Every year is different and we realise that we have little more than “old men’s memories” of how the site has developed over the years.
In 1976 the site was divided into 30 large traditional plots. Today we are continuing to divide these plots in two to accommodate both changing tastes and time available for working. At the start it was traditional 3- or 4-year crop rotation, anyone planning a deep-bed would have been a “sissy”. Ladies came to make the tea, not actually work a plot (apart from our Chairman, Mrs Stone, who, with her Council Parks Department piece-work training can still plant at twice the rate of anyone else!). Autumn came much earlier and the more exotic crops were a much greater risk.
For this year’s Annual Social Evening we are inviting members to bring photos of “life on the plot” to make an archive of activities today. Barry Greenhalgh (who, like Monty Don, is never without a dog) has assiduously been video recording the changing seasons and we look forward to seeing his compilation on the evening.
2016 will see our 40th anniversary on the site. Unlike some places we have always had high occupancy, often with long waiting lists. Members are being invited to suggest how we celebrate this occasion. We know we cannot have it forever but we continue to enjoy ”probably the best site in East Staffordshire”.
Our announcement that we had vacant plots has been noticed and the site is full again with a few late-season starters. The application list is empty, so if you want the opportunity to get any new year vacancy put your name down now.
One of our newest members must qualify as star of the year (or creep of the week?). Dennis Perry, who claims no previous knowledge, but has a persistent thirst for information from the old hands has walked straight in and come first in both the Spring and Summer half-plot competitions. He will now display the celebrated Bob Stone trowel on his sideboard! Seriously, Dennis shows that you do not have to have experience, just some interest and enthusiasm to enjoy allotmenteering. Enthusiasm comes no greater than Nora Wilton kitted up and wielding her petrol strimmer on an abandoned plot. Our lady members are showing their mettle and their prowess in the competitions. (For the benefit of non-members, we are not a competitive organisation, no one enters our competitions, they just happen and add to social life on the plots.)
Summer Competition results
Full Plots - Half Plots
1st Peter & Alice Topliss - Dennis Perry
2nd Barry Greenhalgh - Jim Roberts
3rd Mrs Sandy Jordan - Mrs Dian Marriott
4th Bryan Bennett - Alan Milward
5th Michael Hill - Ron Harrison
6th Steve Eszrenyi - Mrs Tula Paul
Best crop not on a winning plot – Mrs Tula Paul for her brassicas
We have had a slow start to the season, due to wet soil as much as the temperature. In mid- April cultivation conditions are good, sowing and planting is progressing nicely. We will be delaying our Spring Competition a little to give time for the plots to turn green.
We are finding that newer members especially are following the trend of the television gardeners with adoption of smaller deep beds with interlinked pathways. Some members seem to be as enthusiastic at carpentry as gardening! Well managed, these systems can be more effective than the traditional strip cultivation. With their paths they can be worked in a wider range of weather conditions and it is easier to see what has been achieved after a morning’s work.
The Society is sponsoring the vegetable classes at the Village Gala again this year. We are hoping that the event can continue to build on its recent success.
Why haven’t YOU got an allotment? Too little time? Can’t eat it all! Not sure what to do?
If there is interest he Society is considering dividing some traditional plots into smaller raised beds and “taster” plots. With modern growing techniques and longer growing seasons these can yield significant but manageable yields of a wide range of crops.
If you would like to try “grow your own” there’ always friendly on site advice available
If you are interested in a small plot either permanently or as an introduction to bigger efforts please contact the Secretary:- Tom Martin, 43 the Lawns, Tel:813320
Last updated: 3 January 2016