Sunday, 29 November 2009

Allotment Party October 2009

Well, it was a great success.  Somewhere between 30 and 50 allotment holders and private gardens braved a chilly evening, to come along to the Golden Ball pub, which is far more than has attended any association event bar the AGM.  It was a excellent evening of witty banter and rivetting tales (well at least from the photo below Graham was enjoying Chris's story even if Sue wasn't).
(Graham Sanderson, Sue Skirrow, Chris Adams, Claire Pickard)
(Hugh MacPherson, Malcolm Hainsworth, Katy Brierley)
Not everyone could fit in to the room we had reserved and association members spilled across the whole pub.  Apologies to those who came later in the evening and found they couldn't get in to the main room at all.  In future we may need to go for a larger venue.

(Glennis Oldfield, Janice Walters and Cllr Tina Funnell)
(Sara Robin, Hugh MacPherson, Morwenna Christian, Simon Christian, Marianne Von Tucka, Andrew Burningham)
It has been suggested that this might become a regular event, perhaps happening monthly until the clocks go forward again.  If you think this is a good idea please let us know on the normal email address.  If we had a better idea of numbers we could go for a bigger venue.

Thanks to everyone who attended for making it a great night and the committee to all thier efforts with spreading the word and providing the buffet.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The endless waiting ....

It's 7.30 on Friday night, in a large side room of the Golden Ball, a real ale pub within the walls of the ancient city of York, the committee of the venerable Scarcroft and District Allotment Committee are sitting nervously sipping thier orange juices, thier party hats all pristine and jaunty, thier boots polished and their best seasonal sweaters on, but with a haunted look in their eyes...will anyone come to their party?  Would the vol au vents go untouched and the dips gradually crust over?  Would they be left making awkward small talk with thier fellow friendless committee members?

Sara furtively checks her watch, still only 7.32, still time for a thirsty plot holder or two to arrive, even if it is only Hugh.  Mike O shifts on his bar stool, will Glenys be angry if he is back home by 8.15 carrying a 100 unused and unwanted paper plates and festive napkins?  He wonders if he could sell the surplus crisps in the hut.  Graham weeps silently as his homemade quiche congeals.  Tina anxiously adjusts the SADAA private party sign on the door and wonders if it gives off the wrong impression.  Clarie weighs up if anyone will notice if she slips out and joins the lively conversation at the bar in the next room.  The landlady makes the excuse of glass clearing in order to scowl at the wasted empty seats on a Friday night.  Malcolm nurses a pint of Pedigree and twitches uncomfortably in his best holeless jumper. Chris W dreams of Spain and proper fiestas and Heather dozes quietly in the corner, cuddling her wine glass.  Caroline mentally sketches out wishful fictional blog headlines 'Allotment Association Awarded ASBO After night of Alcohol driven Anarchy'.  Tom considers how much better allotment committees were in the old days when no one bothered with fancy new fangled allotment parties, he could be at home watching Strictly and twirling Janice round the living room.  'Bibamus, moriendum est' Chris A mutters grumpily to no one in particular.  And so they wait......

Monday, 16 November 2009

Skip to it

A green waste skip has been booked at Albemarle Road end of the Scarcroft Road site for this coming weekend, the 20th -23rd.

Please remember green waste only.

Claire Pickard (Scarcroft Site Secretary)

Monday, 9 November 2009

Seed ordering for 2010

Following the success of the packet seed ordering system last year we shall once again be offering a similar service, modified slightly in the light of experience.

This year packet seeds will only be available from the Mr. Fothergill’s range and will be limited to vegetables & herbs. (Flower seeds create problems with VAT)

Mr Fothergill’s discount list – This shows the range of packet seeds which are available at a 35% discount when ordered through the shop. (Paper copies of this list are available in the shop, electronic copies will be sent out to the email list).
 Mr Fothergill’s colour catalogue (now available in the shop) – All vegetable seeds shown in the catalogue are available to order. Any varieties in the catalogue that do not appear on the Mr Fothergill’s discount list will be subject to a 10% discount only on the prices shown. Unfortunately the supply of sundries, plants, potatoes & onion sets is not available from this catalogue. So far, Mr Fothergills have only given us 10 copies of the catalogue so if you would like to borrow one to make your selection from please bring it back to the shop once you have finished with it. Alternatively, you can browse on line at or order your own copy of the catalogue through their website.

 Mr Fothergill’s also supplies a limited selection of organic seeds.

 In addition to the Mr Fothergill’s packet seeds we will also have a range of peas and beans in bulk. Prices are less than half the cost of an equivalent packet even after discount.
  • Peas: Early Onward, Feltham First, Hurst Greenshaft, Kelvedon Wonder & Onward
  • Broad Beans: Aquadulce, The Sutton & Imperial Green Longpod
  • Dwarf Beans: Tendergreen
  • Runner Beans: Polestar & Scarlet Emperor
Why Mr Fothergill’s? We believe they offer a good quality seed with a good germination rate. However, main factor is that we only need to order 30 packets in each order to achieve their discount. Other suppliers only give a discount when you order a larger amount, which would not give us the flexibility of ordering in batches.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Keep taking photos

There isn't an allotment calendar planned for 2010 but there might be one for 2011.  When we did the 2009 one we had far more summer and early autumn submissions than for November to April.  If the committee produces a new one for 2011 the closing date for entries is likely to be in October. This means that this autumn and winter will be your last chance to take autumn and winter photos for a 2011 calendar, obvious really.  Also it was easier to use landscape pictures than those done in portrait format.
Happy snapping.

Planning for sweet peas

Photo by John Brierley
For those of you who are very organised, you may like a reminder that sweet peas can be planted now and overwintered in a green house or cold frame.
  • Sow in Oct/Nov into rootrainers or long thin pots. Push 2 well spaced seeds about 2.5cm below the compost surface.
  • When roots fill rootrainers, pot on two seedlings into a 2 litre pot. Pinch out the tips when plants have 3 or 4 pairs of leaves. Over-winter undercover in a light, cool place.
  • Plant out - 2 plants to a vertical - in a mild spell in March.
  • Tie them in every week to encourage straight stems.
  • (Can also be sown in Mar/April and planted out in April/May)
  • Flowers: Autumn sown in late May. Spring sown in earlysummer. Keep picking as often as you can.
Close your eyes and smell the bouquet floating across your plot.