Garthdee Allotments

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New Beginnings

Happy New Year! Can we possibly hope for another growing season and summer like 2018? Of course, we can!

These poor soul popped their heads up only yesterday and look what they met today.

Luckily, snowdrops are clearly born optimists and know just what they are doing, so I am sure they will be fine.

Talking about born optimists, this is usually the time of year that we plotters turn our attention to buying our seeds for the coming spring. Remember, as GFAA members you are entitled to a 40% discount on all seed purchased from Dobies. Copies of their 2019 catalogue are available in the Octagon along with an order form containing the necessary discount code. If you prefer to browse and buy online, email gfaawebhelper@gmail.com and I will be pleased to send you the discount code.

The Council is about to allocate plots to new plotters, so we will soon be seeing fresh starts made on a number of plots. Phil Wilkie (Plot 35) asks that anyone with a half plot who would like to move up to a full plot should get in touch with him ASAP.

{I am aware of some typos in this item, but for some reason, the new Editor in WordPress does not ‘remember’ edits. Please bear with me.}

New Acquisition

GFAA was recently approached by a new homeowner near to our site with the offer of a greenhouse.

The greenhouse has been placed by the Primary Plot and will be used in the coming season by our volunteer team and school pupils to bring on seedlings and plants for communal use.

Thanks go to Keith, for his kind donation, to Mike and Gordon for making the initial contact and to all who helped get it into place – Stuart, Mike, Gordon and Graeme from Plot 48.

That’s more like it ….

Well, today’s volunteer session wasn’t all cold and misery as you can see.

Our volunteers are a hardy bunch and it takes a bit more than a hard frost, frozen soil and sub-freezing temperatures to put them off.  Thanks to Anne for adding a much-needed bit of festive cheer. Otherwise, we would just be a bunch of grumpy old men!

Very Sad News of Grant Allan

It’s with great sadness that I have to bring you news of the death of Grant Allan, one of our earliest and most popular volunteers.  Grant died at the weekend after a period in hospital following a serious fall on a night-out in September.  He was 34 years old.

Grant joined the GFAA Volunteer Squad in early August 2016.  He had just lost his job due to his work’s closure and, typically, he contacted us because he was determined not to be idle while he looked for work.  He quickly established himself as a regular and popular member of the team: he was quick to smile and full of fun.

Grant (on the right)

Grant was profoundly deaf and had been since childhood.  He was an excellent lip-reader, however, and had no difficulty in communicating. He loved the outdoors and never shirked hard work.  He confessed he was no gardener, but he was very keen to learn, especially as he wanted to be able to look after the garden at home for his Mum.

Left to right: Norman, Grant, Gill and Gordon.

He volunteered with us through 2016 when his health allowed.  He suffered a number of accidents, setbacks and injuries over that time, but they never stopped him wanting to help out and give back to others.  He also volunteered with CFINE and other charities over this time and was a keen runner and cyclist.

Grant last helped out on site in the Autumn of 2017, just before going into hospital for a cochlear implant. This was a success, allowing him to hear for the first time. He got in touch in May, saying he hoped to be back with us soon as new commitments and activities following his operation allowed.

Grant was a gentle soul, kind-hearted and generous to his core. I am sure that all who met him on site will join me in saying he will be very sadly missed.  Rest in Peace, Grant.

Evening Express Tribute

 

TAMS Dividend 2018

I am delighted to say that The Market Stall Team (TAMS) have told us that GFAA has earned a dividend of £399.23 across the 2018 season.  This will make a very welcome contribution to our Association’s funds over the coming year.

TAMS have ambitious plans for the season ahead. They want to continue the process of becoming more sustainable in the longer term and are looking into the possibility of setting up a community greengrocer shop, which they think in the long term might generate a small profit to pay for the stalls. They have also put in for funding to set up a new stall in Victoria and Westburn Parks to run along with the others in Duthie and Seaton in 2019.

We are very pleased to support TAMS’s efforts in their fight to reduce food waste.  Working with TAMS is a win-win for us as they help us manage our surplus crops and help generate very valuable funds for projects and maintenance around our site.  Thanks to everyone who contributed.

 

Today’s Terrific Turnout

A big thank you goes to all of our plotters who found the time to turn out for our last Community Sunday of 2018.  It was super to see 24 on site with a combination of new faces and old lags.

With so many willing hands we got through a mountain of seasonal tasks, including a wonderful tidy up of the Primary Plot and raised beds, South Bank planting, lots of leaf gathering and pothole filling.

Of course, you can’t have a Community Sunday without a resident comedian:  this time thanks go to Ron (Plot 65A).

I think we can say, a good time was had by all.  Thanks again, everyone.  (With apologies to Peter, Jacqui, Helen, Stan, Angela, Gavin, Trish, Norman and Mary who somehow missed out on getting their photos taken. Thanks too, to all of the magnificent bakers for a brilliant spread at Coffee and Cake time.

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