The Allotment Market Stall (TAMS) is about to start up for another season, following on from the success of last year’s record harvest. GFAA was pleased to welcome Greg from TAMS on site this week to discuss how best we could help each other to increase contributions and so reduce waste and boost earnings from the scheme.
Cath Pilley has been in touch with an update on The Allotment Market Stall (TAMS) for the coming season.
“We are really pleased to let you know that we have received funding from Comic Relief to go ahead this summer.
Like last year we intend to kick-start the season with a produce and plants sale at the Highland Games at Hazlehead Park on Sunday 21st June.
At this time of year most of us seem to have extra plants and rhubarb we don’t need so we sell them on at the stall for people to plant in their own gardens. The proceeds go into the pot for redistribution to providers at the end of the season.
If you have spare plants, rhubarb or any other produce that is surplus, please let us know and we will come and collect it. We will collect on Saturday 20th June during the day. Last year we had a really good choice of plants and produce, it would be great to have the same this year.
We are also looking for volunteers to help on the day with the added incentive of free entry to the event if you help for a couple of hours on the stall. This is an important event as we begin to let customers know where and when we will be setting up this summer.
Greg and myself will be coming round the allotment sites in early July to talk to gardeners about the TAMS scheme. This year, rather optimistically we are aiming to start on 17th July and run for 12 weeks. We hope this way we will be able to sell some soft fruit at the beginning.
Greg and myself will be responsible for veg collections this year on Thursdays. We will be coming round with crates in July to get you started and if you would like us to come and talk to your allotment holders, please let us know. We would really appreciate the opportunity to talk to as many gardeners as possible.
There is a slight change of venues this year. Fridays we will be at Duthie Park and Saturdays we will be at Hazlehead Park. We are happy to receive produce at the stall if it is not convenient for you to put veg out for collection on Thursdays.
You will see we now have a website. It is still under construction but we are very grateful to Scotmid for funding it.
Please email us if you have plants and produce for collection next Saturday (20th June) or if you would like to volunteer on the Sunday. We look forward to seeing you all soon.”
We hope GFAA will continue its support for TAMS in the coming season – to the benefit of TAMS, the wider community and GFAA’s funds.
You will recall that GFAA participated in The Allotment Market Stall Project over the last two seasons. The project collects surplus produce from allotment sites and sells it off , so spreading the benefits of allotment growing to the wider public.
TAMS have received Comic Relief funding to continue this season and are beginning to plan out how they will work. TAMS will be aiming to build on its success last season and hopes for even more participation. Last year the project made a very helpful contribution to GFAA funds from the sale of our surpluses. All sorts of surpluses contribute – from fancy melons to the humble rhubarb stalk.
The produce will be sold at the Duthie Park on a Friday and Hazlehead Park on a Saturday, the first set up being earlier this year commencing on: Friday 17 July 2015.
Cath Pilley from TAMS is recruiting stall volunteers, therefore, if you would be interested in volunteering for TAMS, please contact her asap.
Click on the TAMS tag on the right-hand sidebar for more information.
I am delighted to report that the Allotment Market Stall Project has had a very successful season. The project seeks to sell surplus allotment site produce to the public, so spreading the benefits of good, local food growing to the wider community. This year TAMS sold almost £1000 of veggies over the summer weeks – a magnificent effort.
Here is an extract from the thank you letter we received from the TAMS team:
Dear Garthdee Field Allotment Gardeners
Thank you for participating in the Allotment Market Stall in 2014. It has been an excellent season and the stall in Duthie Park was very successful. It would not have been possible without your input in preparing the produce for collection and in volunteering on the stall. We would very much appreciate feedback on how we can improve operations for next season.
Thanks to a small Lottery grant to cover running costs and the partnerships with ACC, the unpaid work scheme and CFINE we are able to redistribute all the proceeds from sales of produce.
In terms of total weights, over the 10 weeks we collected 1005kg of produce, sold 816kg, donated 146kg and composted 43kg. An excellent achievement for all those concerned as it represents an improvement in access to locally grown fruit and vegetables, a reduction in waste, a reduction in food miles and contributes to an improvement in healthy eating.
We are in the process of writing up a full report on the operations in 2014 in preparation for the 2015 season and will make it available as soon as we can.
The return from TAMS to GFAA this season has totalled to over £140. I want to offer my congratulations and thanks to all who contributed to this magnificent community effort and to the TAMS team for making this possible.
Jim Henderson, our It’s Your Neighbourhood Assessor has passed on his assessor report. It makes very good reading. Jim visited our site in early August and was clearly impressed with many of our activities: he awarded us a second to top-level grading and considered us to be ‘thriving’.
It is clear that all our allotment holders have contributed to this success for GFAA as Jim remarked on the big number of well looked after plots he saw as well as the well maintained communal areas of our site.
Here are some highlights from the report:
We scored 32/40 points for community participation with special mention made of help for novice plotters; our community orchard; support for TAMS; the RGU connection; social and communal activities to maintain the site; and our occasional training courses.
We scored 25/30 points on evidence of environmental responsibility, getting a special mention for our promotion of composting; waste management; encouragement of educational projects from primary to university level; use of natural materials and approaches to deal with problem areas; encouragement of wildlife with bird feeders and insect boxes around the site.
Gardening achievement scored 25/30 with praise given for the variety of fruit, veg and flowers grown across the site; the sharing of advice and plants; development of wild flower areas; and the use of small plots to help new plotters.
Jim indicated he looks forward to seeing more of the exciting new project with Broomhill Primary School and the raised bed plots planned for development with RGU in the Community access area. His score of 82/100 leaves us within striking distance of the ‘outstanding’ level on our very first attempt, so we have a clear target for the coming season.
A big thank you to all who contributed to this success on their own plots and on communal areas and to our principal partners, including the City Council and RGU. It is very pleasing to see our combined efforts recognised within the IYN scheme and we hope this success will encourage even wider participation and more new projects in the coming year.
Just a reminder that TAMS started this week, so if you have surplus fruit, vegetables or flowers, please place these in the large green baskets at the bothy before 1600 – each Thursday from now until the end of the growing season.
UPDATE – please leave contributions by 12.00 noon, Thursdays.
Proceeds from the sale of produce are ploughed back into GFAA.
Greg Welsh and Cath Pilley are still looking for volunteers at the market stall on Fridays (0900-1500) or Saturdays (1030-1530), so if you have time available, please contact them on
Thanks and happy plotting,