Latest News from Church Crookham Allotments Association – January 2016

Matthew_Matthew Chambers writes :

It’s been good to see several people still harvesting crops on the allotments site despite the record breaking wet weather. Even though there is a lot of water about there has been a good crop of fruit and vegetables grown in our first year and all in all we have had a successful few months.

Here is a quick update on projects and activities that are in progress and some news about some upcoming events.

Drainage

We are in the process of negotiating and planning with the parish council who are in turn working with Taylor Wimpey to try and get some form of drainage, probably pipes of some kind, that will connect the site to the ditch that surrounds the site. This may be in a few places at the lower end of the site. We would then need to put in a series of ditches along the plots and pipes under the paths to connect to the drain. This will require some planning, scheduling and cooperation from us all to get as much of the site hooked up. Taylor Wimpey are also looking at the possibility of redirecting some of the water from the shed roof to flow across the car park rather than onto the allotment plots. Details are sketchy at the moment but progress is being made.

Fencing

There has been some damage to the fence where someone has climbed over into the site. It doesn’t look like anything was taken or the shed broken into but the police have been informed and we are working with the council to see what we can do to mitigate this kind of behaviour. One option that is being looked at is to turn off the automatic lighting at night to make it a less welcoming environment. The car park is not for the sole use of the allotments but can be used by anyone visiting the area so we cant close it off to everyone..

Lights in the shed

There have been some problems with the light switches

in a couple of the shed bays and a request has been put in to Taylor Wimpey to repair or replace the switches.

Manure, Compost and Chippings

We will continue to source these throughout the year. Compost and chippings are fairly easy to get as the compost can be delivered in bulk by Veolia who run the waste recycling for some of the local councils and chippings come from local tree surgeons who are often looking for somewhere to put them. Manure is more tricky as we are able to identify several sources but getting it collected and delivered economically and in bulk is difficult. If anyone knows a haulier that can help collect and deliver manure please contact us. We have had requests for topsoil to be delivered in bulk for those that want to make raised beds but this would require a very large quantity so at the moment we are not able to support this. Plot holders can arrange their own deliveries to the car park and your site representative can arrange for the bar across the entrance to be removed. Could we remind anyone who takes any of these materials to pay for them as we made a loss on the last delivery.

Toilets

We will soon have access to the toilets at the new community centre and the council will provide us with a code so we can get in. There is also a strong possibility that there will be toilets built in the yard opposite the car park for the maintenance team that we may be able to use.

Seeds, Plants and Gardening Supplies

We are looking at several options to get discounts on seed supplies for all plot holders. There are various schemes available from the main seed companies as well as garden centres and the National Allotment and Gardens Association but they all need administering and we are looking at what is involved in each case. There is also the option of joining one of the local garden societies which any plot holder can do immediately. Church Crookham Garden Society have a shop next to Willis Hall which is open on Saturday mornings and annual membership is £2. They also have an arrangement with Dobbies Garden Centre where you can order directly with them at a good discount. We are also planning on having a seed and plant bring and buy sale in the spring.

The Church Crookham Garden Society trading hut will open Saturdays 10:00h -11.30h 5th February to 17th September 2016 in the Memorial Hall Car Park, Sandy Lane, Church Crookham, FLEET. GU52 8LD

Annual General Meeting

We will be having the AGM of the Church Crookham Allotments Association on Wednesday 6th April at 7.30 pm and all members are welcome to attend. This will probably be held at the new Community Centre and we are just awaiting confirmation from the parish council. There is a vacancy on the committee if anyone would like to put themselves forward for election. We will put out an agenda nearer the time. We also want to get the views of all plot holders on how we should prioritise our efforts over the coming year.

Garden Talk

Gardening expert John Negus is giving a talk and answering questions on growing fruit and vegetables on Friday 22nd January at the Community Centre. Doors open at 7.30 pm and the talk starts at 8.00. Entrance fee is £3.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions.

Thanks

Matthew