Garthdee Allotments

the e-home of the Garthdee Field Allotments Association

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Diary Dates

I know it’s hard to believe right now, but this permafrost will lift and the growing season is just around the corner – or perhaps I’ve just been driven round the bend.

For many plotters the Gone to Seed Tarland Seed Swap and Potato Day event marks the start of the season. This community-based event is a great place to exchange locally grown, traditional varieties of vegetable and flower seeds, with many examples available free.

You will find links to the event on our Diary Page via the tab above. The Diary also gives advance notice of our Community Sunday dates for the year ahead – I know you would not want to miss them!

Polytunnel Problems

A number of plotters have reported problems with their polytunnels recently. Some have reported that the covers perforate after a season or so and some have arrived on site to find that they have taken off in a gale and were last seen heading for the North Sea. When I researched a possible purchase, I found it very difficult to tell which make and model was a bargain and which an investment.

Val on Plot 23 has suggested a novel alternative – the Polycrub.

Part polytunnel, part greenhouse

I didn’t know much about Polycrubs, so I sent off a query to the makers/sellers asking:

Did they make a model close to the 8′ by 6′ that the Council allows?

Are they suitable for self-builders?

Do they deliver to Aberdeen?

What would the costs be?

Here’s the response I got back from the Maree, their General Manager:

“Many thanks for your e-mail. Polycrubs are popular with community groups and of course began life here with us as a community project. Our smallest Polycrub is approx. 3 x 3m (10 x 10 feet) – delivered prices are noted below and we have also attached some info sheets.

The price includes everything required for the external structure of the kit, except cement for the posts. The kit comes with a ground plan and full construction notes for a level site and should be built in accordance with these. We find that anyone with suitable building experience has the capacity to erect a polycrub.

There are two options for delivery to your address:

Option 1 Delivery by ordinary flat-bed/curtain sider truck. This option meansthat the kit would have to be off-loaded from the truck by hand. None of the components are heavy but customers need to be aware that the sheets are long and pliable. Sheets can be like a sail in anything but the calmest of condition and are prone to lift in any sort of wind, so the customer should liaise with the haulage company to make sure that the delivery takes place on a calm day and extreme care needs to be taken when off-loading. The cost of a 3 x 3m using this option would be £2688 including VAT.

Option 2 Delivery by Hi-ab truck. With this option, the kit will be lifted off using the crane on the truck. The kit bundle does not need to be opened up when it reaches site and weather conditions are not as important. The cost of a 3 x 3m using this option would be £2928 including VAT.

If a customer decides to place an order, we will invoice for the cost of the kit. Once that is paid, we’ll arrange to have the kit delivered. Delivery usually takes around 2-3 weeks, depending on the weather/ haulier availability.”

For convenience I have added a permanent link on our Links Page. Please speak with Val if you want any more background information.

Tiny Tots’ Tatties

It’s always about this time of year that we begin thinking ahead to our new season programme of school visits. Last year was our biggest and most successful so far, with visits from Kingswells and Kaimhill Primaries and Orchard Brae ASN School.

This week Stuart and I had the pleasure of meeting with Professor Donald Gray from the University of Aberdeen’s School of Education and Bob Donald, Director of One Seed Forward.

Bob, Norman, Donald,Stuart.

Bob and Donald are collaborating on a scheme called, Garden Schools and developing an approach they have termed, Cultivating Education.

Here’s the story in they own words:

” The Garden Schools initiative is a collaboration between voluntary organisation One Seed Forward and the School of Education in the University of Aberdeen.

OSF Garden Schools promotes our concept of Cultivating Education, with the aim that every school should be a Garden School, a place where outdoor learning is an integral part of the curriculum even where there is a limited amount of space available on school grounds.

Three schools in Aberdeen took part in the pilot project and an educational programme and materials were created which are now available to all schools http://oneseedforward.co.uk/educational-materials.

More specific objectives of the Garden Schools initiative are:
• The creation of, or improvement to, a space in the school that can be used as a vegetable garden.
• A developed school educational programme that includes local vegetable growing, health and nutrition benefits, recycling and composting, links to literacy, numeracy, citizenship, science and arts.
• Developing links from garden projects to raise awareness of climate change and climate actions and sustainability.

There is also a Facebook group for teachers, parents and interested parties to share knowledge and materials about growing spaces, as well as being able to ask One Seed Forward any questions. If you would like to join this please follow the link above.”

We had a right good natter and shared experiences and ideas. It was very reassuring to confirm that our own wee programme is built on the right principles and come away enthused with possibilities for the year ahead. We have lots to learn from Bob and Donald and hope very much to stay in touch.


It’s 2019 and GFAA is stepping up a gear.

Stuart


May I wish all of our plotters, volunteers and friends a very Happy New Year and a successful growing season.

Since 2014 Garthdee Field Allotments Association has participated in the IT’S YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD campaign run by Keep Scotland Beautiful. Over the past four years we have gradually improved our site environment, consolidated our community activities and improved our gardening achievements.

As a result of everyone’s efforts we have been awarded the highest level of achievement for three years in a row and are encouraged to raise our standards further by applying for a GREEN FLAG AWARD. The green flag award applies to parks and green spaces throughout the UK and our allotment site falls into the latter category.

The closing date for applications is the end of January each year and the Committee’s intention is, that over the next 12 months we make the necessary preparations for an application in January 2020.

If our application is to be successful our allotment site will have to satisfy various requirements and in addition to having a well developed management plan and being financially sound, it must:-

                    Be a welcoming place
                    Be safe and secure
                    Be well maintained and clean
                    Be environmentally sustainable
                    Promote community involvement
                    Have a marketing strategy

We will shortly be making plans for activities and work on site to achieve our aims and the Committee hope that as many plotters as possible will support this project.

There is no guarantee that we will be successful but we’re planning to give it our best shot. If you want to find out more just speak to any of the Committee.

Scaffold Boards

Please be advised that a quantity of 13’ scaffold boards have been sourced for use by plot holders. They are in very good condition and are available immediately at a charge of £5 per board. All monies go into GFAA funds.

In the first instance there is to be a limit of 4 boards per plot holder to ensure a fair distribution. In the event that the demand is limited, greater quantities will be considered.


If you are interested please contact Ron Stephen(Plot 65A) on 07818413999 and we will arrange for delivery to your respective plots.

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.}

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