Field Allotments at Amerton
By Mrs FM
Herbs & Other
Issues And Going Green.
And Other Climbing Plants.
Alan J Hartley
10 Celebration Fundraiser.
At about this time last year we
had a bit of a plant sale and fundraiser. It was very much impromptu,
not really publicised very much and only came about because I had grown
a large quantity of unusual vegetable plants for the Charity at which I
have been volunteering at for some 7 or 8 years. I normally make a
donation of the vegetable plants to be sold on their big, annual event,
but of course we had the onset of the Covid outbreak and their event had
to be cancelled. Rather than just bin all the plants, we, the Allotment
Committee, decided to have a sale, which even at such short notice still
raised £100. The weather wasn’t particularly kind to us last year with
strong winds, but at least it was dry and the big thing in our favour
was that garden Centres were all closed at the time. This meant that
people were desperate to buy any plants even though most of them, didn’t
know what most of the plants were that we were selling. This year I grew
a more appropriate selection of plants for our dedicated sale and on May
17th there was an easing of the lock down rules which all went in our
favour. Personally, like many of our older Plot Holders, I had had my
second jab, and this gave me and other people, more confidence to
venture out to the event. It also meant that we could go ahead with
tables for cakes, books and tools and do things on a much bigger scale.
After the wettest May imaginable and seemingly, almost non stop rain,
the day for the Sale was forecast to be dry. Our Secretary is also
involved with running the Village Hall, so it wasn’t a problem to get
some fold up tables and we took a chance in not having Gazebos for
shelter. The day came and several people turned up with donations of
tools, books and plants and I ferried my plants from my house to the
Allotments. My friend who comes weekly for a free lunch, repaid me a
little by ferrying 2 car loads of plants for me, but it took about 7
loads altogether to get them there.
There was a book and homemade cake stall which both did very well,
despite it being a wet and drizzly day. Quite a number of the
secondhand tools were sold and I saw several people, clutching Hoes and
forks and things, walking back down the road to the centre of the
village. Many of the tools had been donated by the Charity where I
volunteer as they themselves get numerous donations of tools each year
when people have house clearances. Indeed, a number of the tools came
via my friend when he cleared his older brother’s house and some were
mine as I have no need for things like Hedge or Lawn Shears and edging
tools since I removed the lawn and hedge from my front garden.
A few people had both ordered and collected plants before the sale, as
did the chap that I share a plot with, and even a couple of days after
the sale was over, people were still collecting plants and making small
donations for them. However, there was a lot left over, so as arranged
beforehand, some tools and plants went to the local Village “Clean &
Green,” litter picking organisation that was to have their own
fundraiser a week later on the Bank Holliday Weekend.
What they will raise I don’t know, but the Allotments fundraiser was
deemed to be a great success as we raised nearly £400. We only raised a
quarter of that last year so everyone was delighted and the general
consensus was that we should make it an annual event. My reaction was
that we should do it again, but not next year as this was for the 10
year celebration, but in another 10 years time for the 20th or even 25th
Immediately after the event the Committee had to clean the tables down
because of Covid regulations and return them, and I spent the next
morning re-organising my greenhouse and 2 yards as all the saleable
plants had been removed apart from some odd trays of this and that that
were earmarked for my own plots. My box of old plant labels had been
nearly emptied and any new labels that I had had were gone as well.
Everything had been labelled as much as I could with old plant labels
though. I hadn’t attempted to clean them, but instead had crossed out
the existing names and written on the back. Some people try to remove
the permanent, marker ink used to write on labels by using bleach or
washing up liquid, and scouring pads or wire wool, but it is one of
those silly little jobs that I really don’t like doing so I hadn’t
bothered. I suppose we shouldn’t really be using plastic at all and
should be using wooden labels with pencils, however, re-cycling old
plastic labels has got to be the “Right Way To Go,” for the time being.
The same can be said of plastic pots and trays and I have to say that
nearly all of the hundreds that I used were old and recycled ones.
Admittedly, the many bags of Compost that I used were all new, but at
least they were not Peat Based, but made from alternative, greener
material. If we do make a repeat of the event again next year, I will
grow far less plants than I did this as everyone said, I had really gone
over the top and done far too much. Although, much of what I had grown
came about because when I had sown the seeds for my own vegetables I had
simply sown the rest of the packet for the fundraiser. The rest of the
plants were grown from cuttings taken from plants on my plot, or in my
garden, be they Currant, or Raspberry Bushes, Strawberries, or Red
Leafed Hazel Trees.