Thursday, 7 November 2013

Cycling & Allotments

There can be few people in Yorkshire not looking forward to next years Tour de France Grand Depart. It's going to be quite some party! Those lucky cyclists and visitors are going to be sampling some of the best countryside and hospitality in the country... or indeed the World. 

According to the Lonely Planet travel guides for 2014, Yorkshire has been named as the third top global region to visit! And we can't argue with that...

Here in York, Stage 2 of Le Grand Depart begins just across the road from our Hospital Fields and Scarcroft allotment sites before heading into the city along Bishopthorpe Road. Check out the official route and zoom in for more detail...

Continuing the cycling theme, we're pleased to announce that the Hob Moor allotment site now also has 2 cycle stands. These have been provided for free by the lovely people at Parkthatbike

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

2014 Calendar

It's at the printers and will soon be on sale! 

Here's a sneak preview of our 2014 Calendar and it's looking great with thanks to all those who contributed photos to this community project. It will be on sale in the allotment shop by the end of the month priced £5 (what a splendid Christmas gift!!) 

Once again we're fortunate to be supported by our fabulous local businesses: Pextons, Frankie and Johnny's & The Good Food Shop all on Bishopthorpe Road, who will also be selling the calendar for us.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Member's photographs

Here are just a few photos taken by members of the association.  If you'd like to email in any of your pictures that would be great! It's always nice to see what's going on elsewhere - a bit like peering over the garden wall!

If we receive enough photos we will once again be compiling an association calendar 2014 
Please email your pics to:

Sarah Austin
Iris Wells
Eric Leadley

Sally Hayes

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Bee safari review

Saturday afternoon saw an intrepid & elite group of wildlife stalkers do battle with heat and flies as they traipsed through Scarcroft allotments on a quest to discover more about the local bee population. Alison Reboul of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust courageously led the troup on the safari pointing out nest sites and identifying different types of bumblebee along the way. Unlike the honey bee, the greatest threat to a bumblebee's survival is the loss of habitat. It was therefore of particular interest which flowers were the most beneficial and what sort of conditions encourage nesting. 

The afternoon proved to be really interesting and informative, as well as a great way to relax and take time out from all the other allotment jobs. To round off the afternoon, there was a choice of four different types of honey cake and biscuits, all washed down with home made redcurrant syrup!

For more information on the Bumblebee Conservation Trust please see the following link:

Identifying a bumblebee 
Honey bees on borage
Honey bee hive
(apparently full of honey!)
Bumblebee on roses
Bumblebees on lavender

Friday, 19 July 2013

Cycle stands!

Four new cycle stands have been installed by volunteers on the Scarcroft allotment site... and they look great! 

There has long been a desperate need for this provision, with cycles being locked to bits of fencing, drain pipes, gates etc. Happily cyclists can now confidently secure their bikes whilst visiting their plots or the allotment shop. The stands are spaced to accommodate panniers and trailers and it is hoped that they will encourage even more people to cycle to Scarcroft.

On the occasions when you do need to bring a vehicle to the site then there are still 6 generous parking spaces for cars and vans.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Wildlife Event

Well, this hot weather is certainly producing some very fragrant flowers in the allotment and garden. So what better time is there to do a spot of bumble and honey bee investigating? 
... And whilst we're talking wildlife, what about checking out some pond life too? Dragon and Mayflies, pond skaters, newts, water snails... 

Come along to Scarcroft Allotment's shop on Saturday 20th July at 3.30pm to wander the site with Sara Robin of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Bumblebee Conservation Trust volunteer, Alison Reboul. Finish the afternoon off relaxing in the sun with a cup of tea and honey cake on the green triangle. 

(All contributions of cake and biscuits gratefully received)

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Surveying buried remains!

Here is a great opportunity to help discover what exactly is below the turf of the green triangle at Scarcroft allotments.

We walk and barrow over it, picnic upon it, meet at it, are entertained upon it, cycle through it, play music upon it, sit in its sunshine...
...But has it always been used this way?

Hannah Baxter of YAT and its Plotting the Past project is returning to Scarcroft to conduct a geophysical survey of the green triangle. If you're interested in being involved with this event just turn up: 
Friday 16th August 10am - 4pm

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Growing for little'uns

Planet Southbank is putting on a FREE event for little pre-school growers and their parents/carers.

If you have any spare seedlings to contribute to this community venture then please drop them off at the allotment shop this weekend (15th / 16th June) where they will be gratefully received. 

See Planet Southbank's website for more information:

Friday, 7 June 2013

Bootham Stray Allotments Open Day

Open Day at Bootham Stray Allotments 
Sunday 23rd June
12.00pm - 2.00pm 

In July 2011 Bootham Stray Allotments Association were awarded a £50,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, to rejuvenate the allotments and create a community area. 

As the project is now drawing to a close they would like to take the opportunity to invite members of the allotment and gardening community  to an Open Day. There will be a display showing how the project has changed the site, with people available to talk through the application process should anyone be interested in applying for a grant themselves. 

There will also be activities and stalls to keep the whole family entertained: 
Tombola & raffle
Cakes & refreshments
Face painting & scarecrow making

For more information about Bootham Stray Allotments Association and how to find them please follow link

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Mikron Theatre, 'Beyond The Veil' review

The scene on the Scarcroft allotment green at 7pm on Wednesday 29th was reminiscent of a typical British summer festival. An audience of around 60 people wrapped up in blankets and waterproofs, sheltered under a large canopy of eight gazebos, whilst the sky progressively darkened with the promise of more rain. And then the four actors of Mikron Theatre began their opening song and we knew that whatever the weather that evening, we were in for a real treat. 

Mikron provided a skillful mix of wit, music, racy narrative and larger than life characters, in their telling of the murder of April May, a plot holder and bee keeper on Thistledale allotments. Detective Starkey, wearing trenchcoat and trilby, was responsible for solving this mystery, yet there was, "Something about this crazy case about as likely as a heatwave in Hull".

The play was set within the wider context of bee keeping, and so we were informed of the different lives of queen, worker and drone bees. In this respect a definite highlight was the song of the Drone Bee which had us all giggling and laughing over the top of the now steady rain drumming on the canvas above us.

Needless to say the mystery was solved at the end of an excellent evening's entertainment. And the rain did stop, just long enough to take down the gazebos and pack everything away. We now eagerly await 17th September when Mikron returns to York performing, 'Don't shoot the Messenger' at Clements Hall.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Mikron Theatre performance 'Beyond the Veil'

News of the eagerly anticipated return performance by the fantastic Mikron Theatre touring company. Scarcroft allotments is over the moon to be playing host to their latest production, 'Beyond the Veil' on Wednesday 29th May at 7.00pm

You may like to bring a chair and picnic for the event (refreshments will also be available)
And a collection will be taken after the performance
Any questions or offers of help please contact organiser Willy Hoedeman (details below)

To find out more about the Mikron Theatre group, you may like to check out their website

DCI Mark Starkey thinks he’s got a quiet patch in sleepy Thistledale, but all that is about to change dramatically when there’s a sudden, unnatural death on the local allotment…
The grisly discovery down by the beehives is only the beginning for Detective Starkey. To unmask the murderer he must first uncover an altogether less savoury side of life in Thistledale; the bitter grudges, thwarted passions and murky pasts.
And then there are the bees.
The life of the honeybee might be described as one of great sweetness and harmony, punctuated by sudden, desperate, acts of violence. The same could be said for Thistledale.
Detective Starkey soon realises that the more he knows about bees, the closer he gets to the killer!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Poetry and Photography Event

We're really pleased to be hosting an event of 'Pictures and Words' at the Scarcroft Allotment site on Tuesday 16th April from 10.30 onwards. It is organised by Hannah Baxter of York Archaeological Trust and is part of her Plotting the Past community project. It is open to everyone with an interest in allotments, poetry, photography and archaeology, so if you're around please drop in for some, or all of the day. 

Look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, 5 April 2013

Onion Sets

At last... sunshine and the joys of Spring! Seeing the daffodils and crocuses appearing certainly lifts the spirits and focusses the mind on the coming growing season. If you're thinking of planting onion sets and shallots there's still time and they're on sale in the allotment shop.

White onion varieties of Sturon and Centurion £2.90 per kg
Red onion varieties of Red Baron and Red Karmen £3.20 per kg
Shallot varieties of Yellow Moon and Red Sun £3.30 per kg

Just pop in on Saturdays 13:30 - 15:30 and Sundays 10:00 - 12:00

Thursday, 21 March 2013

York Get Growing Courses

York Get Growing Project is once again offering some great courses, the following are all free and run during the spring season.

Edible Forest Gardens - Film and Discussion 
An opportunity to find out more about forest gardens and permaculture techniques. Wed. 24th April 7.30pm - 9.30pm.

Introduction to Growing Your Own Food 
An opportunity to learn how to grow your own food in a garden or allotment, suitable for both the beginner of those with some food growing experience who would like to know more. A five week course running every Mon. from 15th April to 20th May (excl. bank Hol. Mon.) 7.00pm - 9.00pm.

Sowing and Planting Techniques 
Find out more about what you need to do to get vegetable seeds to germinate and plant out crops so that they grow away strongly. Includes some practical sowing and planting. A half day course Sat. 20th April 10.00am - 12.30pm.

Greenhouse Food crops in Spring and Summer 
If you have a greenhouse or polytunnel this is the course that will tell you how to make the most of it for growing veg. in the spring and summer months. Covers both growing plants to plant outside and using the greenhouse to grow crops like tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, cucumbers and melons. A half day course Sat. 18th May 10.00am - 12.30pm.

Further courses are planned for later in the summer including: Grow, Eat, and Cook Soft Fruit; Growing Vegetables All Year Round; Harvesting and Storing Your Produce.

To book a place or for further information either phone 644300 or email

AGM Tulip Talk

We were treated to a wonderful talk by Teresa Clements of the Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society at our AGM yesterday evening. She covered so much ground from the heritage of English tulips and the history of the Society, to tulip cultivation and their presentation at shows - in empty beer bottles! It was an informative delight and was well received by all present, who can now happily distinguish between a feather and a flame, or between an English and a Dutch variety.

Group of English florist's tulips
Image from the website of Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society

The Society is holding its 178th Annual Tulip Show, on Saturday 11th May. At Primrose Hall, Horbury, Wakefield, WF4 6EG, from 2.30pm until 4.00pm. Sure to be a worthwhile visit.

If you would like to know more about the Society you can visit their website at

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Plotting The Past

Interested in finding out about the past and allotments?
Would you like to help record our allotments?
Hannah Baxter of York Archaeological Trust is undertaking a year long community project involving allotments across the city. She has many activities lined up including photography, site surveys, oral histories, archaeological finds identification and even film making.

The film idea is to follow several plots throughout this year as they evolve through the seasons. If you grow photogenic carrots, have a Tarantino streak in you, or cut a dash in your wellies and would like to be involved in anyway, just let Hannah know emailing:

Compost Giveaway

Yes! ...Free Compost!

Yorwaste Ltd in partnership with City of York Council Waste Services, would like to let you know of the free compost giveaway dates. The compost has been made from garden waste collected from the city’s green wheelie bins and is now available on the dates shown below.
Don't forget to bring a shovel and bags! 

Monday, 11 February 2013

Seed Potatoes

Yes! Seed potatoes are now in the allotment shop. 
Choose from Lady Christl, Rocket, Arran Pilot, Pentland Javelin, Orla, Vanessa, Wilja, Kestrel, Charlotte (including organic), Maris Piper, Cara, King Edward and last but not least Desiree.       A potato for every season, from extra early to main crop.

If you placed an order before Christmas then it will be bagged and ready for collection. Otherwise just pop along and purchase.

Harvesting Desiree

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Notice of AGM 2013

We're pleased to announce details of our forthcoming 2013 AGM 
Date: Wednesday 20th March
Venue: Southlands Methodist Church Hall, Southlands Road 
Time: 7.30pm ending by 9.00pm 

Please put this date in your diary, we're keen to see as many members as possible. This is your chance to hear from the committee and share your views and ideas. More details concerning the guest speaker and the agenda will follow.