Grow Greener with Garthdee Field Allotments Association

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Shed Shifters Supreme

Our recent Community Sunday activities included moving a very heavy shed base. It took some effort, but we got it done and the team were quick to celebrate their triumph.

Photo Credit: Anna Fulop

Thanks go to all of the committee, plotters and volunteers who came along and apologies to those who missed out on the photo opps.

Photo Credit: Anna Fulop

Season’s end 2023

Well, let’s be honest, 2023 has been a trying year as the weather this last few months has proved. Windy, wild and wet rather sums it up.

We think this was the worst flooding we had ever seen on site, but at least it was relatively short lived.

However, we have ended on a high note. Firstly, the volunteers enjoyed a good end of term bash. They have all put in a fantastic shift this year and our celebration was just a wee thank you for the 22 who have done us proud all season long. Sorry goes to those who missed out on the photo opportunity.

Special thanks go to Irene for overseeing a fantastic spread of party food and to Jordi for his Captain Morgan Mocktails. Very special!

It was a great pleasure to be invited to Aberdeen Council’s Celebration of It’s Your Neighbourhood successes. Phil 57, our Association Secretary, attended and accepted our Outstanding rating with a Certificate of Distinction award.

Our season has ended with success therefore, but the work goes on around the site. Thank go to Jordi and Danny, our most recent recruit to the volunteers, who have come in specially this week to help finish off an overdue planter build for a lone suffering and very patient plotter who placed an order some little time ago. (No name, no pack drill, but you know who you are!)

As Jordi often proves, working hard does not mean you can’t have a good laugh. Here we see him showing off his new skills with the Block Plane.

As the Season ends, we wish every plotter, volunteer and friend of Garthdee Allotments a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday and successful growing in 2024. Cheers!

It’s Your Neighbourhood 2023

It is a pleasure to report that Garthdee Field has retained its Outstanding rating following the recent visit by Steven Shaw, our current IYN Assessor.

Here’s how Steven’s report sums up our year in 2023.

Areas of achievement:
Garthdee Allotments Association continues to develop and grow. They are an outstanding Its Your Neighbourhood group.
This group should be congratulated on their Green Flag status. They are one of only two allotments in Scotland to achieve this award and they should be very proud of this achievement.
The group are welcoming and very enthusiastic. It is obvious they love what they do and have real pride in what they have achieved to date.
The idea to recycling and repurposing old, vintage tools is tremendous, and I look forward to hearing more about this.
The new cabin is fantastic and an asset to the group.
Garthdee Allotments Association is an absolute joy to visit and a very special place. It is an outstanding Its Your Neighbourhood group and deserves all the plaudits that come its way!
Congratulations on such a fantastic site and well done to everyone involved.

Recommendations/suggestions from your assessor:

  • Continue to engage with young people of all ages. The work that is being done with Kaimhill Primary School is fantastic.
  • The community and volunteer days are great.
  • Continue to work with and communicate to all plotters. It is important that they feel involved and have a voice.
  • Continue to maintain a good rapport with Aberdeen City Council for the benefit of the allotments, and to follow up plot holders with problems.
  • Continue to involve yourselves in Keep Scotland Beautiful and Aberdeen City Council’s environmental campaigns such as Clean Up Aberdeen.
  • Promote the great work being done at every opportunity i.e., enter for awards, involve local media.

Steven’s recommendations and suggestions are especially helpful and will frame our efforts and activities in the coming year.

Thanks go to all our plotters, volunteers, friends and partners who helped us achieve this outstanding success in 2023.

Next year GFAA will celebrate its tenth year in the IYN competition. Let’s make it a year to remember!

Read Steven’s full report in this download

Our Pothole Saga

A wee bit of background. ACC used to be able to provide us with free road planings for repairing our potholes. Unfortunately, a change in the Council’s contracts for road repairs meant they have not been able to supply any for a year or so now. Over which time, you will be aware our potholes became deeper and wider by the week.

So, it is especially pleasing to report that after some excellent sourcing and bargaining by Secretary Phil (Plot 57) we recently took delivery of 20 tonnes of very fine planings.

Tuesday and Sunday of this week, after an appeal to plotters for help (Thanks to the two Graemes, David (Plot 57) Sophie (Plot 25) for coming forward), the Volunteers and Committee members added their efforts to the task and we have been able to break the back of the work.

Photo Credit: Anna Fulop
Photo Credit: Anna Fulop

The only downside was some damage to the fence, and Gate on Plot 94B caused by the lorry trying to reach the top planings bin at the top of the site.

Apologies to those who missed out on the photo opportunities.

We apologise for the damage and the Volunteer Squad set to on Sunday to fix it. Obviously we cannot allow big lorries to try to reach the top of the site in future.

However, on another positive note the Council have agreed to find a contractor to undertake the more extensive work needed to deal with the problem of cars grounding as they reach the top of the main path leading to the North of the site. Discussions are ongoing between ACC and GFAA to find a satisfactory solution to this problem.

That was (quite) the week that was.

It was very pleasing this past week to see that we are at last beginning to recover from the knock that our Active Community Engagement (ACE) Programme took post-Covid.

Sunday, we had a good turn out for our September Community Sunday.

We had a mix of plotters, friends and volunteers on the day. Apologies to those who missed out on the photo opportunities.

Monday, Stuart the Builder laid down the concrete base for the machinery store. Ron has been beavering away for weeks now pre-assembling the structural components, so we ought to have it built before long. If this is something you could help with, please contact Ron.

Tuesday, saw the volunteer squad back in numbers and it was super to have Anne back with us after her recent bad back. Good too, to have Gordon B and Fate back on site and busy woodworking. Gordon is, of course, an old hand, but it is great to have his skills and good humour back with us.

Tuesday, we also welcomed Paul and Laura from Aberdeen City Council on site to join our monthly Committee Meeting. They brought good news in the offer of some very useful second-hand sleepers and a promise to look at solutions for the problem we have with cars bottoming out when using the paths to get to the top of the site. Details to follow we hope.

We arrived on Wednesday to find that Keith and his grass-cutting Pixies had been at work and the Orchard Area was looking great again. We owe a huge thanks to Keith for his efforts keeping our machinery running and much more. His grass cutting on the Tuesday finished more or less in the dark!

Wednesday we took delivery of a set of pallets thanks to a tip-off from Rebecca at C-Fine. The pallets will be re-cycled and provide timbers for up-cycled garden furniture built by our volunteers over the winter months ahead.

Thursday was a very spacial day. RGU students from Gray’s School of Art had been with us all week, but Thursday brought us an especially big group. It is always interesting to see our site through artists’ eyes.

We also welcomed Milly Brace and her Aberdeen horticulture students on site for their first visit. The students enjoyed a site tour led by Anne, followed by a Q and A before donning their boiler suits and boots to help out with the afternoon’s volunteering activities. They helped spruce up the Nursery Plot, Primary Plot and filled potholes before leaving around 15.00 hours. We hope their visit will be the first of many.

Thursday ended with a TAMS collection and it was super to see the amount and variety of surplus provided by our plotters and volunteers over the week.

Friday, brought the news that our missing strimmer and battery had been located and handed in: a great result and further evidence of how public-spirited our plotters are.

Thanks go to everyone involved in making this a special week. However, special mention must go to Anne for setting up the visit of the horticultural students and to Ron, Jordi, Christine and Veronica who stepped in to help on the day when it became clear spinning plates were about to hit the floor if they did not. Thanks!

September Community Sunday 2023

Yes, believe it or not, it’s the third Sunday of the month again, and so the wait is over, and it is time to come and enjoy another Community Sunday on Garthdee Field.

The coffee’s on the brew, the cakes are in the oven, and all we ask in return is a wee spot of your perspiration on this Sunday 17th September to help us keep our site in tip-top, lickity-split condition. Details in the poster. Do come and share a natter with your fellow plotters and our ace Volunteer Squad.

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