It’s been a good year for apples and pears, quince too. (Not so great for plums and gages due to a couple of very hard late frosts). We will be getting out the apple presses again on 8th October at 2pm by the shop, please bring apples and bottles along, and come and meet your fellow apple lovers.
There are many trees full of fruit on site, and sadly we have to remind you NOT to take fruit from other plots without permission. There are no vacant plots on site, every one is tenanted, and all the fruit belongs to someone. If you find yourself watching with frustration as fruit apparently goes to waste, and you can’t find the plotholder to speak to directly, contact the committee by email or in the shop and we will do our best to speak to them and see if they might be willing to share.
We have had several incidents of people having their fruit stolen in the past, and will be taking any future occurrences very seriously. Our rules state that anyone stealing fruit is liable to eviction from their plot.
A student from Brookes university has contacted us and requested that anyone interested fill in a survey for his research on allotments:
I am a geography student who will soon be starting my third year at Oxford Brookes University. I am beginning my dissertation research, and have opted to study allotments for this task. My initial aim is to discover how the benefits of allotments may vary geographically, for example how a rural, semi-rural or urban location for allotments may impact upon the benefits people obtain. I live in the village of Haddenham, and intend to compare responses of allotment holders in Haddenham (i.e. a village environment) with those of allotment holders in a town and a city. I have identified East Ward allotments in Oxford as a site where I can collect data on the benefits allotment holders experience in a city environment. I have created an anonymous questionnaire for allotment holders which has been checked by my project supervisor. I understand that there are little benefits to be gained by your allotment holders cooperation, however if you would be interested I would be very happy to forward my results to you once I have finished my research.
The Women’s Institute have dredged their lake at Denman College, and are offering the silt for collection in return for donations to their “saving Denman” appeal which goes to the maintenance of the building and grounds.
This Sunday the shop will be open 11-12 as usual, and we will then be closed for the whole of August. If you’ve been thinking of getting some bits and bobs – pest control? Green manure seeds? canes? – now’s the time!
This message just in from Oxford and District Federation of Allotment Associations (ODFAA):
“Overnighton July 11th and 12ththe Barton Allotments were targeted and several of the sheds have been broken into and numerous tools have been stolen. Please be vigilant and report any suspicious activity, vehicles and people to the police. Please ensure that your sheds and gardens are secure and that you don’t leave tools in vehicles or on display overnight.
Any information call 101(non-emergency police) and quote crime reference 43170204779.
Rememberif there is an incidenteven the smallest piece of information like a registration plate from a suspicious vehicle or a physical description of a person could prove to be invaluable.
Janette, the secretary at BartonFields has talked with bothMeadham and Stihl repsand reports that“theyhave said they have had many customers saying they have been broken into in the last couple of weeks and had machinery stolen. They and the police seem to think it is possibly an organised gang and that the machinery is being shipped abroad.””
We are still having issues with our gates being left unlocked, please ALWAYS lock them when you go in or out, even if you’re not going to be long.
This is the time of year when rampant growth has slowed, but seed-setting has begun. Please keep your weeds under control! Several plots have a lot of seedy weeds on them, which will blow onto the neighbours’ plots and attempt to infest them too. Please cut yours (if any) down and compost them, drown them in water, or burn them if you must. If burning, do make absolutely sure the fire can’t spread, and douse it with water before you leave. We recently had a fire re-ignite after the plotholders had left – it was spotted and dealt with, but we really don’t want any repeat incidents. A good soaking should avoid this. Ideally, just compost your middle-of-the-road weeds. You can also compost the more pernicious ones (couch grass, bindweed and the rest) by drying them to death first, or soak them in a bucket of water to make a smelly but nutritious plant food for your crops instead of burning off all the good stuff.
A few people have asked whether we should be removing all ragwort from the EWAA site as it’s supposedly a “notifiable weed”. The reason for the concern is that it can be poisonous to horses and other grazing animals, particularly when dry and included in hay bales. With no grazing animals on site other than the muntjac deer, there’s no direct risk. And as the EWAA site is well over 100m from the nearest field where horses are kept, we are in the clear regarding concerns over seed spreading to pasture land. So, there is no need to eliminate it from the allotments unless you want it off your plot. Otherwise, feel free to enjoy the stripy caterpillars.