April 2014 Newsletter
Happy Easter Weekend
Easter is traditionally the time to start getting your potatoes in the ground, but, with the weather we have been having, and the forecast for the weekend, this may not be the best time. Not to worry, if you have to stay indoors you can sow seeds.
When you are sowing seeds, please sow some extra for the Annual Plant Sale on May 10th, and don't forget that we have extremely interesting and good value seeds available in the Shop, which will be open on Saturday as well as Sunday this Easter weekend (see below for more info from John and Sarah).
Holden Road Hedge
Another option for this weekend is hedge planting on Holden Road field. We have purchased enough native hedging for about half of Holden Road field, and those who are ready to plant should get in touch with Les: 07957 388 033. If you don't have a plot on Holden Road field, but are interested in this activity, you can get in touch too!
Thank you to Mathew, Slawek, Les and Tasha, Marco, Ros, Janet, John, Jean, Brigid and Les who all took part in cutting back the main path through the site, filling 6 builder's bags with cuttings.
Most of the drivable roadway has been trimmed back, by the Work Parties in February and March, reducing obstruction and scratches. Our site boundaries are everyone's responsibility, but if you are lucky enough to have a plot on the main drive, please do not rely on others to cut back your boundary hedge or bramble. If you feel you don't have enough time, or are no longer able to do this, please discuss this with Les: 07957 388033.
Thank you to Bradut, Akan and Brian who all answered our call for techie support.
Brian is making a new website which will replace the Blog, and provide interesting and useful information both for those looking for a plot, and to members.
The water will be turned back on soon, and any necessary repairs carried out. Michael, the plumber, knows our site very well as he has done the work for many years. Now that we are Self Managing, he is employed directly by us, not by the Council, so the full expense of our water system is carried by all of us.
The plumbing to the last tap on Field 1 was broken and out of use for many years, and 15 people were having to use one tap. Marco has dug a trench for new plumbing, with help from Les and Nighat, and a new tap will be plumbed in by Michael. This will be a great help to the plot holders in this area. Repairs to our water supply are labour intensive and expensive, so please avoid digging anywhere where the plumbing to taps is likely to be. Do not dig around or near to water stands, and keep your boundary well clear of the plumbing line (straight line between the taps).
If you see a dripping tap, or have any other plumbing concerns, please contact a Committee member urgently, so that the problem can be repaired as soon as possible, to avoid wasting our funds.
SPRING RUBBISH COLLECTION
Thank you to Ralph, who reported the furniture dumped outside the gate. Anyone who sees rubbish dumped outside our site should report it to Barnet Council. Ralph reported it online but you can also report it by calling : 020 8359 4600 Please put this number in your phone.
If rubbish is dumped inside the site, please let a Committee member know as the Council will not remove it. We pay for rubbish removal from our rents and it is a significant expense for us.
We have had another complaint by a local resident, about a dangerous fire on our site. This is being investigated.
Bonfires are allowed at any time until the end of April, but please try to avoid any further complaints. Never put any plastics, glass, left over chemicals, fertilisers or weedkillers on your fire and never use petrol or paraffin to start it.
Beneficial animals such hedgehogs, grass snakes and slow worms, hibernate in piles of old wood etc, so make sure no one is inside before you light – also check that your neighbours are happy for you to have a bonfire – if not, leave it for another day.
The tree surgery which was planned for March, had to be postponed due to illness. It will be rescheduled as soon as possible to reduce risk to nesting birds.
SHOP MESSAGE from Sarah and John
This Easter weekend the Trading Hut Shop will be open on both Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 12 noon. Therefore, if you are intending to visit your plot this weekend then why not pop into the Shop and see what’s available to help you grow and obtain the best possible quality produce.
We still have stocks of multipurpose and organic compost as well as some popular fertilisers such as ‘Fish blood and Bone’, ‘Growmore’ and organic ‘Pelleted Chicken Manure’ at very good prices. However, we have now sold out of the branded bags of ‘Farmhouse Manure’ and ‘Topsoil’ so please let us know if you want us to order in some more.
There are also some interesting varieties of seeds on offer which you could perhaps consider planting and maybe contribute some of them to the forthcoming plant sale later in May.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Jacquie's tips for April
· Potatoes - although it may be best to wait until mid April. If they are planted sooner then make sure that the shoots are protected against frost.
· Plant Onion and shallot sets
· Sow lettuce, parsnip,turnip, beetroot, peas and beans - outdoors
· Sow brassicas, celery and celeriac - indoors
Try not to be in too much of a hurry to plant and sow seeds if the conditions are not right - nature always has her way of catching up!