It was a great pleasure to see so many plotters, volunteers and friends turn out for our first Community Sunday in such a long time. Thanks go to all who found the time to come along and help out on the day. We counted well north of twenty helpers.
Of course, it was not all coffee and cake and much work was completed around the site before the serious business of catching up with old and new friends began. I don’t think our site has ever looked better.
Thanks too go to Ron for his efforts selling our new range of planters, built by our volunteers. Sales and orders on the day netted over £50 for Association funds. A great effort all round. Further details of the planters available can be found in our new Online Catalogue. We are still accepting orders and some items are still in stock.
All in all we had a wonderful day and warm thanks go to everyone who helped get the new season of Community Sundays off to such a great start.
We got a wee reminder this week of just how splendid the South Bank looks at its best whatever the season.
From its early beginnings remembering especially the work put in by Michael (Plot 88) to get it established, it was super to see our current Volunteers working so hard to get it into shape for the summer ahead.
Apologies to all those who helped and who’s photos I missed.
We had a great day at the site today with our Volunteer Squad in fine form. Doug (himself a volunteer) led an effort to rebuild a plot fence, while Steve (Plot 72) with volunteers Mike, Jack and Jordi were building a path to give access to our new wildlife patch up on the Mound at the Northwest corner. Meanwhile I had the pleasure of watching Gordon Bennett showing off his woodworking skills building a raised wheelchair-friendly veggie bed.
The final group of Irene, Veronica and Karolina worked in the Community Garden trimming, weeding and planting up. Irene puts in a power of work each time she comes on site and has led many of our successful new developments.
We are very lucky to have the help of so many dedicated volunteers, but in some ways we are victims of our own success. We often have ten or a dozen helpers on site at a time and we really need more plotters involved in leading the small work parties.
If you could host a group of two or three volunteers working on your plot, or lead them in a community activity on the wider site on a Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday from time to time it would be a great help.
If you think you would be able to help please speak to me, Anne, Steve or Stuart in the first instance.
Thursday 18 March is Bonfire Day. We will start about 10.00. Many hands will make for lighter work. We have a mountain of material to feed to the flames. As always, safety comes first. If you can manage along, please remember your gloves and the importance of having your own safety and that of others as the first priority. We will operate as a series of smaller groups throughout the day to manage numbers and keep everyone safe.
Obviously, our Volunteer Squad is stood down right now, awaiting a relaxation in the COVID Regulations that will make it possible for the volunteers to come on site as a group. We are going to review this situation at the end of this month.
We ended last year with a team of 12 active volunteers. I am delighted to say that the team has remained in touch throughout the Lockdown. We had a Zoom Catchup this week and those present confirmed they are all keen to return when circumstances allow. How good it that!
We also discussed how members of the Squad might contribute in the meantime as we wait from normal group activities to recommence. We decided that as the Momentum Group (and we are unsure about Club 10) will not now be returning we will make the raised beds available to volunteers to grow their own stuff for this season (if they so choose). This will make sure that the beds are put to good use and maintained throughout the year, and that the individual volunteers can come on site to work their beds – while staying compliant with the Covid and Council Regs. Meantime, 2 beds will be retained for possible use with Club 10.
Additionally, it may well be that the Primary School kids will not be able to come visit with us in the current session. We have agreed therefore, that the Volunteer Squad will plant up and maintain the Primary Plot and the plastic and metal Primary/Community Greenhouses over the season ahead. The volunteers will be able to harvest for themselves, but we anticipate healthy surpluses will be grown and these we will donate to TAMS. This will boost the TAMS dividend paid into our GFAA funds at the end of the year.
So, in the weeks ahead you are likely to see individual volunteers working on the raised beds and the Primary plot and greenhouses: if you do I hope you will stop by and give them a word of encouragement and thanks.
Thanks go to Steve (Plot 72) and volunteers Doug and Irene for agreeing to oversee and manage the volunteers’ Primary School plot and greenhouse activities for the season ahead.
Watch out for further info on the return of the Squad to full duties when circumstances allow. If you are a GFAA Member and have a pressing need for help please use the Requests for Help link on our homepage.
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.