Sunday, September 30, 2012

Minutes of September Meeting

Harris Road Allotment Society
Minutes of meeting held on 20 September 2012

1. Apologies - Asha Dube, Ceri Ashton, Ann Toy, Mick Caveney, Matt and Cheryl

2. In attendance Jen Mickelborough Plot 26 (Acting Chair) Vicky Cooper Plot 7, Ben
Kentzer Plot 5A (Treasurer), Stewart Bailey-Smith Plot 28, Ian Bowler, Matt Williams
Plot 9, John Guymer, Jim Boylan, Cathy Davis, Pat Haisman Waiting list, Anna
Cattini Plot 27, Peter Morton (Secretary) Plot 3 &10

3. Minutes of the last meeting Agreed

4. Matters arising from the July meeting as follows

5. Letter to promote membership from Asha has been sent to the waiting list.

6. First newsletter is now on the website. Agreed that Jen would re-format the
newsletter and Peter would distribute on paper to all tenants and waiting list. Peter
to email link to website to Jim Boylan

7. Security Reported there is a gap between the old and new fence on plot 25 which
unauthorised people are using to access the site. Teenagers are accessing the site
to ‘play’ on plot 11 and other plots - maybe coming from houses round the site
rather than the gap. Tenants particularly when working on their own feel intimidated
by them. Peter to refer to Ceri

8. Logo agreed to park this for now

9. Treasurers report Ben reported that there is £681.80 in the bank plus membership
fees collected on the night. Expenses are due to be paid to treasurer and secretary
when Asha is back. Noted that cheques will not be signed by the recipient of the
cheque. Membership is now 19. It was confirmed that membership is per person
not plot.

10. Insurance Following consideration of the report from Peter it was agreed to join
the Allotment and Gardens Council for £30; to insure through Russell Scanlon for
£17.22 from October 1 to 21 December 2012; and for £68.90 for 2013 calendar
year; hold a workday when we are insured and rent a skip for weekend or week
depending on cost. Action Peter

11. Grant Application Jen reported that the North of England Horticultural Society are
awarding grant of between £100 and £2000 for gardening projects of community
benefit. Agreed a subgroup would explore options to report back to the next
meeting - Jen, Vicky and Stewart volunteered; to seek Ceri’s support to improve
the entrance with vehicular access and prevent the area being used as a dog toilet.
Understood it can’t be turned in to a car park due to planning requirements.

12. Bins or enclosures for deliveries of wood chip and manure Agreed that a job
for the workday would be to create proper bays for deliveries; to agree with Ceri
their location. Noted a delivery of wood chip has been made recently and Pat has a ready supply of horse muck - Ben offered to arrange delivery. Stewart offered to
use weedkiller on this area.

13. Noticeboard Noted that Ceri has ordered a noticeboard.

14. Website Jen reported that the website is up and running. Entries will go onto the
site via Jen who is the Moderator. Address is
There is an email alert to members when new items appear on the site.

15. Newsletter Agreed to publish a second edition Jen to write piece on the website;
Peter on the the Allotment and Gardens Council including bulk seed buying,
insurance and workday. After the arrangements for the social are agreed at the
next meeting this will be the main item.

16. Sheffield Federation visit Agreed to defer until next spring. Peter to find if we are
eligible having joined the Allotment and Gardens Council rather than the National

17. Excess green bins from Veolia Ben reported that they were not available.

18. Christmas Social 6 December Action Matt and Ian to ask landlord of Park Hotel if
he can accommodate us and report back to next meeting.

19. Future of plot 11,30 and 31 Noted 11 is a large plot is vacant and Ceri is planning
to fell the two trees to create more space. Ceri is concerned as to the quality of the
soil on plot 30 and 31 (currently the path to the active plots) as it will be very
compacted and there may have been a surface laid at one time for an entrance
path. Ceri is about to trial some cheap raised beds, so these plots could be raised
bed plots if the soil is not suitable. The total waiting list is 14 including 1 with
particular requirements and 2 who don't want a plot just yet. Agreed to recommend
to Ceri that plot 11 is divided in to three small plots to enable more of the waiting list
to get a plot; on balance prefer not to have starter plots sponsored by the society; to
promote a buddying option to match waiting list with tenants that would welcome
assistance; to invite waiting list to the workday to introduce them to the society and
visit the site to promote buddying; to recommend that the two trees on plot 11 are
felled but no others. Jen and Anna want to keep tree adjacent to plots 26 and 27.

20. Workday Agreed to hold a workday on 13 October from 10.00 until 15.00 Action
invite Ceri and if she isn’t able to attend to agree work programme with her (Peter);
ask Ceri if we can borrow tools and a shredder; order a locked skip for a week if
possible (Peter); recommend to Ceri that the priorities should include hedges on
plots 23 and 24; build the compost and wood chip bins (see 12 above); clear vacant
plots for new tenants; put wood chip on communal paths; assist any current tenants
that need help clearing their plot.

21. Access problems - residents blocking the entrance to the site Noted that Cri is
following this up with the transport planners to apply for a dropped kerb and white
no parking lines.

22. AOB Noted that when we come across Ragwort it should be dug up and removed
from site as its poisonous to animals. There are courses in bee keeping and

chicken care at the council’s centre at Ecclesall Woods see SCC website for details.
Hedges should be indigenous species - leylandii is not indigenous!

23. Date of next meeting 18 October 7.00 Hillsborough Pavilion

Friday, September 21, 2012

Free Chippings & Ragwort Warning

The Allotment Society have arranged for chippings to be delivered free of charge for any plot holders to use - deliveries of chippings can be found just inside the gates on the left. A new pile appeared this week so feel free to help yourselves.

At our monthly meeting Vicky warned us that she's found Ragwort on her plot - Ragwort is classed as an 'injurous weed' by the Weeds Act 1959.  Though harmful horses and cattle it should be of limited risk to humans unless you suffer an allergic reaction (according to t'interweb).  If you do find you have ragwort on your plot Defra advise that you cover all your skin and wear gloves and also a mask to avoid inhaling any pollen when you remove it. If it comes into contact with your skin wash with warm soapy water.  Ragwort can still set seed after being cut down, the best disposal method for small quantities is to bag it and put it in your household waste to get collected.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Handy Planner

Here's a link to a nice Veg Planner that the RHS have made. There are so many different planners around but as this one is free to download and print so why not give it a try?!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Next Meeting - Thursday 20th September

Hello Everyone - Our next meting is at 7.00 pm on Thursday 20th September at the Hillsborough Pavilion. We hope to see you there. Included on the agenda are a work day for September 29th, a funding bid, site access and society membership.