Garthdee Allotments

the e-home of the Garthdee Field Allotments Association

Author: Stuart Oram Page 1 of 13

Leaves, wood chips and compost

We now have a good and growing stock of leaves, wood chips and compost on site, kindly provided free by The Council, local contractors and from Hazelhead Park. Plotters should feel free to collect as much as the like for use on their own plots.

I had an interesting conversation recently with Bruce (Plot 79) on the safe handling of these materials. Bruce believes he may have contracted a respiratory complaint from spores in the water vapour released when these materials are handled. A little internet research (Daily Mail Article: Gromicko Article) suggests caution is sensible when handling leaves, wood chips and compost (both homemade and commercial).

These seem sensible precautions:

Always wear dry, breathable gloves to avoid direct contact with the skin, and to protect yourself from injury while using gardening tools and implements.
Wear protective footwear that covers your skin adequately to avoid direct contact with compost. Do not wear them anywhere except outdoors.
When stirring and tilling the compost, which is required on a regular basis in order for it to process and break down, always wear a nose and mouth guard or dust mask to avoid inhaling the various spores that will become airborne during tilling and turning.
Avoid tilling on windy days.
Do not store compost in fully closed or airtight containers. Without any air, it can actually become combustible.
Wash your hands after dealing with compost. While this suggestion may sound obvious, many garden enthusiasts get so absorbed with their activities that they forget the potential dangers from poisoning.
If you develop a severe cough or infection of the skin (especially if there is an open sore or puncture wound), seek medical attention immediately. You may require antibiotics or a tetanus shot.

Club 10 come calling

It was great to welcome members of Club 10 on their return to harvest from their raised bed. Didn’t they do well!

Council Policy Developments

These recent or impending changes to Council practice and regulations relating to allotments were indicated in papers presented for discussion at recent Allotment Representatives Network Meetings and may be of interest to many plotters.

Paper 1: Bee-keeping

“It has been brought to our Services attention that there may be unauthorised beekeeping activities at our allotment sites.

We require any persons who may be undertaking beekeeping without permission to contact our Service so we can consider the suitability of the plot and advise the process required for Beekeepers to meet our requirements to allow them to keep bees.

Our Service do allow a limited number of beekeeping plots at our allotment sites but there is a risk assessment policy in place to identify if an allotment is suitable.

Additionally there are requirements for a potential beekeeper to have a certain level of experience before permission will be granted and the beekeeper must have suitable Public Liability Insurance which can be obtained from the Scottish Beekeepers Association.Beekeeping on our Allotment sites without the necessary permission may result in termination of the tenant’s Allotment Lease.”

Paper 2: Community Empowerment Act 2015 – Part 9 (Allotments)

“Following delays and a series of consultations, the above has now been enacted and our Service requires to make changes to the way we operate our Allotment Service to comply with the Act. A brief summary of some of the main changes required are:

(a) An applicant has the right to specify the size of plot they require. If our Service offers an alternative size, the applicant has the option to accept the offer or reject it and retain their same position on the Waiting List.

(b) Applicants can apply for Joint Leases.

(c) Termination of Lease: our Service will require to give 1 month’s Notice of our “Intention to Terminate a Lease ” for example, following an Audit Failure, during which time the Tenant can make an appeal to our Service and if rejected can lodge an appeal with the Sherriff Officer. If and when both appeals are rejected, we can then issue a Termination Notice, giving the Tenant, 1 month’s Notice to vacate the allotment.

(d) Allotment Regulations: We have a duty to prepare allotment site Regulations and these proposed regulations will be published to allow all stakeholders to make representations on the detail. Much of the detail will be similar to the requirements detailed in our “Managing Your Allotment” document. These Regulations require to be implemented before 1 April 2020 but we anticipate they will be available for publication/consultation in the next few months but will keep you advised.”

Sandy Inkster

With great sadness we note the passing of Sandy Inkster, Garthdee Field’s oldest and most knowledgeable horticulturalist. Sandy was an exceptionally skilled plotter and a top prizewinner in local garden competitions for both his allotment and home garden.

Many of our plotters will be grateful to Sandy for that special red rhubarb from the Queen’s estate at Balmoral, the crowns of which he generously distributed. Of course he was always generous and many’s the time if you went to his plot to ask a question you would come away with some vegetable or other.

He was the go-to person to get answers to all our gardening queries as his knowledge was encyclopaedic and his growing techniques tried and tested. Not surprisingly, the Beechgrove Garden team chose to feature Sandy in a number of their broadcasts in recent years. They could spot a star when they saw one.

He was an enthusiastic supporter of GFAA and helped on many occasions with community activities.

Many plotters have enquired with real concern about his health over recent weeks and months and this surely demonstrates the high regard so many plotters had for him. He will be deeply and sorely missed.

Our Sandy RIP

Sophie on Beechgrove

Plotters can catch the most recent filming from Sophie’s Plot 25 here at Garthdee Field on tonight’s edition of the Beechgrove Garden on BBC Scotland at eight in the evening. Bound to be a good watch!

Club 10 Return

The Club 10 Group returned for their first visit of the new season this week.

We had a cracking game of football just to warm us up for the serious business of soil preparation and seed sowing in the raised beds. the group will be back over the summer and at the end of the season to harvest their crops.

Thanks go to the plotters who managed along to help out.

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