Grow Greener with Garthdee Field Allotments Association

Tag: volunteers Page 1 of 8

Pistols at Dawn

Irene’s persistent insubordination caused a wee bit of a fracas amongst the volunteers this week, but all was resolved by a traditional duel in the rain.

In the end nobody got shot, not even a deer (yet).

In between we even managed to get some work done.

The new bin will be used for grass cuttings in the coming season. Plotters are welcome to take them at add to their plot compost bins. They are great for generating heat in a new pile – when used sparingly.

All in all it has been a great week and our volunteers have again excelled themselves in their efforts on our behalf. Thanks go to all involved.

Our ace Volunteers: doing a great job!

Meanwhile the Volunteer Squad have lost the services of Gordon and Mike, who are unable to attend while the most recent Lockdown is in place. However, we have been lucky enough to have Ali and Irene join us over the last number of weeks and we are very grateful to them for their enthusiasm and hard work.

We had a great day on Sunday, spurred on by wonderful weather.

Ali, Stewart and Jordi – quite a lineup!

We had the help of a big team on the day – Ali, Stewart, Jordi, Callum and Irene and got masses done despite the hot weather. Over the last week or so jobs undertaken by the Squad have included:

  • seek and destroy missions against Sticky Willies on plot edges
  • weeding the Nursery plot
  • tidy up and refreshing of the Primary plastic greenhouse
  • removing barbed wire from the Southern wall/boundary
  • reinstating the sight line for drivers exiting the main entrance
  • hoeing the Octagon Path
  • spraying the areas of hard-standing, ready for weed removal
  • regular de-heading of flowers in the raised beds and around Octagon
  • regular watering of the communal greenhouses
  • weeding and adding woodchip to plot edges
  • removal of the broken compost bin by the northern carpark
  • regular weeding of the raised beds and around fruit trees
  • preparing the round picnic table by the Polytunnel
  • repair and painting of compost bins
  • Primary School compost bin turning/management
  • weekly litter picks of the whole site
  • painting of the Bothy cladding and A-frame board
  • reorganisation and tidying of the Communal Containers
  • woodchip pile management
  • Micro-plot paths weeding
  • strimming of ‘wilder’ grassy areas
  • weeding and maintenance of South and North Banks
  • tidy of North Car Park waste metal and wood ready for removal when the Public Skips open for trailers
  • giving a helping hand to injured or incapacitated plotters

This is not an exclusive list by any means and plotters have contributed their time to regular grass cutting, strimming, raised bed planting up, tree bowl trimming, entrance barrier painting and the like. My apologies to those I have not mentioned.

But the truth is, there is more to be done than we can get done at the moment. We have all sorts of jobs to be done – from 10 minute jobs to 100 minute jobs. If you have any wee bit of time you could offer, don’t be shy, ask a member of the Committee how you can help. If you could help out with the Volunteer Squad on a Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday please let me (Norman) know.

One suggestion – ‘adopt’ the path edge that borders your own plot and keep it tidy, weed-free and in a shape that does not impede or scratch cars as they pass by.

A job well done

The Volunteers Squad took on quite a challenge today sorting out the Primary Plot Compost Bins. Tough work, but the gang took it in their stride – as always. Not shown here, but fully involved, were Stewart (Plot 59) and Volunteer Irene.

Anne, Doug, Norman and Jordi.

More COVID-19 Advice

Pat Wilson has issued this information: Plotters and volunteers should read it carefully. For convenience of volunteers, some points relating to squad activities onsite have been highlighted in red.

Dear Allotment Holder

As lockdown restriction are eased, the Scottish Government have now published further guidance on the safe use of allotments and community food-growing spaces.

It is important that all guidance is followed when visiting and working in allotments in order reduce the risk associated with Coronavirus.

The main guidance points are as follows:-

People who should not visit a community food-growing site
Anyone who should self-isolate, for example because they or a member of their household have COVID-19 symptoms, or they have been advised that they have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, should follow the NHS Inform guidance and must stay at home for the period of their self-isolation and not attend a community food-growing site. Follow the guidance on self-isolation on NHS Inform.
The NHS will also now be asking people to self-isolate who do not have symptoms, but have been in close contact with someone who has been confirmed by testing to have the virus. This is part of Test and Protect – Scotland’s approach to implementing the ‘test, trace, isolate, support’ strategy. Read more about Test and Protect.
People who have been personally advised to shield by letter should follow the shielding guidance, which includes guidance on outdoor activity. This includes maintaining strict physical distancing; choosing times and areas that are quiet, if possible; washing hands for at least 20 seconds as soon returning home.
People at higher risk from Coronavirus (including people aged over 70, people who are pregnant and people with an underlying medical condition) should strictly follow physical distancing guidance.

Onsite attendance and safety at community food-growing sites
The measures contained in this guidance should, where practicable, be communicated to volunteers and users of community food-growing spaces in advance of their attendance. Local authorities and others with responsibility for community food-growing sites should ensure the following points are adhered to onsite.

Tool sharing
The sharing of tools, gloves etc is strongly discouraged due to the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Users and volunteers at sites should be encouraged to bring their own gloves. Any onsite tools should be disinfected after each use.
Communal activities/events
Indoor communal activities are not permitted at this time. Outdoor communal activities such as outdoor cooking, training activities or open days are not permitted at this time if they involve people from more than three households, and additionally they should not involve more than 8 people in total. There should be no sharing of food or utensils onsite.
Physical distancing
Compliance with physical distancing of 2 metres including, if necessary, limiting the number of people within the site at any one time and/or considering a one-way system within the site (together with any necessary signage).
Hand hygiene
People attending a community food-growing site should be reminded of the importance of handwashing before leaving home to travel to the site, and handwashing as soon as they return home. Encourage compliance with hand hygiene guidance onsite, e.g. providing hand sanitiser or suitable hand wash facilities.
Cleaning and sanitising
Regular cleaning and sanitising of any communal or frequently used areas e.g. taps and gates. The risk of transmission of COVID-19 at communal areas such as taps and gates should be highlighted via adequate signage.
Travel to site
Remind users and volunteers of the community food-growing site that they should currently not travel further than approximately 5 miles to the site for leisure or exercise purposes. However those with a specific health condition that requires travel beyond their local area to maintain health, and those with a disability who need to travel a bit further to appropriate outdoor space, can do so.
People should be encouraged to travel to the site via active travel methods such as walking or cycling, or in their own car and only with members of their own household. People should be advised to think carefully whether they need to use public transport for travel to the site.
The use of face coverings in polytunnels and greenhouses should be encouraged where physical distancing is challenging. Air vents should be opened to maximise air flow. People must not congregate in a polytunnel, greenhouse or other onsite indoor space.

The full allotments guidance can be viewed using this link.

As per the guidance, over the next few days, signage will be placed in allotment sites to reinforce the messages with regard to the 2 metre physical distancing, hand hygiene, cough/sneeze etiquette, COVID-19 transmission and cleaning/sanitising of communal areas.

Standing Firm

The Tuesday Volunteer Squad broke off from their gardening duties today to give a wee demonstration of what One Metre Plus Social Distancing looks like when done properly – in the Scottish style. An instructional video has been sent to Boris and Dom.

The Tuesday Squad

The Team: At left Back, Mike the Marvel; Centre Back, Dynamic Doug, Right Back and Captain, Anne: Left Winger, Aye Aye Irene, Right Winger, Heavy Metal Jordi: Centre Forward, Gorgeous Gordon.

Please say hello to our new recruits, Irene and Doug. We hope they will be regulars from now on.

The team were on top form again today taking on weeding the beds around the Orchard Fruit Trees and the South Bank and strimming around the compost bins. Big thanks go to everyone concerned for another magnificent effort.

The boys are back in town!

Well almost. I am pleased to say that with the recent relaxations to the Lockdown regulations we feel we can again invite our volunteers back on site as of Tuesday of next week – June 16.

We will be operating under slightly different conditions. In the main, to ensure safety and compliance with public health guidelines and advice we will operate future sessions under these conditions and arrangements:

  • participants will attend individually or in pairs and not in larger groups
  • individual sessions must be pre-arranged and attendance confirmed in advance
  • all activities will be undertaken individually, with participants maintaining strict social distancing at all times
  • the Octagon, Polytunnel, Bothy and other indoor spaces will remain closed and out of bounds (toilets excepted)
  • where sessions extend over a coffee break or lunchtime, participants will bring their own food, drinks, mugs, dishes etc.
  • hand sanitisers will be made available as necessary
  • tools will be provided, but not be shared during a session.

We are very much looking forward to having the gang back with us, but as always, sessions are voluntary and the decision to attend rests entirely with the individual volunteer and his/her supporter(s). Not all will be able to come. Keeping each other safe and doing our bit to beat the virus must be our priorities.

I am sure all plotters will give the squad members a warm welcome back.

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