Hello plot holders,
Spring may have officially started on March 1st (by the meteorological calendar at least!), but there hasn’t been much sign of it yet – it certainly hasn’t been good for gardening recently. The rain and wind seem to have been almost continuous since late October, making it difficult to get the usual seasonal tasks done when the ground is sodden. But there were some breaks in the cloud that provided the opportunity to get stuck in. Here’s a brief round-up.
The community work days on 3rd November and 8th February saw the structure of the greenhouse completed, thanks to the efforts of a stalwart bunch of volunteers. On both days, we were very fortunate that it stayed mostly dry and bright, allowing us to make the most of the time available. We are using reclaimed or found materials as much as possible, which complicates things but follows the true allotment spirit of make do and mend. The hoggin floor is down, the door is on and the locks installed. Once the internal shelving is in, the greenhouse is ready to be used!
We’ve also been pruning the fruit trees on the community plots while they are dormant, both on the February work day and other occasions when we could get a break from the storms. The trunks of strangling ivy were cut through, branches were trimmed to reduce height and improve shape and airflow and dead wood and water shoots removed. A chipper was hired to deal with the wood and plot holders also added their own prunings to the pile.
Since last summer, there have been a number of intrusions onto the site, apparently by young people looking for somewhere to indulge in “recreational activities”. This has continued into the winter, with them now looking to take shelter in sheds and greenhouses. This has resulted in damage, as greenhouses in particular are being broken into, sometimes by breaking the locks or simply smashing the glass – distressing to say the least for the plot holders concerned. In conjunction with the local police and Pathways, we’ve been doing our best to find a solution, but it’s not simple, quick or cheap on a large open site such as ours. We now have agreed plans with Pathways to install an alley gate and to raise the height and extent of both entrance gates. At the same time, repairs to the metal fence around Haslemere/Midhurst will be made. There will be a presentation on the plans at the AGM …
… which is taking place on Sunday 29th March from 4pm to 6pm at West Ealing Bowls and Social Club, Mervyn Road, W13 9UW. See you there!