Onion Sets

Always buy twice as many as you think you will need and either plant all closely or plant half in a separate bed one inch apart. Thin out or pull when large enough to use as spring onions from late April or early May onwards. Continue using as large spring onions and young ‘green’ onions. Delicious at any size and much sweeter and juicier than fully ripened onions. Also, start using some garlic young and green in late June. This is when it is at its best.

Gillian North

Eating Nasturtiums

The Nasturtium is said to have sprung from the blood of a Trojan warrior. The blossom symbolised his golden helmet and the round leaf his shield. It is a close relation of watercress, which explains why its leaves make such a tasty addition to salads. The seeds of this creeping, twining plant when pickled make a good substitute for capers.

Gillian North

Disposing of Weeds

There is no need to ‘dispose’ of weeds at all. You can compost them. Even couch grass and bindweed roots can be composted if you know how. Either bury them deep (60 cm) in your compost heap or suffocate them in closed black plastic bags with a bit of water. You end up with some nice rich compost and you preserve your precious soil.

Joe Foster

Scarpaccia

A Tuscan zucchini pie without pastry …

(a Tuscan zucchini pie without pastry):

  • 1 or 11/2 lb young courgettes (use flowers as well)
  • 4 or 5 large spring onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 or 5 tbspns finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Batter made from
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 oz brown flour
    • 4 fl oz skim milk or milk + water
    • Butter and olive oil

Finely chop or slice courgettes and finely slice spring onions. Crush garlic. Beat the eggs, flour and milk to make a thin batter. Add vegetables and Parmesan, and season and mix well. Butter a large shallow oven proof dish and pour in the mixture. Don’t make it too deep – rather use two dishes. Drizzle over some olive oil and bake in a hot oven (gas 6/ electric 400) until set, lightly browned and risen slightly. Serve warm or cold.

From Gillian North

Boundary Fence Update

We have been awarded a Well-Being grant of £219 to make up the last bit of the cost of a new fence along our eastern boundary, where Harry Jackson’s pig farm used to be. The Well-Being Fund grant is awarded by local Ward Members through the Inner North West Area Committee, part of Leeds City Council.

We have been awarded a Well-Being grant of £219 to make up the last bit of the cost of a new fence along our eastern boundary, where Harry Jackson’s pig farm used to be. The Well-Being Fund grant is awarded by local Ward Members through the Inner North West Area Committee, part of Leeds City Council. The rest of the £5177 for the project will come from a Weetwood Ward based initiative (many thanks to Councillor Sue Bentley) and from the Parks and Countryside allotments budget (many thanks to Tom Peacock, the Allotments Officer). We expect the work to be completed by April 2011. It will be a metal round-bar fence, like the one at the western side of the site, by the main gate. We hope will make a real difference to the spate of thefts and vandalism we have suffered lately, and will help us all to feel more secure when we are on our plots.

AGM 2010

The 2010 Annual General Meeting of the Hollin Lane Allotment Association was held at Meanwood Institute on Tuesday, 2nd November. In spite of the terrible weather that night we had a reasonable turnout, and had some interesting and useful discussions.

The 2010 Annual General Meeting of the Hollin Lane Allotment Association was held at Meanwood Institute on Tuesday, 2nd November. In spite of the terrible weather that night we had a reasonable turnout, and had some interesting and useful discussions. As always, the Officers and Committee come up for election. Most were just re-elected, but we are happy to welcome Peter Byass and Angie Willshaw as members of the new Committee. Important: Donald Hood announced his intention to give up the job of Treasurer at the next AGM. We need to find a someone who knows book keeping and who can start this year to learn the job from Donald, who has done it so well for so long. Winners of the competition for the best plot were announced. This year, first prize went to Ros Dunlevy on plot 37, second to Joe Foster on plot 30, and third to Peter Blakey on plot 13. The award for best newcomer’s plot went to Peter Byass on plot 20BR. A general discussion followed. Topics (and conclusions):

  • Composting toilet. (People liked the idea, but more research is needed.)
  • Fence along our eastern boundary. (Funding was still a problem.)
  • Reviving the newsletter or setting up a web site. (Here it is!)
  • Joining the Leeds allotment competition. (Needs a volunteer to steer it.)
  • A new communal hut. (For the future.)
  • A barbecue at the annual show in September. (Great idea, needs volunteers.)
  • Bindweed. (We should be tougher with plots that let it get out of control.)