Sunday, 20 September 2009

Celebrating In The Shop

There was lots to celebrate in the allotment shop this Sunday.  It was great to see our hut manager, Tom Walters, looking so well after his recent operation.  We are really glad to have him back in the shop, keeping everyone in order.  Also Sara Robin will celebrate her 60th birthday tomorrow Monday the 21st September.  The picture below shows Sara, Patrick and Tom.  It was only 11am so that's coffee not champagne.

Praise All Round

Individual plot holders were not the only winners in the City of York Council's recent Best Plot competition.  Our association also won a collective prize.  The prize was awarded for all the work we have done over the last few years to reinvigorate our three allotments and to create a community spirit including producing our regular newsletter Dig This, the Glut Gourmet cookbook and allotment calendar and promoting the allotment competition.  Well done us!  If you are so in awe of this certificate you can see the real thing in the hut.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Local Radio Star

Scarcroft allotmenteer, eco warrior and familiar face to local dog walkers - Sara Robin, was on Radio York again.  This Friday, the 11th of September, Sara was interviewed by Radio York in her capacity as a Scarcoft  & District Allotment Assocation committee member, on the demise of our national gardening skills, in particular how our forefathers knew how to garden organically, with nature instead of against it.  However, we de-skilled modern gardeners shouldn't despair as the piece was all about how the Soil Association is starting a programme of Organic Farm Schools.  These schools are a series of hands-on courses in growing your own food, rearing animals, cooking and rural crafts. The courses range from a one-day basic introductions to more professional ones - in bee-keeping, chicken keeping, vegetable growing, willow weaving, hedge laying or dry stone walling and so on.  If you want to brush up on the gardening skills our grandparents had follow the soil association link below.  If you want to listen to Sara's interview follow the link to the BBCs listen again site.  I believe Sara comes on about 30 minutes into the programme.
BBC York Listen Again Jonathan Cowap

Soil Association Organic Farm School

Share the bounty

Are you swamped with plums or over faced with beans?  Why don't you bring your glut into the allotment shop and thereby share it with your fellow allotmenteers?

This week Sara Robin kindly brought in some surplus (and lovely) Bramley apples to give away and Caroline Bush came along with containers of worm juice* from her wormery.  Both were quickly snapped up by members who visited the shop for other things.

If you have crops you don't want but you think other allotment holders could make good use of please bring them into the shop on a Saturday and we will give them away over the weekend.  And of course come along and see if there is anything you want to take away.

* Worm juice is the liquid which is produced in a wormery and can be used either as a liquid fertiliser or as a compost activator.

Autumn Manure Delivery

Patrick, our purveyor of manure.

This morning we had a delivery of lovely well rotted 2 year old cattle manure to the car park just outside the allotment shop/hut on the Scarcroft Site.  It's £1.50 a barrow load.  Please pay in the shop.  If it is not open when you are on the site please either put cash or a cheque through the letter box (we will come and check it nightly) or come back when it is open.  Just in case you need reminding the current opening hours are:

Saturday 13.30 - 3.30
Sunday 10.00 - 13.00

Please don't forget to pay.  It is a shame that we often make a loss on the manure deliveries. This delivery cost the association £100.  This time we are trying to be extra vigilant to keep an eye on who takes what, so if you do pay when no one is around you may wish to put your money in an envelope with your name on it so it is easier for us to know who has and who hasn't paid.

We are aware that the place that the manure is delivered to is not that convenient for everyone.  We have considered moving it but are restricted by the size of truck it gets delivered in and the fact some people feel it would upset folk who use the central public footpath if we put it on the 'triangle' in the middle of the site.  Also we are hopeful that, if the muck is near the shop, those who use it will all be more likely to pay for it.

Happy spreading.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Fed up with courgette yet? Here's a suggestion from Glut Gourmet.

Creamy Courgette Pasta

1lb/450g courgettes
8 fluid ounces/250g creamy yoghurt or creme fraiche
a teaspoon of cornflour
fresh basil
olive oil

Top and tail the courgettes and grate them. Mix the cornflour into the yoghurt or creme fraiche. Heat some olive oil in a pan and when it's hot, add the grated courgettes and toss them rapidly for a couple of minutes so that they get very hot without burning. Add the yoghurt or creme fraiche and stir it in - the cornflour should prevent it from separating. When the mixture is thoroughly hot, serve with the pasta of your choice and shred a few basil leaves over the top.

Matthew, my husband's, highest praise was "you can hardly tell that was courgette". High praise indeed, especially by this time of year.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Ever handy, Mike is fixing the shop's petrol mower.

Winners of the 2009 Allotment Competition

The results of York Council's Best Plot Competition 2009 are in!

Congratulations go to the following:

Mrs Audrey Calvert 10A Strensall NORTH AREA WINNER
Ms Sandra Geere 7 Wigginton Terrace
Miss Lindsay Atkinson & Mr Peter Townsend 5 Wigginton Road

Mr John & Mrs Ann Harper 8 Glen JOINT EAST AREA WINNER
Mrs Diana Quinn 18 Hempland Lane JOINT EAST AREA WINNER
Mr Paul & Mrs Helen Sellers (runner up) 3 Hempland Lane
Mr Carlton Hirst 97B Low Moor
Mrs Judy Hodgson 10 Fulford Road

Mrs Margaret Barthorpe 10 Hob Moor
Ms Ruth Hodgins (runner up) 17B Hospital Field
Mrs Julia Mander 25 Hospital Field
Mr Sammy Kee 94 Scarcroft SOUTH AREA WINNER
Mrs Anthea Brigstocke (runner up) 114 Scarcroft

Mr Alan Roughton & Miss Julie McGuigan 2 Carr
Mr Robert Almond 37B Green Lane
Miss Christine Bishop 8 Holgate WEST AREA WINNER