NORTH FINCHLEY ALLOTMENT SOCIETY
Dear Plot holders,
As many of you will be aware our dear friend Agnes Wilton (known to many as Agi) passed away in January of this year. Many tributes have been paid to Agnes, she will be well remembered for her generosity on site always keen to share her plants and crops and quick to help new-comers with her sound advice. She will be greatly missed by all of us.
In September, at the AGM, a new Committee was voted in and we all welcome the election of Kairi Bregadze as our new Chair. A full list of Committee members can be found on the last page of this newsletter. Please remember that the Committee is made up entirely of volunteers, people who freely give up their time in order for all of us to enjoy the benefits of working our allotments; it is not their ‘job’ to police the site. If you are experiencing any problems please do come forward and discuss them with any one of our Committee members and we will make effort to help you resolve your issues.
Over the last year a number of landscaping changes were made on site and a huge effort
was made, mostly by Peter Simpson, Tom McGovern and Miguel Espenica to keep the
communal areas clear of rubbish. Please make every effort to maintain the site in good
order – we cannot and should not expect other people to clear up our rubbish. At the end of last year the Committee received Peter Simpson’s resignation from his position as trustee and notice that he was giving up his plot. Peter has worked tirelessly for many years, in maintaining the site and our machinery; not just on site but behind the scenes, dealing with Thames Water, neighbours complaints, the squatters in the British Legion … the list is endless. Peter will be sorely missed and we all wish him every success in his full retirement.
NFAS PLOT CHARGES 2018-2019
As agreed at last year’s AGM there will be NO increase in rents this year. Rent is set at £8.45 per pole and water at £2.30 per pole. Compulsory Society Membership per tenant also remains at £10 per year.
10 poles will be £107.50 ground rent/water + £10 membership = £117.50
5 poles will be £53.75 ground rent/water + £10 membership = £63.75
Rent can be paid by cheque, cash or by direct bank transfer (BACS). Our bank details will be on the invoices for those wishing to make direct payment. If you prefer to pay by cheque or cash then Jane Healy (the Treasurer) will be in the Site Office every Sunday from 8th April 2018 through to 29th April 2018 from mid-day until 2.00 pm. If you miss her in the Site Office then you can catch up with her on her plots on P-field. Plot charges must be paid in full by 14th May 2018, failure to pay your rent will be treated as self-termination.
Last year we requested that, following advice from the Police and Fire Services, everyone
number their plots. A few members have done this but the vast majority of plots remain
unidentified. Please would you all make every effort to comply with this request this year.
CHILDREN ON SITE
Please be reminded that the site is not a playground. Everyone is happy to see children on site, but they must be accompanied at all times, and must not go onto other plots, or into sheds. Games which involve running around the fields are not permitted – please use the playing fields next to P field for this sort of play. Failure to control children may lead to an official warning about the plot holder’s tenancy.
DOGS ON SITE
Following an incident on site last year, when one dog bit a plot holder, the Committee
reminds all plot holders that their pets must be kept under strict control if they are bought on
site. If your pet becomes a nuisance or a danger to others on site then your pet will be
banned from the site.
Last year we made a special request that all gas canisters be removed from site, as
instructed by the Fire Services. During the winter a large shed was burned to the ground,
inside the shed was a large gas canister. Please be advised that all gas canisters must be
removed from your sheds and failure to comply with this instruction will result in termination of your lease.
SITE SAFETY & SECURITY
Please be aware that the Committee have received a number of complaints about large
parties being held on plots, with a number of strangers wondering around both fields. It is understandable that on a nice summer day (yes we do have them!) people would like to share their good fortune in having a plot and invite friends to join them. Nobody is
complaining about that – the complaint is about strangers wondering around the site,
unaccompanied, children running over plots and damaging crops. Please behave
responsibly on site, and see that any guests you have invited also behave respectfully
towards other plot holders.
Gates: Please remember to lock the gates after you at all times – gates should not be left open for friends who may be coming along later.
In the case of an emergency you will need to be able to give our full address to any of the Emergency Services so please make a note of our address and postcode and have it
Legion Way, North Finchley London N12 0QF
WEBSITE and FACEBOOK PAGE
As most of you know, we do have a Website
and a Facebook page
If these links don’t work, please copy and paste them into your browser, the addresses are correct).
All members are encouraged to check the Website for regular updates and if you are on
Facebook then please join us. The Facebook page is just a fun way of sharing photographs and site news, and of course, you can join the group without having to commit to any intrusion into your personal life.
The Website has a useful article about harvesting rainwater and how to water sparingly
without damaging your crops and all members are advised to read it – let’s make 2018 the year we REDUCE our ever-increasing water bill!
All members are reminded that you may borrow any of the equipment in the Trading Hut for the purpose of maintaining your plot. No charge is made but we do ask that if you are borrowing our equipment you take a couple of minutes to mow all the paths around your plot, remembering that all plot holders are responsible for maintaining their own Southern footpath. If you would like to borrow equipment please contact the NFAS by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org (to pre-book) or look for any of the following members who have keys to the Trading Hut:
Lee Chesters (E97a, E95b)
Miguel Espenica (E32, E33)
Jane Healy (P54, P55)
Pamela Marre (P23a)
Graham Street (P19)
NFAS COMMITTEE VOLUNTEERS:
Chair: Kairi Bregadze
Treasurer: Jane Healy
Secretary: Pamela Marre
Members on E Field:
Members on P Field:
Seed potatoes, are currently available at Woodhouse Allotments. They also have spring sowing onions, shallots, and garlic for people who didn’t get their alliums in the autumn. They are happy to serve people from other allotment sites in the Borough (only). Their Trading Hut is open at Woodhouse Allotments, Grove Road, North Finchley N12 on Saturdays and Sundays 12.00 midday to 2.00pm.
Currently available are:
- Rocket (First Early) 80p per Kg
- Arran Pilot (First Early) 80p per Kg
- Maris Peer (Second Early) 80p per Kg
- Estima (Maincrop) 80p per Kg
- King Edward (Maincrop) 80p per Kg
- Maris Piper (Maincrop) 80p per Kg
- Charlotte (Salad) 80p per Kg
- Anya (2nd Early) £1.20 per Kg
- Rooster (Maincrop) £1.20 per Kg
- Sturon (Yellow) 60p per 200g
- Red Baron (Red) 60p per 200g
- Jermor 80p per 200g
- Golden Gourmet 80p per 200g
- Lautrec Wight £2.00 per pack
- Carcasonne Wight £2.00 per pack
- Vigor White (loose) £1.00 per bulb
Broad Beans £1.00 per 100g
The sad news has been received that Agnes (known to many of us as Aggie) passed away yesterday morning. Many of us will remember her as a very generous lady who gave so much of her time to help NFAS and share her vast experience and knowledge with her fellow gardeners. Glebelands will miss her greatly and we wish her family and friends our heartfelt sympathy.
2017 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
On September 17th we held our Annual General Meeting, once again in the Model Engineering Club.
The Treasurer reported that we have now achieved our agreed level of Emergency Funds (recommended by BAF) and that the society was generally in a good financial position. For the second year running there will be no increase in the rent. The Treasurer assured everyone that normal business practices governed the way the societies funds were managed and invited anyone with any concerns to read the reports, provided every month along with supporting bank statements, on display in the site office. She did report that once again there is concern about rising water charges and asked that everyone take responsibility for our water consumption.
The Committee’s Report highlighted the need for everyone on site to work together. We are a self-managed site and it is our collective responsibility to make sure that the site runs smoothly, and members must not expect a very small group of people to take on all the challenges that running the site presents. Special thanks were given to Tom McGovern and Peter Simpson for their continued efforts to maintain the site. Through their efforts four new 5-pole plots were created on P-Field this year and all plots were quickly allocated.
All plots on P-field are now let and one will become available on E-field after some preliminary clearing has taken place
Members were reminded that there must be no beds kept in sheds and that this directive has come from the Fire Services and the Metropolitan Police. The Committee will be changing the wording in our Rules to include this.
The newly elected Committee were voted in at the meeting. Please see the list below and make every effort to get to know your Committee members – and remember the Committee works on your behalf to ensure the continuing viability of the site.
Chairperson: Kairi Bregadze
Treasurer: Jane Healy
Membership Secretary: Megan Walsh (P-field) and Roddy Stylianou (E-field)
Committee Members: Derrick Carty, Michael Charamboulous, Lucas Loizou, Graham Street, Androulla Stylianou, Lee Chesters, Miguel Espenica, Peter James, Tom McGovern, John O’Riley.
Following the election of the new Committee lively debates took place covering a number of interesting topics. A number of people mentioned an increase of petty theft of crops and how to deter this.
Concern was raised over the number of barbecues on site, which involved non-members of the society wandering around the site, car-parking spaces being occupied etc. Whilst it was agreed that no-one wanted to deprive people of holding a party on site this should be done within reason and all members are reminded that plots are primarily for growing crops and not holding large social events.
Everyone was reminded that the toilet facilities on site are for the benefit of everyone and should be left in the same condition that you would expect in your own home.
We do now have quite a long Waiting List and all members who do not attend their plots regularly will be asked to either downsize or give up their plots completely.
A few rents are still outstanding and the Treasurer asks that anyone owing fees for 2017/18 pay as soon as possible, otherwise their Lease is in jeopardy.
Finally , a reminder that the water will be turned off, as usual, on the 1st of October.
Hello everyone. It’s been lovely to see so many people back on site after the winter break. Please remember, if you have not paid your rent yet, it was due (in full) by 10th May. If yours is still outstanding you will be receiving reminders shortly.
The Committee would like to remind all parents that whilst children are always welcome, the allotment site is not a playground. We have received a number of complaints about children running onto plots, crashing into crops and damaging frames built for crops to climb up. Nor is the site a safe place for play. Despite great efforts to clean it up in recent years some hazards, like broken glass or sharp metal objects, may remain – sometimes hidden in long grass or undergrowth.
Perhaps even more worrying are the recent sightings of syringes. The police have been informed. Please tell your children not to pick these up if they see any, but to tell you about them so you can report it to a member of the committee.
Site maintenance: Work has been done recently to repair leaks, strim paths, clear vacant plots and remove rubbish from all parts of the site. Three large van loads of assorted plastic, carpet, glass, metal and other materials were taking to the recycling centre. Following a cull of diseased, overgrown and ‘gifted’ (by the squirrels) trees on P-field we hired a JCB for a day to clear out the stumps and help dig out old carpets and rubble buried just below the surface. Thanks for their help with these activities to Peter Simpson, Tom McGovern, Peter Simpson, Miguel Espenica, Lee Chesters, and Peter James.
All plot plotholders are reminded that you are responsible for taking away your own rubbish, and also that glass and carpet are now prohibited on site. If you wish to put down a barrier to prevent weeds growing then please use a geotextile weed control material like Terram (available in the trading hut).
Committee news: Sadly, Alice Dickens has had to resign as NFAS Chair due to other commitments. The committee would like to record their thanks to Alice for her dedication and support over the past few years. The committee also welcomes Megan Walsh who kindly volunteered (and has been co-opted) to provide admin support while Pamela Marre is away for an extended period.
Tip of the month: Marigolds are a great companion for tomatoes, apparently they repel root-knot nematodes, tomato worm, whitefly and greenfly. Why not try growing a few pots full of marigolds next to your tomatoes this year, and telling us about your results via our Facebook site ?
The Committee are pleased to announce that we now have a ‘Community Plot’ on P-Field. It is located at Plot P8, at the top end of P Field on the path leading directly from the car park.
The Community Plot has a number of raised beds of different sizes, a small fruit cage and a large greenhouse. Beds may be rented from between £5 – £10 a year and are reserved for people who have little or no experience of gardening (but are keen to learn) or who cannot work a larger plot due to a disability.
The plot is surrounded by friendly and experienced gardeners who are always happy to give sound advice. Like all our members the people on the Community Plot will be responsible for keeping the plot tidy and its general maintenance, like cutting the grass.
It has been decided that anyone on P-field who doesn’t have a greenhouse on their own plot may use an area in the communal greenhouse – on the proviso that they don’t take it over! To avoid cases of mistaken identity, all pots and beds should be clearly labelled with the plot holder’s name or initials (and if they have one, the number of their other plot).
This is an exciting project and we really hope we can all work together to make it a great success.