Diary

The ADAs Awards, Peas and Beans, and a poster to advertise the Celebration of Allotments

The ADAs presentations on Friday August 16thmade for a very enjoyable event. The presentations stimulated lively discussions about the various proposals which were both informative and encouraging. This event really encourages an exchange of ideas and experiences about the way ahead for sites across Glasgow. It is exciting to hear about how various sites are setting about contributing to a more sustainable future for the City through their activities.  The awards for this year go to:

Croftburn Allotments for the South Area of the City,

Reidvale Allotment for the North East and

Hamiltonhill Allotments for the North West.

Cheques for £500 will be presented to the winners at the September 28thCelebration of Allotments .

 Veg of the Month: Peas and Runner Beans

bff83fbbedfcb1c3486de5e7192a6034.jpgAt this time of year peas and beans are important vegetables on the allotment.The pea harvest has always been a key source of protein as well as carbohydrate. Many varieties of peas can grow well in Scotland and the choice really depends on what you want to use them for: whether you want to produce delicate mangetout for stir fries or salads, or sweet garden peas for freezing, or peas, such as marrowfat, to preserve for later use by drying. Like potatoes, there are early peas as well as a maincrop.

You can start the pea and bean seeds in the greenhouse, polytunnel or even on a windowsill. Sow in peas in waves so you have a crop throughout the summer. Peas and beans like light and sunshine. You can grow them in a patch or around a set of sticks set up like a tepee. Runner beans need more elaborate structures up to 6-8 foot high.

One of the delights of summer is pea and lettuce soup. Braising the lettuce in a touch of butter it until it begins to brown and then blending this with cooked peas and and a few mint leaves makes a refreshing soup. We often discard the peapods. However you can use them to make a good pea stock. Wash, trim and cook the peapods. Then blend and finally strain away the liquid, removing the stringy parts of the peapod. This stock can be used for making soups or added to dishes like risotto.

Runner beans are beginning to climb up the beanpoles with their characteristic red flowers. Picking the small tender beans soon after they form is ideal. Regular harvesting keeps the plants producing. Runner beans can crop heavily and by September you may start to run out of ideas of what to do with them. We left one plant to grow ripe beans – which had a pinky, purple pattern. We used these like barolotti beans – a useful way of dealing with the glut.

Once the peas and beans are finished, cut back the growth and put this in the compost bin. The roots have a nitrogen-fixing bacteria so dig these into the bed. You can also use left over pea seeds as winter manure.

Christine Forde

 

A5 posters for the Celebration of Allotments – please print off the attached file and circulate to advertise the event. Celeb Poster 2 x A5

Meeting with GCC, Draft Minutes and Sandy’s Report

The courgette glut on our plot continues!!

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Meeting with Glasgow City Council’s Landscape Design and Development Manager

GAF requested a meeting with Stevie Scott to discuss on-going concerns about the governance of local authority allotment sites. We were offered a meeting with Rachel Smith who is the Council’s Landscape Design and Development Manager.

Our concerns were about the communication with, and participation of, allotment associations and plotholders in shaping allotment policy and development, particularly in the context Community Empowerment Act. We emphasised the willingness and necessity of GAF members  being involved in shaping the future of the use of open space in the City, pointing to our own Manifesto which outlines the contribution that allotments can make to improving our environment and wellbeing.

For us, a more open and transparent relationship with the local authority, founded on a clear scheme of delegation is crucial. See the detailed notes of the meeting here: Meeting GCC June 2019  .

In the interim we are proposing to form a short-life working party to gather views and suggestions about the way ahead. This will be an agenda item at our next meeting on September 5th.

GAF’s July Meeting

You can find the draft minutes for the meeting and Sandy’s report on the Resources page.

Harvest, Producing Food in Glasgow and Responding to the Consultation on Social Prescribing

With the harvest in full swing, and friends and neighbours already beginning to look dubious when you chap the door with yet more courgettes on offer, now’s a good time to think about what preserves and baking you might be able to contribute to our Celebration of Allotments at St.Margaret’s Episcopal Church on September 28th  

We’re looking to have a good range of baking in the café and a variety of produce and preserves on our stall that shows off what Glasgow allotments are capable of producing.

If you think you can help please get in touch.

 GAF’s SEPTEMBER MEETING

Our next meeting on Thursday September 5th (Garnethill Multicultural Centre, Rose St.  7 – 8 pm) will start with a talk by Abi Morden from Propagate (www.propagate.org.uk). All those who are interested in the topic are welcome. 

Roots to Market – Building a Local Food Economy from the Ground Up

This talk and discussion will focus on the work done so far in Glasgow to stimulate our local food economy. There is enormous potential to be harvested in increased urban food production. We need to think innovatively and creatively about how we use land, buildings, resources and supply chains to get more people eating local.

(Agenda of Business Meeting 8 – 9pm to follow)

The Parliamentary Health and Sports Committee are seeking views on social prescribing. Judy writes:

“I think it is really important we get an input into this – before August 30th. Gardening is a physical activity and, in line with our Manifesto, we need doctors to prescribe community gardening opportunities as well as walking groups or sports.”  The link is

https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/112377.aspx

Cast Your Vote – Deciding on This Year’s  ADAs

 

Come along and vote next Friday evening at the presentations for the Allotment Development Awards.

Listen to five different propositions for making their allotment sites more accessible, sustainable and bio-diverse being made by plotholders’ associations from across the City.

All plotholders are welcome – 6.30 pm at Garnethill Multicultural Centre, Rose St.

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Results of the New Plotholders’ Awards for 2019, a new ADAs closing date and two more Open Days.

Sarah Henry writes: We had a fantastic day for the New Plotholders’ Awards (NPAs) on Saturday July 7th. Ten plotholders applied in total, over 7 different sites. We had a clear first prize at Merrylee Allotments for Sally Packer. She had an amazingly productive plot, with a fantastic focus on biodiversity, environment and encouraging insects and a creative use of recycled resources. We loved it and it scored an amazing 100 points.

Allotment June 2019

Here are the results in full.

1st Prize – Sally Packer, Merrylee allotments

2nd Prize – Rudy Intraina, Oatlands Leisure Gardens

 

Highly commended prizes to:

Donnie Mackie – Mansewood Allotments

John and Ann-Marie Falconer – Mansewood Allotments

Floortje Goemans – Hamiltonhill Allotments

Commendation prizes to

Lucy and David Young – Hamiltonhill Allotments

Andrei and Ani Patrana – Mansewood Allotments

We have an extra special mention for you all, which we felt it was impossible to judge with the criteria provided for the NPA. Susan Wilson nominated the community garden she runs at Reidvale Allotments and we were so impressed  with what she has done to transform this patch of land. Whilst we were there, residents from the flats opposite came by, there were volunteers from all ages and walks of life and the garden was absolutely beautiful and provided food for them all. This plot was a true community plot, for everyone, it was so impressive how much work had gone into transform the site and how much it was loved by all those who lived nearby. We felt that this deserved special mention. It provided so much more than could be judged for the NPA competition.

We strongly encouraged Susan to enter for the ADAs and will be sending her information about how to enter.

ADAs – If you haven’t put in an entry for the Allotment Development Awards it is not too late to apply – the closing date has been extended to July 31st. All you need to do to enter is to send the title of the project you want to undertake to us at GAFForum@gmail.com along with the name of your Allotment Site. You’ll find all the information about presenting your project  for the voting session on August 16th in this document:  THE ADAs Making a Proposal 2019

Two more allotment Open Days on the Events  page at Sir John Stirling Maxwell Gardens and Victoria Park Allotments.

Golf Courses, Scot.Gov’s Guidance on Allotments and Holmlea’s Open Day

 

Glasgow City Council has a consultation out on the use of golf courses.  The 6 courses owned by the Council tend to be underused and are proving very costly to maintain. Golf courses are a possible source of good, cultivable land which could be used for allotments, market gardens and community gardens. Such a change in use would support the City’s Food Growing Strategy.

Unfortunately the consultation form initially asks you questions about golf which you have to answer before you can get to the open-ended questions that allow you to express possible alternative uses for the sites. This means that, if like me you have no interest in golf, you have to provide dubious data for questions 1 and 2 – though you can point this out in the open-ended section. If you feel that we need better provision for allotments in the City – we haven’t had a new site since 2005 and getting a plot on many of our sites means being on a waiting list for 8 – 10 years –  you may want express an opinion on the matter despite the restrictions set by the form. The consultation closes on July 7th. The link is: http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/consultations.

The Guidance to Local Authorities for Part 9 of the Community Empowerment Act was published yesterday at  https://www.gov.scot/publications/part-9-community-empowerment-scotland-act-2015-allotments-guidance-local-authorities/

It sends a strong message  about the need for stakeholder engagement in paragraphs 9.1 to 9.4 and 11.19 of section 119 ‘food-growing strategy guidance.’

(5). Ensuring there is sufficient suitable land to satisfy future demand:
3.22 Local authorities should, where practicable, (e.g. based on the scale of the development) incorporate growing spaces in planning briefs for regeneration and new developments, preserving sufficient good quality land to satisfy current and future demand.

Finally, Holmlea’s Open Day plus you’ll find new contact data for their site and South Western allotments in the table attached to our Sites page.

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Enter for the ADAs, it’s a great opportunity. Here’s ADA Tale 2

ADA Tale 2: Springburn Gardens

Winning the ADA for the North West area last year enabled us to move on with our project to refurbish some old dog kennels – which doesn’t sound particu;arly exciting. However, we’re just beginning to realise, now that we’ve nearly completed the conversion what a difference this project makes to what we can do as an association.

We planned to use the money to convert two huts for use as a schoolroom and a field kitchen so that we could open up  part of our site as a nature reserve for local schools and other groups to visit and enjoy. Getting the £500 enabled us to make a start and encouraged  us to apply successfully for a local area partnership grant.

The finished Schoolroom

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The schoolroom is already regularly in use by a group of pupils from our local secondary school and people interested in learning about foraging. The completed field kitchen will allow us to host workshops for using fresh produce such as making preserves and using fermentation techniques etc.

Foraging Workshop

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Now that we have almost completed the conversion we have realised that these two buildings not only give us the potential to develop new connections with local groups but also give our membership exciting new possibilities to get together as a community.

GET YOUR ENTRY IN : 3 prizes of £500 to support allotment development projects (see details on the Awards page).

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