This year’s annual Association Awards Evening was held on 4th September 2017, and the awards were presented by The Right Worshipful The Mayor of the City of Ely, Councillor Richard Hobbs.
A J FENN CUP for best allotment in Ely (and winner’s certificate)
Stewart and Teresa Bye –Bridge Fen
2nd place certificate: Vala Carter – New Barns
Joint 3rd place certificate: Colin and Olive Bowles – New Barns
Rosemary Reardon – Bridge Fen
HOLDEN-ROLFE CUP for best small plot (and winner’s certificate)
Alan Church –New Barns
2nd place certificate: Gareth and Bev Owen – Upherds Lane
Joint 3rd place certificate: Dave Tomlins – Upherds Lane
Kate and John Mitchell – Upherds Lane
MICHAEL UNGAR MEMORIAL CUP for best newcomer (and winner’s certificate)
Zenia Cornwell – Bridge Fen
2nd place certificate: Stephen Foot – New Barns
3rd place certificate: Baiba Bertule – New Barns
The following are new trophies which will be retained by the winners.
JACK CLARKE TROPHY for best plot on Bridge Fen:- Stewart and Teresa Bye
MAURICE HOBBS TROPHY for best plot on New Barns:- Vala Carter
NIGEL CLARKE TROPHY for best plot on Upherds Lane:- Gareth and Bev Owen
JACK KEMP TROPHY for best plot on Back Hill & Canterbury Avenue:- Lisa Harbinson
In addition to the awards two illustrated talks were enjoyed this year, the first on ‘weed control’ and the second on ‘the history of vegetables’. The presentation slideshows can be downloaded for viewing from the links below but you will need either Powerpoint Mobile or Powerpoint Viewer to open these files.
The insurance cover provided by the Association is renewed annually. Copies of the Certificate are posted on all site noticeboards. This provides cover for members engaged in working parties (quasi-employees), and hence must be displayed at all workplaces.
Good news is the cover has been extended immediately to include family members and anyone else working on the plot with the principal plotholder’s permission. [The principal plotholder is the name on the Tenancy Agreement, and is the only one entitled to membership benefits of the National Allotments Association]. There is no age restriction regarding cover for a member’s children, but they must be supervised and assisting on the member’s plot.
This change to the cover has been implemented as a result of the discussion at the 2017 AGM, and removes the need for a supplementary charge as outlined in the proposed rents structure from 1 October 2017.
Some gardeners use carpet as a weed suppressant on their allotments. This is a practice that causes much discussion. Some allotment associations and councils directly controlling their allotments have banned the use of carpets altogether on their sites. This is from long experience of the effects of carpet, especially where a plot has been left uncultivated.
Elsewhere, people have found that foam backed carpet is a particular nightmare as the foam physically degrades into little bits which are totally impossible to clear effectively. Foam is also likely to breakdown further, possibly chemically, after physically crumbling. So – use black plastic or weed membrane by all means to suppress weeds until you have time to clear the area of ground in question. But do yourself (and those who come after you) a favour and ignore any offers of carpet and do not use it. Wet black plastic or weed membrane is far easier to move, store and re-use than an overgrown carpet. Underneath the carpet on your plot is also slug haven.
Carpet will not kill off weeds; it will suppress them and prevent seeds germinating. Roll it back after six months over winter and in spring the bindweed will reappear (as will nettles and docks) and dormant seeds will germinate. In summer roll a bit back and those white spaghetti strings running for yards is the bindweed (or nettles or rosebay willowherb) trying to find light. A Glyphosate chemical spray which kills the weeds but does not affect the soil is a much more efficient way of dealing with difficult weeds.
Spare a thought for the new plot-holder or Site Rep who has to clear and move that wet smelly heavy carpet that a previous plot holder has left.
The Carpet Slayer
New Barns Site
Since I wrote the obituary of Mr Maurice Hobbs wherein I mentioned that he taught me how to dig and stopped me using my spade ‘as a shovel’ I have been asked more than once exactly what I meant. It is an operation that is best shown rather than described but I shall try.
The spade consists of three parts. The blade, the handle which is the D shaped bit on the end or the little crossbar, and the haft which is the bit between the blade and the handle. To shovel you get hold of the handle with one hand and grip the haft with the other hand with the palm facing upwards and the thumb on the top of the haft. This allows you to lift and cast whatever is on the blade.
Digging however is an action of turning the soil. It doesn’t have to involve any lifting or casting just a turn like a plough. To do this you reverse the grip on the haft with the palm on top and the thumb underneath. Insert the blade in the earth, lever it back and twist the handle and the haft. The earth is turned. It is dug.
New Barns Site