary of the site, so it looks like someone had the code for the locks. This can happen if the lock is left without scrambling the numbers. Whenever this happens we have to change the code on the locks, and then tell all the members the new code.
Please keep the code secret!
Paths should be kept clear, and ideally at least 80cm wide to allow for safe passage of people, mowers and wheelbarrows.
Ness talked us through the accounts for 2018, which showed us to be in good shape financially, with over £8K in the bank. Our takings from the plant B&B sale and show together were over £900, the best we have managed so far. She gave us a helpful explanation of how our balance seems to shift from year to year, due to the times of the accounts overlapping with rents coming in. This should be less of a problem in future.
Ness has managed to find a new Treasurer for 2019, so she can step down for a well deserved break. Big thanks to her for doing this important job so ably since 2013.
Amendment to Constitution
We added a bit to Section 5 of our constitution to create a new post of Letting Officer.
Election of Officers and Committee
All officers and committee members stand down each year, but are eligible for re-election. Officers and Committee were elected for 2019 as follows:
|Chair||Joe Foster||30 + 31B|
|Hon. Secretary||Sue Stones||9TL|
|Hon. Treasurer||Stephan Petzold||26B + 26TR|
|Hon. Letting Officer||Rosie Hall||12B + 23B|
|Tom + Trina Evans-Cheung||20BL|
|Chris Foren||26TL + 32BL|
Best plots were judged by Brian Jenner of Hayley’s Field Allotments on 20 July. This year there were categories for full, half and quarter plots, as well as best newcomer.
Best Plots 2018
|Full Plot||Joe Foster||30|
|Half Plot||Malcolm Slade||8R|
|Quarter Plot||Harriet Gardiner||4BL|
Malcolm Slade’s plot was the best overall, so he will hold the shield again this year.
The Autumn Show, on 9 September was judged by Gillian North.
|Best in Show||Peter Blakey (red cabbage)|
|Overall Winner||Joe Foster|
|Joe Maiden Prize||Jo Ann Eisenberg|