Happy New Year! I hope that you are finding time to look through lots of cheerful Spring seed and flower catalogues in the expectation of another fruitful year on Calico Field.
As I mentioned in my December Newsletter, there are packets of flower seeds in the open shed to sow in the warmer months. Please take a packet and encourage bees and other insects to visit your plot.
You will also notice two new apple trees planted in pots near the polytunnel which have been kindly donated by Bill and Sue (Plot 19). They are in memory of Terry Edmond, one of the founding members of SPAA, and Bill’s mother whose trees they were. Thank you to Bill and Sue, who drove to Devon to bring them back for us.
During January, it would be a good idea to visit your plot to check for storm damage. I have had a report that someone’s green net polytunnel has blown off a plot. Please could the owner retrieve it as soon as possible.
There will be another delivery of wood chippings in the next couple of weeks which will be free. Thanks go to Oliver of Heartwood Trees for this donation. There is still plenty of manure. Please donate £1.00 for every wheelbarrow load you take. Thank you.
January is usually the time to remind you of the Health and Safety rules which can be found on the Risk Management document posted up in the shed.
Here they are in brief:
1) Please supervise children and pets at all times, preventing them from climbing on the structures (eg manure hoppers) and do not allow them to play in the sheds where there is equipment. Please do not allow them to approach the pond, which is full of water at this time of year.
2) Please avoid risk of injury by capping canes with a tennis ball (there are some in the shed for your use) and keeping your tools safely stored and locked away.
3) No gas canisters may be stored on site unless locked away in your own shed.
4) Before using communal equipment eg the generator, make sure you have had training from a member of the committee. Only refill fuel tanks outside in the open air and make sure any chemicals are clearly labelled and safely stored.
5) Please do not light any bonfires on your plot. The communal bonfire may be used for depositing SOIL FREE weeds. (However, please compost as much as you can on your own plot.) Barbecues are allowed on your own plot but ensure they are completely extinguished before you leave.
6) Please follow the rules for prevention of the spread of Covid 19. These are displayed on the main notice board of the site by the carpark.
7) Take care at all times to avoid tripping and other injuries due to the uneven ground.
If you have a minor accident, a FIRST AID BOX is located inside the right hand open shed on the table. Please fill in the accident book at the time and replace the lid tightly.
WHAT TO DO IN JANUARY:
There is not much you can be doing when the soil is waterlogged. Instead, plan your crop rotation design and clean your seed trays and pots for a pest free season. Order your seed potatoes for chitting and your onion and shallot sets, ready to plant them out in February or March.
Last but not least, read the Winter edition of the Parish Newsletter. In there you will find a delightful article by Helen (Plot 10) about our allotments!
Take care and stay safe.