Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Fiendish Goings On At The Allotment

Autumn is upon us, the crops are mostly in and the winter digging is well under way. Halloween is upon us, last Friday saw a day of preparation for a Halloween evening.

A ghost trail was set up around the plots starting with the black tarry shed becoming the resting place of Tarry Jack.
The evening call was " who dares to knock on the door of Tarry Jack, who dares to look inside the door?" As it happened several small boys dared and becam a bit pestilential, suppose you can't win them all!  Then on through the speiders web tunnel with rats and things ghoulish.
Having survived the tunnel it was on to the witch's garden with the three graves and skeltons climbing out.
Mac's plot was set up with gravestones in the mint bed and glowing spiders under skull and crossbones.

On now to witches house number two, for small explosions and getting sprayed with silly string. A bit more mysterious in the dark than it looks in daylight.
As dusk fell the entrants for pumpkin carving competition started to roll up with their entries.
A mainly fun evening and we hope that everyone enjoyed the event.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mac And His Grandchildren Work Together On Special Needs Plot 46

During August some of Mac's family were over from the USA and found out what an allotment is. They worked with Mac and Will (Mac's grandson in the UK) on the special needs plot. Seen here taking a break are (from L to R) Madelene, Mac, Harrison, Madison and Will.
Following are some shots of them busy working on the plot.

Will, has become so keen on gardening at the allotment that he bought a lot of plants at the table top sale and a couple of half whiskey barrel planters to plant them in. Here we see him with a Brussel Sprout plant heading off to get it planted so he'll have some sprouts ready for Christmas dinner!
Nearly all the children who visit the allotment like to go and have a look at Nev's chickens, Mac's grandchildren were no exception to this rule so here is a picture of Nev's Chickens strutting about behind the wire cage.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Well, the rain came down!

Having got the table top sale set up on Friday in glorious sunshine it was most frustarting to arrive at 07:30 on Saturday morning (6 Aug) to find everyone huddled under the gazebos praying for the rain to stop. The prayers went unheeded except for brief respites from the rain and not to be downhearted we went ahead and loaded up the stall with goods for sale on the basis that we had advertised it and someone would turn up. We got down and dug up potatoes, cut cabbages and caulis and pulled beetroot for the plant and vegetable stall. Was it going to be worth it or would we be taking home a lot of extra veg?

It got to 10:00 and the advertised opening time was 10:30, there was a crowd at the gate so somebody let the public in early. The refreshment tent was popular as it provided shelter from the rain, but the other stalls were also popular with a greta deal of interest in the produce stall.

By about 3:30 in the afternoon we had all had enough of the rain and there seemed to be no more customers coming, who can blame them, the rain had really set in and we were all rather wet. So we decided to pack up a half hour early and tidied everything away and counted up the money. First indications are that we made about £300 after deduction of expenses so it turned out a worthwhile day after all.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Plot 46 Looking Splendid For Table Top Sale 6 Aug 2011

The entranceway to the allotments is looking wonderful, in readiness for the Table Top Sale on Saturday 6 August. Flower beds have been weeded, pallets and scaffold boards are coming tomorrow to build the table tops. Grass has been mown and the sheds are almost full to the brim with items donated for the sale. Everybody is now praying hard for good weather on Saturday.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Table Top Sale Planned for 6 August 2011

6 August is the date for the next planned table top sale to raise some more money for the special needs plot and the allotment association. Here are 17 pots of Iris sibirica from a clump of plants kindly donated by Sarah Robinson a couple of weeks ago. You can see the new growth starting below where I chopped off the long straggly excess foliage. The pots should be looking quite nice by the time of the sale. If you can help with donations of bric a brac or books for the sale contact Mac Mitchell of Mitchell landscapes, see advert to the top left of this article for a phone number or contact me via the comments section to arrange for items to be picked up. If you have any plants you are splitting, contact me via the comments section to arrange for me to pick them up and get them potted up. The plant stall will be a little smaller than the spring sale but we are hoping to have a produce from the plots available on the stall as many people asked after produce at the last two sales.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Plot 46 For Children With Special Needs - Sponsor List

  • Mr and Mrs Ian Parker   -   Parker developments Malton Road, York
  • Debbie Reed                  -   Saxon House, Fishergate, York
  • Dave Robinson               -  Robinson Properties, York
  • Stuart Rapson                -   Simpson Builders, York
  • Nip Judson                    -   Club Salvation, York
  • Chris & The Lads          -   CSL Scaffolding, York
  • Ken Garland                  -   Elvington Plant Hire, York
  • Mark Mennel & Lads     -   Fulford Golf Club, York
  • Roy Hanlay                   -   A1 Haulage
  • Jason Martin                 -   Martin's Skip Hire, York
  • Mick Ross                    -   Bishops Wharf, York
  • Nev Lowes                   -   Moor Lane Construction, York
  • Jason Brown                 -   Tree Surgeon, Bolton Percy, York
  • Chris Ross                    -   B&Q, York
  • Kirsty                          -   The Range, York
  • Jim                              -   The Nags Head, Heworth, York
  • Dave Peacock              -    Plumbing & Property Services

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Plot 46 Open Day and Fundraising

Joanne adds the finishing touches to the refreshement area and it looks like we are nearly ready for opening up. A crowd has gathered at the gate and Dwayne is doing his best to keep them at bay.
Remploy have set up a stall loadded with garden furniture that has been made in their local workshop. During the day there was a great deal of interest in their stall.

Amazingly, all the lawnmowers in the picture plus the clapped out out one in the manure bay all sold along with allsorts of tools and garden implements on the tool stall. I even bought a bright flourescent orange kagool with a padded lining.

Dianne and Elaine at the tombola stall, every ticket a winner!
To perform the opening of the plot Gregg Scott from Minster FM local radio station came along and helped young Simon our newest plot holder to plant some broad bean plants before going on to cut one of the ribbons on the gateways to the plot.
For any opening you have to have a speech from the Chairman and this was no exception as Barry Bothamley chairman of the allotment association gave his speech preparations were made for the cutting of the ribbons. Behind Barry you can see some of the tools and the junior sized wheelbarrows for the plot holders of the special needs plot use that were part of the sponsorship from many kind donors that made this plot a reality.

Gregg Scott from Minster Fm watches as young William cuts the tape at the first entrance, then it's a quick walk to the second tape where young Simon is waiting with scissors in hand to open the second entrance.

So once the tape had been cut the sun continued to shine for the rest of the day and people were dropping in throughout the day until the close at 4.00 in the afternoon. The whole day was amazingly good but was marred only by the poor quality write up in the York Press which completely failed to grasp that the day was about the opening of the "Youngsters special needs plot" and the fund raising through sponsors and the tabletop sale for the Special Needs plot and the work the association plans to do in future on the site. The Press in their usual inimitable way focussed on the previously opened raised beds for adults with mobility issues which had been funded by the local ward committee and seemed to be more like an election plug for the Labour Party for the upcoming local elections
All in all it was a wonderful day that achieved much. A lot of what was achieved was done so through the hard work of various people in the allotment association (and some who were not in the association) putting in time and effort to obtain and then utilise the backing of the local sponsors who helped enormously in making this possible. I'll be doing a follow up posting to thank the sponsors and all those who helped in this enterprise.

For a photgraphic review of the activities leading up to and more photos of the Open Day visit this link.  

Friday, April 01, 2011

One Week to go to The Open Day and Table Top Sale

The daffodils are looking splendid if somewhat wind blown. Will they still be flowering in a weeks time, hope so. They really do make an impressive show at the entrance to Plot 46 for Special Needs Children.

Is Mac really helping to sort items for the table top sale or just gazing at himself in the antique mirror? Inside the shed out of sight, sorting and categorising is Ann, whilst in the foreground is Norah lugging around a circular table with folding legs. Somehow or other everything will be ready for Saturday 9th and the plot can be handed over to it's new tenants.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Donation towards seeds and plants

Many thanks to Mr Ian Brindle of Illingworth's Insurance Brokers for his donation of money towards seeds and plants for the special needs plot. This project has seen much generosity that has helped in the creation from a scruffy corner at the entrance to Glen Allotments into what we hope is going to be a wonderful resource that will give much pleasure for years to come.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Final Meeting Before Open Day & Table Top

Just a little reminder to all volunteers for 9 April, that there will be a meeting in the Heworth Conservative Club, East Parade at 8.00 p.m. next Wednesday 30 March for final planning and allocation of tasks.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Further Tidying

 Levelling off roadway next to plot 46 for the special needs children. The mini digger was kindly loaned by Elvington Plant Hire.
Martin's Skip Hire come up trumps again with a free load of topsoil to be used in levelling out the roadway next to plot 46.

Reg with another barrowload (just one of several loads) for the levelling job.
Untidy area by the Scrope plots cleaned up and levelled, possibly for creation of some starter beds for new plot holders whilst they wait for a larger plot.

So once again it is many thanks to Elvington Plant Hire, Martin's Skips and Mitchell Landscapes for their generosity in donating equipment, materials and time.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Welcome Board

Monday morning follow on from Saturday's tidy up was the erection of the "Welcome To Glen Allotments" signboard created for us in the Remploy workshop. Here is Mac wielding the spirit level whilst Reg tightens up the screws fixing the board to the posts.
Finish touch of two small conifers planted in front of the support posts, job well done.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tidy Up Day Saturday 12 February

Partly in preparation for the Plot 46 open day on 9 April and partly to get the hedge back cleared for planting Beech whips where the hedge is a bit open we had a clearing up day. Nev Lowes borrowed a tractor and bucket from Moor Lane Construction which once the leaking hydraulic hose had been replaced was used to gather up accumulated mounds of rubbish along the hedge back and soggy water-laden pieces of carpet on plots that had been given up. By shortly after lunch we had completely filled a large skip from Martin's skip hire.

 Barry looks like he might be playing cricket here as he sends a piece of rubbish bouncing to the boundary for a four!

Three bonfires were on the go getting rid of rotten wood, one on Mac's plot, one on Phil's plot and one on Reg's plot. Reg almost had a disaster when the boarding on his raised bed started to smoulder. It was soon sorted and coolled with a garden hose.
Phil stacking his fire with a bit more rotten wood.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

More Sponsorship For Plot 46 for Youngsters With Special Needs

Ongoing sponsorship and fund raising is going to be an important part of keeping this project going after the opening on 9 April. Mr and Mrs I Parker of Parker Developments, Malton Road and Mitchell landscapes have funded and opened a bank account for the purpose of ongoing maintenance of the plot.

So, a big thank you to the Parkers for their generosity and kindness. As Mac says "without these kind friends I would be nowhere near to finishing the plot for 9th April opening".

Keep your eyes open Mac's new welcome sign which will be appearing at the entrance soon.

Have you seen the York Press article on the project? Mac (as opposed to Matt), and Barry want to clarify that other members of the Glen Allotment association have been involved with the work in various capacities. I'll list a few here but I am bound to miss someone, so I'll apologise now for any ommisions, feel free to let me know of any tasks I have missed or people I have missed and I'll amend the post.

Bulb Planting
  • Norah
  • Audrey
  • Ann
  • Sian
  • John
  • Phil and his friends
  • Ann
Clearing Up Wind Demolished Greenhouse
  • Dwayne
  • John
Erection of new greenhouse and shed
  • Mac
  • Barry
  • Nev
  • Reg
Keeping tight control on the purse strings and writing cheques when needed!
  • Norah
Rallying the troops for Table Top Sale
  • Joanne

Friday, March 04, 2011

Why Have I not Been at The Allotment the Last Two Weeks?

Here is the first clue!
No don't be silly, I know it has been wet the last few weeks but I don't think there are any crocodiles on Glen Allotments! 

So here is the next clue, and no Mac it isn't a garden for people with Scottish accents!

Ann and I have been in Singapore for the last two weeks and visited several interesting gardens and wildlife reserves. I addition we also did the obligatory shopping in Orchard Road and visited a couple of museums including the Changi Prison Chapel museum which relates the story of the fall of Singapore and the story of the allied prisoners of war. I was pleased to see that one of the displays included information on a wonderful lady Mary Seah. I had met Mary when I was a child in Singapore, she pedalled a tricycle around RAF Changi and the army base at Selarang selling fruit. At the time of the fall her son went missing and she had gone to Changi Jail to search for him. Here she found POWs needing medicines which she smuggled to them. Mary never found her son and he was probably a victim of the Sook Ching massacres in which large numbers of Chinese in Singapore were rounded up and slaughtered at various sites including Changi beach, Tanah Merah, Punggol Beach and Blakang Mati.

As ever, Singapore is a bustling ever changing place that is wonderful to visit. As new gardens are planned and under construction in the Marina Bay area probably opening in June next year I am sure it will not be long before Ann and I make a return visit and go missing from the plot again.
Just to round off a picture from the wonderful National Orchid Garden which is located in the Botanic Gardens. There is an admission charge for the Orchid Garden which is currently $5 (about £2.50) or $1 if you are entitled to a concession rate. It is well worth the admission price.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Some Finishing (?) Touches To the Disabled Youngsters' Plot

Described as finishing touches, the fruit trees have been planted along the path-side of the plot. Knowing Mac though, there will be something else that has to be tinkered with. Daffodils around the plot are now about six inches high and weeding is now under way as it is now possible to see where the daffodils are coming up and not damage emerging shoots with the hoe.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tools For The Disabled Youngsters Plot

As part of the disabled youngsters' plot efforts, Mac Mitchell was determined that there should be some tools available for them to use and persuaded Saxon House in Fishergate to fund the purchase. Here is the manager of Saxon House handing Mac a substantial cheque that will mean that in addition to the sets of hand tools under Mac's arm we can also purchase them a decent wheelbarrow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Shed For Disabled Youngsters Plot

I was slightly out in suggesting that the shed would be erected by the following afternoon on my last posting. Bad weather delayed it until Saturday. A base was created from pallets and the shed put together and it is now standing next to the greenhouse.

As usual Mac Mitchell, always on the go. A few weeds have dared to stick their heads above ground and need hoeing on the disabled youngsters plot so here he is attacking the weeds with his usual vigour.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Now The Snow Has Gone (for the moment)

Snow has gone for the moment so there has been some activity on the disabled yoiungster's plot with the aim of getting it open at the end of March, beginning of April. Sadly ,the free greenhouse that had been donated suffered badly in the gales and had to be removed. Some of the money from the table top sale was spent getting a replacement. A secure base with long steel pins has been erected and the greenhouse erected securely atop the base and glazed with twinwall Polycarbonate glazing. Mitchell landscapes of Malton have donated some more tree shredding mulch to top up the mulch that had been laid last year and two rose arches erected as entranceways into the plot. We have also had a kind donation from Dave Robinson of Robinson's Property Management of York in the form of a shed which will be purchased tomorrow and with a bit of effort we hope will be erected by the end of the afternoon tomorrow.

The boundary hedge has got several gaps that need to be plugged, so it is planned to get about 100 whip saplings of hawthornand beech from Castle Howard to  make the perimeter a little more secure and tidy. So we will need a few volunteers in a couple of weeks time on Sunday to get them planted. Another table top sale is in the offing but this time in aid of the allotment association to supplement the money raised from the annual subscription used to provide things like the manure, compost and the whip saplings for the boundary hedge. Date of the next table top sale will coincide with the opening of the disabled youngsters plot which will be opened by a local radio personality. So start thinking about donations of bric a brac, raffle prizes and saving up your money to come and spend at the table top sale.