Garthdee Allotments

the e-home of the Garthdee Field Allotments Association

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The Bonfire in Figures

The annual Spring bonfire was completed safely and successfully yesterday.

before

The figures:

Total fire-feeding hours – 7.5 (09.30 – 17.00)
Number of helpers – 10
Step count per helper – 15,000+ (as actually recorded!)
Carloads of inappropriate waste removed – 2 (why?)
The tonnage of stuff burned – 100+ (well, that’s how it felt anyway!).

Big, big thanks go to those who turned out to help and to Hazel (Plot 66B) for the fantastic lunchtime sausage rolls and cupcakes.

The ash will be cool enough to move in a few days. Please help yourselves to some – excellent for your fruit bushes, strawberries etc.

Reporter on site

Ellie House, a reporter from the Press and Journal was on site today.

Ellie is researching a feature on Community Gardening and Growing which she is writing for the paper’s Saturday’s Magazine. She was especially interested in GFAA’s volunteers and how they help us maintain and develop our site.

Seek and enjoy

Sharp-eyed visitors may have noticed that a Search facility has recently been added to our site. It is located at the top of the right-hand sidebar of each page.

When you enter a search term and hit return or the Looking Glass, the full text of every page and post is searched for the word you enter.

Try, for example, butterflies or compost or BBQ. Please let me know if you run into any problems.

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.

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