Allotments Update March 2022

Allotment news. By Courtesy of Liz Armitage from her article in the March Parish Magazine.

Springtime is a time for hope and planning for a new year and new beginnings and that is certainly the case up on the Tatsfield Allotments. There is a gradual trickle of plotters returning after the cold and wet weather to start preparing for the planting season.
Lots of work has been done over the quiet winter months by our dedicated team of volunteers. The perimeter hedge that acts as a windbreak on the farm side has grown beautifully, but needed a trim – so the farmer very kindly did this for us, although we kept the silver birch trees as a focal point, Meanwhile we took care of the overgrown hedge along the footpath at the village end. Mike has sprayed all the perimeter pathways and does so regularly. Most of the interior paths are laid with woodchip.
Plans are going ahead to build a holding pen for manure and woodchip – which we are often given free of charge – at the “pointy end”. There will also be a turning circle for cars using this facility.
Alan, Mike & Ian spent 2 days tidying the storage container and putting up shelves for the numerous tools and “boys things” we have accumulated. Additionally, you may remember that the old water containers were replaced with standpipes last year, so the wire cages that enclosed them were dismantled and taken to the Biggin Hill scrapyard – and we received an amazing £35 to boost our funds – every little helps!
Even more exciting – Dilo and Chris are about to construct an eco-toilet. Before you sigh with relief (!) this will be a simple “Dunny” for when you are desperate – a rustic shed with some sort of seating arrangement covering a straw-filled gulley – obviously for “liquid waste” only!
Our AGM in January was well attended and we were all pleased to hear the Treasurer’s report that funds were healthy, so there was no need to increase the rents – they remain the same as when we started 10 years ago, which is amazing. However, we never get complacent, there are always things to buy, equipment to replace, petrol for machinery, occasional maintenance when the job is too big for us.
We are lucky that so many people offer their goods and services free, often as a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Remember we are a “Community Garden” to be enjoyed by all. We have Barbecue’s and social events whenever the weather permits, and a plant swap day, although most plot holders are constantly sharing and helping others throughout the year.
Sadly, we had a small act of vandalism – the first ever. A bench seat was deliberately broken by some unauthorised “night-visitors” but it is now being repaired by our team. We ask that you contact Alan on 07899 725 944 if you see anything suspicious, especially at night when there should not be anyone there. In view of this, we have had to re-set the padlock on the pedestrian gate, so hopefully this will not happen again.
So we continue to flourish as a society. Whenever a plot becomes vacant they are snapped up immediately, and its very heartening to see so many people from the village and surrounding areas working together, enjoying the fresh air and the community spirit that the allotments bring, and we are all doing our small bit to save the planet.
Liz Armitage
​March 2022


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