Learning Day for Leeds Allotment Plotholders
RSPB’s annual bird count. Everyone can take part.
Between Nov. and early March in UK.
Winter pruning of apples and pears is best done while the trees are dormant, usually between November and early March in the UK. Here are three useful articles from the RHS that explain what to do for different types of pruning:
- For young standard or bush-trained trees
- Regulated pruning to keep trees from getting too big
- For renovating old or neglected trees
Have a go!
Many onion crops ruined.
Many of our onion crops have been ruined this year by allium leaf miner. We started to notice them on our alliums (onions, leeks, garlic, etc.) in 2020, but this year the damage is the worst so far. More information here.
Monbiot on soil and the future of food.
Here is an article by George Monbiot on soils, and how we might nurture them in order to keep producing food in years to come.
A useful guide to gardening without pesticides
A safe and effective slug bait?
A researcher in America has found a highly effective, non-toxic and cheap slug bait. Is bread dough what we have been looking for all these years? Why not try it and see? But don’t let the rats reach it!
25 October, on Zoom
25th October, 2021 on Zoom
Present: 15 members. Apologies: 5 members
Minutes of 2020 meeting
Minutes of the last meeting were agreed as a true record. Matters arising :
- Rents will stay the same for 2020-2021 (£72.00 p.a.) but go up for the 2021-2022 year due to inflation.
Chair´s and Trustees´ Reports:
- Trustees inspections and Committee meetings occur at the beginning of March, June and September, with follow ups after a 6 week interval. Giles Foster agreed to be a Trustee after the tragic loss of Chris Thirkill. Two people were evicted. There were some outstanding plots this year and generally the standard is quite high, perhaps thanks to Covid.
- We had several events:
- the May Plant Bring and Buy sale was a success although only open to plotholders.
- The Autumn Show was also a success thanks to Eric Wells who stepped into judge.
- There were a couple of work parties to tackle the brambles growing over the footpath which can be quite dangerous for horse riders. A big work party began to clear the path at the top of the site where there are many overgrown bushes/trees.
- Apple Day, where we used our new scratter and apple press.
- Rats are still a problem that needs a concerted effort from everyone. Poison will not work on our site so we must make it unattractive to rats by not leaving food sources available to them. Rats love windfall apples, corn and sunflower seeds so these need to be removed as soon as the rats have found them. Also compost bins need to be made rat-proof with the wire mesh available from hut free of charge. AGREED: As this is a health and safety issue the Trustees will regularly take note of where there is food for rats and name and warn the plotholder responsible.
- Paths: narrow and uneven paths are a problem between plots. A work party is needed to fill in ruts and cut back overgrown fruit bushes. If brambles are arching across a path, anyone can cut them back. Paths between plots should be 80 cms wide and the main paths 2 meters.
- The stone retaining wall has collapsed in places on the top path and we can get three quotes for repairs to be carried out. We believe the Council will pay for this work.
- Security: we have not had many break-ins and only a few complaints about fruit being taken. Remember to scramble the code on the locks when arriving and leaving the site.
Damien submitted the Treasurer´s Report for Rachael, which showed a healthy balance due to the generous bequest from Gillian North.
Water rates are high and we should find out why there has been such a large increase. Is there a leak?
Discussion on how to identify payments for hut supplies and Joe agreed to create some standard forms. Jenny T-J suggested a docket book with 3 carbon copies would be a simple solution.
Polytunnel lettings were not all being recorded and this needs to be addressed for the coming year.
The accounts are being audited by Yvonne Oughton but the accounts as submitted were accepted by the meeting.
Rosie stated that we have 125 people on the waiting list after a questionnaire from the Council reduced the list by 10%. There were three quarter plots ready to let and people at the top of the list will be offered these plots. Hollin Lane has the longest waiting list for plots in Leeds and is also the site that has reduced the plot size the most.
All stand down, but are eligible for re-election.
- Chair: Joe Foster
- Secretary: Jayne Harnett
- Plot Letting: Rosie Hall
- Treasurer: Rachael Munro Fawcett
- Committee (need 7)
- Ness Clarke
- Mary Davies
- Louise Allen
- Chris Foren
- Giles Foster
- Jo Ann Eisenberg
- Stephan Petzold
- John Balfour.
Autumn Show Rules:
Discussion about the rules of entry and the meeting agreed that at the next show only one exhibit, per class, per person would be permitted. There were no entries for the Joe Maiden cup this year and we discussed changing the description. Agenda item to be discussed in the Committee as well as the entry description for the Gill North cup.
Gillian North Bequest:
Discussion and suggestions were put forward for the money Gillian North left to HLAA which will become a communal resource. Some suggestions:
- Replacing the hut (shipping container). Need planning permission for larger concrete base?
- Mechanical Shredder.
- Electric grid, or solar panels and battery storage.
- Communal strimmers.
- Better communal seating area.
- Polytunnel staging.
- Solar panels: Lidgett Lane Allotments have solar panels and it was agreed that James, Giles, Joe and Rosie would arrange to see how they work on site.
The coppice wood is in a bad way with bindweed taking over. It was suggested that members be encouraged to ´adopt a tree´ and take care of it by clearing the area around the tree. A tree could be twinned with the plotholder’s plot. Agreed to email membership outlining this scheme.
Toilet Fairy Co-ordinator:
Jenny T-J agreed to take over from Angie to manage the rota and recruit new fairies. Joe will put the rota on the website and call out for new volunteers.
Many copies of the seed catalogues have been taken but few orders received. The deadline is this weekend. Rosie will send out a reminder.
Our first since the pandemic started
Our Autumn Show on Sunday, 13th September – our first since the pandemic started – was attended by a good crowd of members, and the mood was definitely jolly, thanks to Louise’s idea of vintage dressing and veg-themed head-dresses.
There was a good display of our fruit and veg on show, too, ably judged by Eric Wells and Roger Storr. They continued in our “Joe Maiden” tradition and explained how they made their decisions as they went around the classes. Many thanks to them for coming to judge for us after spending a busy morning at the Bramhope Show!
The final results of the judging were as follows:
- Best in Show Rosie’s display of mixed produce.
- Points for exhibits
- Joe Foster 33
- Rosie Hall 30
- Peter Blakey 23
There were some delicious refreshments produced by our members on sale on a “pay as you feel” basis. Look out for some of the recipes to appear on our web site.
Huge thanks to everyone who helped make it all happen, and to everyone to turned up and made it all worth while.