Congratulations to all of our award winning plotholders. Awards are very important because they recognise the hard work that goes into keeping a plot looking good. But it also gives the rest of us a standard to aspire to.
The EDAS Fruit Garden occupies a small corner of the allotment on the intersection of Mattock Lane and Northfields Avenue. This part of the allotment site was neglected for a couple of years after it's previous plot holder moved out of London. It couldn’t be let for a while because it fell inside the proposed development site so although it was once part of a beautiful flower garden it was not looking it's best. Thankfully Pathways have decided not to proceed with their plans.
One very blustery Saturday in late October we opened the gates at Northfields Allotments for our fourth Halloween Pumpkin Trail. The site was decorated with spiders, bats, cobwebs, ghosts and lots of fairy lights. There were skeletons everywhere; having a bath in a water tank, drunkenly propped up in a wheelbarrow, riding a tricycle, & chained to a rack. We even had a skeleton doctor giving a mummy a blood transfusion.
If you have a glut of courgettes, tomatoes or fruit try one of these seasonal recipes to preserve your precious produce so you can enjoy it all year round. No home grown produce of your own? No problem you can buy home grown, homemade preserves on the produce stall at the Halloween Pumpkin Trail. This year I haven't had to buy a single new jar -help me keep this going by bringing your clean empty jars to the event.
On Sunday 7th July we opened our gates for our annual summer open day welcoming over a thousand visitors to share our beautiful site with us. We were delighted to have artists from Ealing Art Beat and singers from Capital Chorus to add an extra special bit of creativity to the atmosphere. We even spotted our local MP, Rupa Huq, joining in for a song or two. Visitors were able to treat themselves to some home grown plants, fresh produce and preserves. Children had fun decorating log discs, planting their own tomato plants and hunting for our most eccletic sheds.
We are busy getting the site ready for our annual summer open day on Sunday 7th July. On open day you are very welcome to potter around the allotment site as it begins to reach its most productive and verdant time of the year. Our popular plant stall has flowering plants, vegetable plants and herbs at very reasonable prices mostly grown by our plotholders. We are starting to harvest the first crops of the growing season; lettuce, rhubarb, broad beans and soft fruits are rolling in and we look forward to the courgettes very soon.
Come rain or shine every first Saturday of the month a group of volunteers helps us carry out essential maintenance jobs on the allotments. February's volunteer day was used to clear a neglected area of hedgerow at the Occupation Road end of the site. We cleared a section which had been taken over by a huge mile-a-minute vine. Digging out the roots and removing a massive bank of accummulated soil uncovered some treasure including old milks bottles from the Jobs Dairy on Leighton Road.
In September 2016 we received a letter from Pathways, our landlord, that it intended to build on 10% of the allotments. But, this week, Pathways officially informed us that it will now NOT be building on Northfield allotments.
There has been a substantial changeover of trustees and a change in chief executive since the development was first announced. The new trustees feel that green space and allotments are important and so building on Northfields would not be the right thing to do.