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Welcome to the April edition of the East Sheen allotments newsletter. We had our first committee meeting of the year this week and talked about how we might host in-person events for the AGM and Annual Show. It would be great to hear your thoughts about this in the quick survey we have put together here.

Planning for BHAS events in 2021

Later this year we are considering holding in-person events for the AGM and Annual Show. It would be really helpful if you could let us know whether you would consider attending these events, by answering the following questions in a survey we have put together, so we can plan accordingly. Many thanks for your help with this. 

TAKE THE SURVEY

Tool sharpening service returns

Some of you may remember that Adam Bennett offered a tool sharpening service at the Annual Show in 2019. He will be returning on Saturday 29th May from 10am at the Hertford Avenue allotment site. Please do bring along any tools you need sharpening. 

Trading Shed keys and missing wheelbarrows

Could anyone who has a shed key and now doesn’t need it, please return it to Sheena Clarke. We have new volunteers who do need one and we currently can't get them cut.

Also, could all plot holders please return wheelbarrows as soon as they have finished using them. They are needed at the weekends for customers using The Trading Shed. Currently volunteers are having to spend quite a lot of time collecting them from plots and returning them to where they belong, at the front of The Trading Shed.

Rubbish continues to be left near the bin in front of The Trading Shed. If the bin is full please keep rubbish on your plot or take it home with you. It makes the site look untidy and volunteers are spending time cleaning away the mess.  

Visitor to the plot

We are excited to report that a badger is now regularly visiting the plots at Priory and Hertford Avenue. As the UK's largest land predator, badgers live for around 5 - 8 years and are a protected species. Badgers eat a lot of worms but also help to keep slugs and rodent populations in check. This badger does seem to be getting on in years and is spending an unusual amount of time foraging during the day, so please do keep your eye out for him/her. 

Thanks to Fiona for capturing this photo. 

Membership cards

For members who pay via Direct Debit, your membership card is now available to collect from The Trading Shed. For those who want to renew with cash or card at The Trading Shed, this can be done now and you can also collect your membership card at the same time. 

FINAL reminder - renewing your BHAS membership 2021

This is our final reminder that your membership is due for renewal. There are many benefits to joining the Society, find out more here. Membership runs annually from the 1st May to the 30th April and costs £10 for the year. 

Existing members who signed up via Direct Debit last year
For everyone who joined via Direct Debit last year, you need do nothing. Payment of £10 was automatically taken on the 20th April 2021.

New members
For anyone who would like to join the Society, you can sign up via Direct Debit now. It saves time and you don’t need to remember to complete a renewal form each year. It also reduces the admin time for committee volunteers. Direct Debits are safe, secure and can be cancelled at any time. Find out more about Direct Debits here.

NEW MEMBERS JOIN HERE

If you would like to help out at one of the annual events or on an ad hoc basis, we are always looking for people who we can contact when the occasion arises. It's good fun and helps us build a better allotment space for us all. Just reply to this email.

The Trading Shed is open on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 11 am - 12 noon. 

A reminder that no customers are allowed in the Shed under any circumstances. All items will be brought out of the Shed by one of our volunteers. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

The Trading Shed is located at the Hertford Avenue allotment site (Hertford Avenue, SW14 8EQ) and run by Mark and Sheena.

It is one of the benefits of membership where you can purchase discounted seeds, fertilisers, and other gardening supplies during the growing season. All stock is offered at a discount to garden centre prices to BHAS members. During trading hours, you can also join or renew your BHAS membership and collect a membership card.

Trading Shed Price List on the website

You can find out the prices of seeds, fertilisers and equipment available to purchase from the Trading Shed during the growing season here on the website

On the website we've put together a helpful list of tips on what to do on your plot next month including new crops to sow, pests and diseases to look out for and some ideas to encourage wildlife. We will be making updates to this page soon to make it more user-friendly.
  • Cover potatoes with fleece or earth-up over the young foliage to help prevent damage from frosts and to stop the tubers going green.
  • Cover onions, shallots and leeks with fleece or insect mesh to prevent allium mites.
  • Hang pheromone traps in apple trees to reduce moth caterpillars entering and damaging fruit.
Image source: Charlotte Mendelson
  • Now available in paperback, Charlotte Mendelson's 'Rhapsody in Green'. A unique celebration of gardening written by an award-winning novelist. Available from Sheen Bookshop. 
  • David Lindo, The Urban Birder, talks about urban birding and some of Richmond Park's favourite birds. Saturday 1st May, register online for free.
  •  In the RHS podcast this week, they discuss crop rotation
Image source: Garden Organic
  • Find out everything you need to know about green manures for both vegetable and fruit patches, from Garden Organic.
  • For interesting podcasts about gardening, take a look at this list of five top botanical podcasts.

Image credit: Delish

In Season next month

Vegetables: Artichoke, Asparagus, Aubergine, Beetroot, Marrow, New Potatoes, Peas, Spring Greens, Spring Onions.

Salad and herbs: Chicory, Chillies, Lettuce, Peppers, Radishes, Rocket, Sorrel, Spinach, Watercress.

Fruits: Elderflowers, Rhubarb, Strawberries.
 

Recipe ideas

New Potatoes

15 ways to cook new potatoes – Riverford

Chillis

Cheeky chilli-pepper chutney – Jamie Oliver

Top 10 chilli pepper recipes – The Guardian

Smoky veggie chilli – Jamie Oliver

Watercress

Linguine with watercress and almond pesto – BBC Good Food

Watercress sauce, marmite roasted new potatoes, tarragon and almond dressing – Great British Chefs

Fennel, watercress and pine nut salad – BBC Good Food

 

You can find details of all the committee members on our website here and get in contact with us at: info@eastsheenallotments.com or replying to this newsletter. If you have news you would like to share with the plot holder’s community, please get in touch!

If you would like to help out at one of the annual events or on an ad hoc basis, we are always looking for people who we can contact when the occasion arises. It's good fun and helps us build a better allotment space for us all. Just reply to this email.

Don’t forget, you don’t need to be a plot holder to join the Society and there are lots of benefits for just £10 a year including discounts and use of site materials. Support your allotment community here

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