Notes on Food & Gardens Group Meeting, 20th Feb 2014

Steve passed the accounts folder around for people to have a look at.

Community Allotment Plans for the Coming Year

Rahul said that in LAGS they pass the list of what is grown in the previous year around and if anyone wants to grow something new they add it on to help with the planning. We’ve got Andy coming on 22nd March and it was suggested also doing some work on the same day to get the fruit cage and raised beds built. Steve suggested 10-4pm but Martha needs to confirm times with Andy. Ken has the plan for how the raised beds are to be built. Fiona said that she knew of a tree surgeon in Hathern who sold long wooden planks of larch for about £10.

ACTION: Fiona to send Ken details of tree surgeon in Hathern who has long wooden planks available.

Time table for 22nd March: 10-12.30 building raised beds & fruit cage, 12.30-1pm lunch, 1-4pm workshop with Andy (or more raised bed building for those that prefer to do that). If the raised beds aren’t finished on the day then there might be some people who would come down the following weekend as we have to get the raised beds and fruit cage in place by 31st March 2014. People who are able to come on 22nd March should contact Ken. Make a note that there are no toilets unless we set up a “bucket and chuck it” composting loo bucket. Several suggested that we might have a future project to make a composting loo.  Cathy said that her house is just round the corner if people are there all day and desperate for the loo.

ACTION: Jon to put together an A4 poster that people can distribute, as well as advertising the event online.

Caroline said that she knew there were some students who would be happy to come down to the plot for a couple of weeks to help work on projects if someone from Transition Loughborough could be there to direct us.

LAGS have access to a new area of land and are hoping to put step over apple trees at the far end. They are also planning to revamp their composting heaps in a couple of week’s time.

Rotation Allotment Beds

Martha said her daughter’s boyfriend James is a design teacher and would be happy to do a workshop on making large signs from pallet wood which can help layout the rotational beds (which they are planning to do at LAGS). Suggested to have this workshop in May at the LAGS shed.

ACTION: Martha to find out when James is free, hopefully planning for the early May Bank holiday.

Judy suggested having a sign indicating where the community allotment plots are on the gate to the site. She suggested having a laminated sign, as well as potentially a laminated plot plan that we can have in the shed. Jon had made a wooden sign for the plots themselves, which he gave to Steve ready to be put up at the plot.

ACTION: Jon to make another wooden sign for the gate but we’ll need check with Joanna and if the other plot holders have any issues with that idea.

Rahul said that 14th-18th April is the RHS sowing event when they’d like people to sow their seeds and send in photos of them being done. Rahul said that TL could share the event with LAGS which was seen to be a good idea. People will need to bring or make pots. Date suggested is Wed 16th April 4-6pm at LAGS garden.

ACTION: Rahul to confirm date with RHS and then tell Jon so that it can be promoted.

Greenhouse at the community allotment has twisted and Steve said its quite dangerous now.  Fiona offered to help make it safe.

ACTION: Fiona and Steve to meet up at the allotment to assess what needs to be done.

Talked about rotation plan for community allotment. The main beds are already rotating towards the track, so the roots have moved to where the beans where, beans will be where potatoes were, potatoes are to be where brassicas were and brassicas will be at the front. Jon mentioned doing a plant swap but we’ve probably got enough events on already this Spring.

We also talked about the individual beds. Aside from Ella (one of the local residents who we’d already offered some space to) it was felt that we shouldn’t give individuals their own beds. We drew out a plan together.

ACTION: Jon to turn rough draft plan into something neater that can go on the website and/or be printed out.

Caroline reported quickly on the visit that was made to the Transition Chesterfield Potato Day (which will be the main topic for next month’s Food & Gardens group meeting). This year Transition Chesterfield made a profit of about £900 which is their earned, unrestricted funds (eg for room hire, insurance, etc). Its worth noting that in the first two years they just about broke even. Paul has already provisionally booked a market stall for January 2015. TC do pre-orders that are pre-paid and fund most of the outlay on the wholesale purchase.  They buy roughly double the amount of popular varieties pre-ordered for sale on the day – those sales are most of the profit.

Date of next meeting will be 6th March in Beale Room at St Peter’s Community centre.

ACTION: Steve to make and confirm booking to Jon for advertising on calendar, website, etc.

AOB: Martha said Louise has a friend who can supply guinea pig bedding and manure. They generate a bag a week and wondered if it would be useful on the allotment. We said yes please!

ACTION: Martha to ask Louise to contact Steve to arrange pick up (Judy also offered to help pick it up).

Community Allotments 5a, 6a and 6b rents are due. Need to pay this year.

ACTION: Jon volunteered to pay it tomorrow morning.

 

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