Clarborough & Welham Allotment Association is now up-and-running.
A brief annual update from the Allotment Association (dated 12th January, 2019).
It has been one full year since we pegged out the 20 plots on our freshly ploughed site, we have had our second AGM this January and members are eagerly awaiting the new growing season. Not that it has been very quiet during the winter as the work on communal areas has been ongoing ever since we started. Thankfully, our work parties have been well supported by members so that by now our site pretty much resembles an allotment
Rewinding to last winter - we had a dilemma either to focus on fundraising to reach the target of nearly £15k that was the best quote from the local builders for creating the access, installing a water supply to the site, the gate and a central walk way OR to get creative, start off with the £2k grant we received from our Parish Council, do the work ourselves and fundraise when opportunities arise. The committee voted on the latter, backed by all of the members and we’ve never looked back.
There is no pretending that getting the water on site was a smooth process. What would have taken experienced builder a couple of weeks took us most of the summer and even up till now we have been putting right what we didn’t do perfectly the first time round. Advantages of this rocky path are that by now a good few of us are familiar with the location of the stop tap, with checking for leaks, know a lot more about plumbing supplies than previously and we have established contacts with reliable plumbers in the area.
The summer was hot and dry and the lack of water on site was the biggest challenge to the gardening spirit. This regrettably might have cost us a few members, who left before we really started. However, new members have joined since and currently we have only one full size and one half size plot available to any willing parishioners. To apply, please, contact our secretary, Jean Gregory at firstname.lastname@example.org
During our AGM we asked our members - why had they applied to have an allotment and to reflect on what had they got out of being an allotment holder during the last season. These are some of the answers:
Initial reasons for members applying for an allotment
- To grow fresh, tasty, chemical-free vegetables
- To spend more time in outdoors
- Increase physical exercise
- Educate children about growing food
- Living more environmentally friendly i.e. reducing food miles, composting
- To be more in touch with land and land work
- To be part of food growing community and exchange knowledge about it
- Get to know other community members.
What our members thought they had got out of it after the first season
- Sense of belonging to a strong community group
- Experience of achievement when providing food for family and friends
- Higher quality/tastier produce than from the shop
- Being in touch with other gardeners
- A relaxing, rejuvenating space to go to after work
- ‘Magic’ of watching the plants grow
- Having 100% home grown veg for Christmas dinner
- Children having hands on experience in growing food and seeing other people do it.
Thinking about it – 20 allotments only occupy ¾ of an old time farmer’s field, which once upon a time would have yielded few tons of grain or spuds per growing season. I do rejoice in fact that now this field gives an opportunity to some 50 people stick their hands in soil on regular basis, reconnect with land based lifestyle and grow their own food. Here’s to a good growing season to anyone attempting to grow some food of their own in Clarborough this year.
Clarborough and Welham Allotment Association wishes to thank the following organisations that financially supported the set up of the site:
- Clarborough and Welham Parish Council £2000
- Clarborough Village Ventures £500
And to those people who purchased cakes and plants from our stall at the Village Fair last summer.
Here’s to a good growing season to anyone attempting to grow some of their own food in Clarborough this year!
Pete Tutalo (Chairman) email@example.com
Jean Gregory (Secretary) firstname.lastname@example.org
Unmani Nock (Treasurer) email@example.com