Newsletter July 2019


Local horticultural show on 18 August

The horticultural show of the Barnet Allotment Federation will take place on Sunday 18 August. The show has moved to a new venue where there is plenty of parking. It will be held at the Martin Primary School in Plane Tree Walk, East Finchley, and is open to exhibitors and visitors.

Exhibition categories include vegetables, fruit, cut flowers, potted plants and home-made food items. Full details will soon be available including setting up times (for exhibitors on Saturday 17 August) and viewing and auction times. Look out for more information on our website and posters on site.

The exhibition opens at 12 noon and closes at 4.30pm. Prize giving and auction of exhibits is from 3pm. Admission is free for children and 50 pence for adults.

If you are interested in exhibiting, please contact communications@pointalls.org and we will send you full details.

Trip to Wisley – tell me if you are interested

This is a reminder to let me know if you are interested in joining a trip to Wisley in September. Entry to Wisley is free, so the only cost would be a small fee for the return bus journey.
At this point I know of three people who would like to come along – not enough for me to start organising this. Therefore, if you want to go, please let me know at communications@pointalls.org or I will sadly have to shelve this plan until next year.

Card reader now in place

All of you who prefer to use cards rather than cash will be very glad to hear that you can now splash out on manure and bamboo canes using your beloved card. A card reader has been installed and John Waterhouse is happy to use it for your purchases.

Please continue to support our trading shed and its keenly priced products as faithfully as you have done in the past. All profits generated go to making Pointalls an even better place to garden.

Fire to smoke out wasps created incident

Recently, a fire that was started by one of the allotment holders to smoke out a wasp nest, nearly developed into a serious fire. As you will all know, fires are not permitted on site, and this incident was particularly dangerous since the fire was left unattended and spread.

If you want to eradicate a wasps nest, we recommend one of the numerous powders and foams available at DIY shops and garden centres.

You might, however, consider whether such action is necessary. Wasps can be beneficial, particularly at this time of the year, in, for example, killing caterpillars which are attacking our brassicas, and they are useful pollinators. We should aim to work in harmony with animals that can aid our crop cultivation. Wasps are not particularly dangerous and will usually only sting when threatened. Furthermore, any nests will not survive the winter frosts.

Composting workshop well received

A group of very interested gardeners attended the composting workshop held by Paul Castignetti, our site manager, in early July.

Paul will be holding another session in about two months, just in time for the autumn clean-up that generates a good amount of composting material in any garden. We will let you know the new date as soon as possible.

Update on finances

With half of 2019 now over, you might like to know how the year is shaping up in terms of finances. The latest estimate from our treasurer Ruth Hendrick indicates that we are going to see a small surplus of around £1000 for the year as a whole. This is exactly what we are aiming for, namely that the income generated by rentals and the profits from the trading shed cover the costs of running the allotment, including skips, toilet hire, repairs, running the website, stationery, bank charges and insurance.

Separate from this, we have reserves in the bank of around £15,000 which are available for possible, well considered capital investments. If we were to decide to invest in a toilet, the funds would come out of these reserves. All in all, we are in a healthy financial situation and want to do everything to remain so in the future.

Call for Pointalls photos

We would like to call for entries to another round of the Pointalls photo competition. Any pictures of produce, gardening, tools, wildlife or atmospheric shots of the site at different times of the year are welcome. They will be judged by our website provider Cariad Marketing and the winners will be recorded in the newsletter and receive a prize. Entries are to be submitted to communications@pointalls.org from now until the end of the year – giving you a good few months to capture the perfect shot.

Furthermore, with the agreement of the photographers, we might like to use some of the photos to refresh our website next year. The website is a very useful method of communicating with the general public and establishes our existence in the digital world. It is the first point of contact for anybody thinking of taking up a plot. We measure the considerable interest that exists by counting the number of visitors that are visiting the website.

By the way, if any of you have any suggestions for amendments or additional information that should go on the website, please send an email to communications@pointalls.org. All feedback is highly appreciated.

And here is an entry to the photo competition to get us started….

Why it’s no longer gardening as usual

Already we are seeing changes to our climate – the earliest spring, the mildest winter, the wettest year, with new pests and diseases reported each year. An up to date book looks at the potential problems ahead and gives down-to-earth advice on how you can work towards a plot or garden that is resilient to climate change. This new nook guides you through:

  • Improving your soil and implementing water saving measures
  • Designing a plot/garden that can cope with extreme weather events, such as torrential rain, drought, storm force winds and more
  • Creating a resilient veg plot
  • Planning a climate-change orchard and flower garden

If you are interested in purchasing the climate change garden book we have arranged a specially discounted price of £12 including post and packing. Usual price is £17.99. All you need to do to order your copy is visit the website https://www.climatechangegarden.uk before the end of July and use the code AL12.

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