Shop news – May 2020

The new online ordering process seems to be working well, with over 50 bags of compost delivered last weekend.

The Ewaa shop online ordering process

However there seems to be some confusion about how the online ordering process works. So for clarity:-

  1. Send an email to shop@ewaa.org.uk saying what you’d like, remembering to include your plot number.
  2. Someone will reply on Friday night or Saturday morning (apologies if its late, it’s a time consuming manual process), explaining what of your order can be supplied and how much it’ll be, and what the EWAA bank details are (with a reminder to ensure the plot numbet is visible).
  3. Some time before Sunday, you make a bank transfer, with your plot number as reference.
  4. On Sunday morning, someone checks the bank for payments received and draws up a list of deliveries.
  5. These are then delivered through Sunday.

If payments aren’t received by Sunday morning, or if we can’t identify the plot, delivery will have to wait until the following weekend.

We have had a few thefts reported, following peoples deliveries last weekend. If you’re concerned about thefts, then liase with the shop officer to arrange collection from the shop on Sunday Morning (normally at 11am). If you’ve arranged to collect your items and don’t turn up, they’ll be held until the following Sunday.

Seeds/bulbs and other perishables

The decision was taken in the March committee, that with the shop closing for the foreseeable future, we’d run down our stock of perishable goods. As such we have not been restocking potatoes, seeds or bulbs beyond the orders already made before the lock-down. That said there are some seeds left in the shop: Courgettes, Pumpkins, Squash, Cabbage, Swede, Japanese Green Boy, Brussels Sprout and Tomato. I believe there are some broad beans left too. I’ll present a list in future postings on here.

Reminders re sharing space

Dear members,

In these uncertain times there are unprecedented numbers of members making very frequent trips to their plots. People are observing our recommended social distancing measures and we thank everyone for doing so.  We recognise that EWAA is more than simply a place to grow fruit and vegetables. In these times it is, more than ever, a place to escape, and seek sanctuary in nature and in our community.

However as more people are using the plots, we need to be mindful of other people. There have been a few complaints about the use of our shared space by other plotholders, so in order to facilitate good relations in our community, could we please request that members are respectful of their neighbours particularly regarding:

 -noise (music, radio, power tools, mowers, dogs, children, or other any noise). One person’s choice of music may not be someone else’s!

 -boundaries (leaving tools, weeds, clippings on boundaries or extending over them with constructions or compost heaps).  Access should always be maintained along the boundaries.

 Many of us enjoy the social aspect of our plots with refreshments and picnics but under no circumstances should this include overnight stays, however appealing the idea of a ‘camp out’’ might be. Our lease with the Council does not permit this. Evidence of plotholders staying overnight would be a serious breach of the rules and would result in expulsion from the site.

 We would also draw everyone’s attention to the existence of the social area on the middle row which may be useful for children or dogs and balls or larger families taking a break. This may be used by any member at any time providing of course, social distancing measures are observed.

We thank you for your attention in these matters, so our community can grow together.

Hoping we all have a good growing season and that we will be able to celebrate harvest in the normal way.

With best wishes,

The EWAA Trustees & Officers.

Shop News – April 2020

Following the CoVid 19 changes, online shop orders and deliveries have started up. So far, we’ve managed to get one online order cycle in per week, and our stock is selling well. We’ve also managed to get some deliveries from our suppliers. It is our intention to run down our perishable supplies and focus on the non-perishables, as the shop sales are quite down on usual, and seem somewhat skewed from our usual patterns, so it’s hard to predict what people will buy.

That said, what’s clear is there is a Compost shortage. So we’ve managed to buy lots of it. We have had our 2nd delivery of a pallet of “Sterilised, Composted Manure” in the shop. This is now selling at £5.55 per bag.

Almost all our suppliers were unable to sell compost, but we managed to get a pallet of 75 litre bags of “Multipurpose Compost”. It does not say ‘Peat Free’ on the pack, so assume it isn’t, but it was all that was available currently. We’re selling those at £5.40 per bag.

Because we were unable to buy peat-free compost, we bought a few bags of “Cocount Coir”. This is more expensive, at £9 for a 60l bag, but we’re told this expands considerably when wet (FYI the pack includes PPE guidance, regarding Coir dust, when dry).

As requested by several people, we bought a number of bags of “John Innes Seed Compost”, “John Innes No2 Compost” and some “Perlite”. This is in addition to our existing stock of pre-mixed smaller bags of “Seed & Cutting Compost”. Prices are as follows:-

Seed & Cutting Compost 10 ltr£3.25
John Innes Seed Compost 30 Litre£4.20
John Innes No 2 Compost (25 litre)£4.20
Perlite 20l£11.50
Blended Manure Compost£5.55
Multipurpose Compost 75 Litre£5.40
Coconut Coir 60 Litre£9.00

We have ordered some 30 litre Tomato Gro’Bags, but these have not been delivered yet. I have no information on if/when they’ll arrive. When they do come in, they will be £2.50 each. Please let us know if you’re interested in these, as we don’t have room to keep much stock, so we’re only ordering a few bags over that needed to cover existing orders. So get your orders in to avoid missing out.

Finally, we’re getting lots of requests for crop protection this year, so in addition to the usual range of nets and fleeces we have, we’ve bought in some 0.9m (3 feet) x 25m rolls of Chicken Wire. If these sell quickly we can get some more. These will be £27 per roll. We can get 50m rolls, and rolls that are 0.3/0.6/0.9/1.2/1.8m (1/2/3/4/6 feet) wide, if anyone wants some.

For those not aware, we’re taking orders online. Please email shop@ewaa.org.uk to discuss or request your order, and we’ll try to get a quote out by Saturday lunchtime, along with the EWAA shop bank details. On Sunday morning, we’ll check for payments received, and deliver to your plot. Please ensure you quote your plot number as reference to the bank payment, and please ensure your plot is clearly numbered, so we can find it. Please email any secret delivery locations before Sunday.

Stay safe everyone.

CoViD 19 EWAA shop plans

Owing to the CoViD 19 pandemic, the ewaa shop has had to close. However we still have some stock and our suppliers still seem to be able to take orders and deliver. So we’d like to see if its feasible to run an occasional email and deliver to plot service.

Initially we’d like plot holders to email the shop@ewaa.org.uk with any requests for orders. We’ll then review what’s been requested (possibly after a few days) and reply back with a confirmation of what’s available, how much it’ll cost, and ewaa bank account details, to take bacs payments (we will not accept cash or card payments). We’ll then check the bank after a period of time and deliver (it will not be practical to chase for payments, so please pay ontime to avoid missing the window).

Depending on stock there may be a delay for deliveries. Demand, will determine the frequency we can provide the service.

We are considering providing some things not normally stocked in the shop such as seed compost, tomato bags and carrot seed and shed repair materials, so do ask.

Covid-19 Pandemic: EWAA Emergency Measures

Covid-19 Pandemic: EWAA Emergency Measures

The following changes come into effect immediately and will remain until further notice:

  1. Membership: New membership of the allotment association is now closed until further notice.  Our current waiting list will be recorded and retained and then processed when our membership reopens with the ending of the pandemic.  This is to protect the health of our membership officers.
  2. Shop: The shop will be closed until further notice to protect the health of our members and shop volunteers.  The EWAA committee will be exploring the possibility of setting up a virtual shop, subject to availability of stock and supply chains being able to fulfill orders.  If this moves forward, deliveries will be direct to plots.
  3. Social Distancing Rules – all separate households keeping at least 2 metres apart – will be strictly enforced on site.  Plot holders not observing these public health rules will receive a verbal and/or written warning from allotment officers and the committee.  A second report of such behaviour will result in the plot holder being asked to give up their plot without further notice.  Children are to remain with adult plot holders in the same household at all times.  Established helpers who are not named plot holders (or household members) that are not currently registered with the Membership Officer will need to notified to the EWAA in the next 7 days and will need to observe social distancing rules at all times.

These measures were agreed by an emergency committee meeting held on 24 March 2020.  They will be revised periodically by the EWAA committee according to any changes in advice from Public Health England and other government bodies.

Social Distancing Rules

The government has issued clear guidelines that are to protect vulnerable members of our community, social distancing needs to be followed by everyone.

The National Trust overnight has now closed its parks and gardens due to people not following these rules and behaving as though they are on holiday.

For us to keep open as an allotment association it depends on on all of our members keeping a safe distance from others.

in practice this should mean that each plot holder and any of their household should keep at least 2m away from other plot holders. In addition hands need to be washed for 20 seconds after opening and closing the entrance gates. There is soap in the toilet block. water supplies are now turned on.

I was on the site all day yesterday and unfortunately not everyone has yet understood the urgency to follow these rules. This is endangering the ability of the NHS to treat those hospitalised with COVID-19 and indeed everyone accessing treatment.

An emergency committee meeting is being held this week to discuss compliance on our site.

If these rules are not followed then we have no option other than to consider closing the allotment for all further access.

Chris Clifford

Chair, East Ward Allotment Association