Chair’s Report

Derek

For those members who were unable or simply not sufficiently bothered to attend the recent AGM, here is Derek’s report presented at the meeting.

‘I’m very grateful for your continued participation and support over the last year, and I thank you. We have together achieved a great deal and have improved our site and community.  Without your contributions and ongoing drive and determination, this would not have been possible.  Thank you.

What a strange year this has been for growing. We had a cold and wet spring then drought through the summer. Stuff growing and going over as soon as you turned your back. Our friends, those pesky rabbits, feasting on the best bits before we could get to it.

Anyway, it’s time now to prepare for next season or indeed to plant overwintering crops for an early start for next year.

We‘ve had a couple of working party weekends and very successful they were too. We have achieved a great deal this year and we should be proud of the progress we’ve made. There’s still loads to do yet but if we continue with the enthusiasm shown by the many who turned up and teamed up to improve the drainage last week we can conquer the world.  (It isn’t finished yet by the way).

We held plot inspections in July and the committee were pleased with the high standards of cultivation and presentation on most of the plots, (Have you been up to see Miriam’s plot 6?) but there are still a few who need to look around them and come up to scratch.

You have an allotment which is intended for growing fruit and vegetables with some flowers alongside.  Not long grass and weeds or even lawns and large areas of bark or hard surfaces. The accepted ratios throughout the U.K are 60% fruit & Veg and the remainder put to flowers paths and composting/rain collection

This is the end of our second season and those of us who started back in 2016 should now all have the full plot under cultivation and not covered over with tarpaulin other than for warming the soil or prevention of weed growth in a fallow area in readiness for next season.

We have site rules and the rules of the site have to be adhered to for the good of everyone and your safety.  For example we struggle to maintain the quality of the paths when plots have been extended into them. The rules are written in mind to ensure we all can access our plots without injury or damage. 

There are a number of plots which have been extended into the pathways or have fences which are unstable. We created plots 12.5m by 10m surrounded by pathways of 1.5 m. These pathways were intended to allow room for the ride-on mower to pass through with ease. It’s time to remind some of you that your plots, including any fencing, hedging or structures, should be inside the 12.5 x 10m boundaries and please ensure that you do not have thorny brambles or fruit tree branches overhanging in such a way as to impede or damage the driver.

I’m mentioning it now to enable those responsible time over the winter to restore their boundaries. To maintain and to continue to strim their boundaries edges on a regular basis and not just occasionally.

Finally, and before I move onto the rest of my report another issue and bugbear is the dumping of rubbish up by the loo and cabins. There’s a simple rule and I quote “If it’s compostable make a compost heap. If it’s not compostable take it home and place it in the grey or brown bin or take it to the waste disposal centre on Meanwood Road.

We don’t want it littering up the field and we should not be using the society’s (that is your/our) funds to pay to have it removed. If you brought it – you take it away. If you are disposing of anything that may be useful to others it can be put tidily and safely into the fenced compound up by the loo and we can advertise it in “Follow the Plot” and on the notice board.

Future Plans

  • Social Evening
  • Bore hole funding and backup plan.
  • More landscaping.
  • Best plot prize (July?)
  • Workshops e.g. Planting for all year cropping, Soil health, Composting etc.

Your ideas for future events/equipment/facilities landscaping etc will be very welcome. Email to the committee@alwoodleygrowers.org.uk or speak to any one of the committee members. Names and plot numbers are listed on the notice board.

Talking of committee members, I would like to thank them for the massive contributions they have made to the society and the support they have given me. We have a strong, enthusiastic and committed team (there’s possibly a couple that need committing) with varied talents and I hope we can build on that by adding some new blood for next season.

But remember, it’s your society and can only survive and improve with your commitment and enthusiasm. Involvement is the key.

Remember, it’s not what can the society do for you, it’s what you can do for the society.

Let’s build on the community spirit we saw on the working party weekends and make Alwoodley Allotment Society the best in Leeds, the envy of all the others, the one we can be justly proud of.’

Derek Hanton

Chair, Alwoodley Allotment Society

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