AAG news and updates September 2011

1.  Next AAG meeting:    Due to confusion, the AAG meeting due on 15th September was not quorate.   The next Alexandra Allotment Group meeting will be in November

2.  Treasurer:     Kate Cross has resigned as Treasurer and if anyone is interested in fulfilling this role, please contact the AAG Chairman, Carolyn Page (Tel:  07961 869 204) or the AAG Secretary, Sarah Clayton (Email: sarah.clayton7@ntlworld.com).

3.  Non-cultivation surveys:      EEBC did  the autumn non-cultivation surveys for our allotment site on 8th September, and fortunately it seems only 12 plots have been sent warning letters, on account of the condition of their plot. This is a low level, which is encouraging.  In addition, 5 plot holders were sent letters about terminating their tenancies, due to a past history of non cultivation.  EEBC says that a  lot of new tenants have only just started so they have been given time to prove themselves and the Council will audit them more closely next season.  The next checks will be done in April 2012.

4. Surplus produce:     If anyone has surplus produce, or surplus plants, which they would like to make available to others, the simplest way to do so is to just put the items at the roadway end of your plot with a notice saying “Help yourself”.  This system works well elsewhere, and seems more satisfactory than arranging specific dates for plant or vegetable sales or swaps.

5.  Thefts on the allotment site:     There appear to have been a number of thefts from sheds on the site.  It is unsettling to know that there are people who have access to the allotment site, who feel it is acceptable to take items, including gardening equipment, even from locked sheds.  It is probably safer, where possible, to take anything of real value home with you.  If you have experienced any problem with theft, please let me know.

6.  Recent Statistics from the Council on our allotment site:

Number of plots   – Vacant  8

– Tenanted  261

– Unavailable  5

– Total 2 74

– Waiting list  42         95% of Site Tenanted

7.  Metal detector available:    Juliet Evans recently mislaid an item of jewellry, which happily has been found – at home, rather than on the allotment.  Juliet now has a metal detector, and is happy to lend this to any plot holders who lose anything.  So if you think a much loved watch or bracelet may have fallen into the manure pile, or under a pile of recently dug soil, help is at hand !   Let me know, and I can get you in touch with Juliet.

8.  “Epsom Apples.”  Local apple juice available:     George McNamarra is doing pressings of local apples again this year.  He obtained all the necessary kit for making apple juice last year, through EEBC.  He will be doing apple pressings on the following dates:

Thursday 29th September -Epsom High Street Market,10am to 4pm,

Thursday 6th October -Epsom High Street Market,10am to 4pm

If you have any surplus apples (they do not need to be perfect, just roughly washed to get rid of mud etc) George would be grateful for them.  If you want to have your own juice from your own apples, you can take them down, and wait for them to be pressed.  They give away (small) free samples of the juice, and invite people to buy a cup of juice for 40p.

9.  Seed Scheme for next spring:    For the past two years, AAG has organised a seed scheme through which plot holders can get seeds and other garden supplies at cheaper prices through joining as a group.  If you would be interested in buying in this way this winter/spring, please could you let me know.  It is only worth while if there is a sufficient number of plot holders who wish to take part.

10.  Vineyard:    Under the capable direction of Andrew this autumn, the grapes from the Alexandra vineyard will be processed in Epsom, making truly local Alexandra vintage.  More news on how the harvest and the wine making go, in due course.

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