August 22 Newsletter
Global Warming Hits Moor Green
"The ground parched and cracked is like overbaked bread, The greensward all wrecked is, bents (grass) dried up and dead. Burning hot is the ground, liquid gold is the air; Whoever looks round sees Eternity there."
That's our greatest nature poet talking about Autumn one September in the early nineteenth century. It sounds pretty apocalyptic - which is how it felt before the heatwave broke yesterday. John Clare would recognise some of what's happening here and now but he'd wonder how everything could be shrivelling and dying a month early. On the plus side -
by the time you're reading this the heatwave will have ended
we're cropping big time!
Everywhere you look people are either harvesting or keeping on top of watering for produce that's nearly ready. Spuds are being lifted
Polytunnel flaps are well open
Beans for winter are drying on the vine ...
Courgettes, pumpkins and lettuce all holding up. Well done whoever's watering them!
And the corn is as high as, well , a small elephant's eye. The difference from Oklahoma being they don't have to net it to keep the squirrels off!
And the sunflowers are as high as as a big elephant's eye. These must be 10 feet tall. The seeds will be sold by the ounce this winter by all accounts.....
The apocalyptic weather just shows how smart we were to get our own water supply - thank heavens (plus the Big Lottery Fund) for our borehole. But that makes it all the more necessary to make best use of it. Hosepipe use on site - as all regular readers of the the City Council Allotment Management Handbook (revised 2017) will know - is strictly regulated.
"Hosepipes are only permitted to fill water containers and may not be used to water crops directly from a standpipe as this results in considerable wastage. Tenants who break the Rule will be warned and any repetition will result in eviction". This is one rule we want to apply vigorously so please be warned. Fill your water barrels by all means but however big and thirsty your polytunnel/greenhouse/camomile lawn/lettuce patch is, watering with hosepipes is banned. For the sake of our current and future plotholders. Even deep boreholes run dry.
Produce Show September 4th 2022
This year's produce show will have the same format as in 2021 i.e. a hybrid format where a plotholder exhibits a under a class number and RHS rules, or can enter a mixed group of items arranged for effect.
There is an information sheet including a list of produce classes at the end of the Newsletter. The same notice will also be posted in the pavilion and on Zone noticeboards. Judges are looking for identical specimens and specific quality of each item.
Marks are deducted from the perfect 100.
Mixed collections are not bound by strict rules, and can include anything grown on the plot, or in the case of manufactured items, have as the main ingredient something grown on the plot. They can include photographs and other artwork.
Displays will be judged on the quality of the produce presented, the range of items presented and the visual impression the display makes. These displays will not be anonymous but labelled with plot number and names of those contributing to the display. The label may be part of the
display. Please note cakes may be cut and tasted. Jams, wines and spirits may also be
In all cases the judges' decisions are final.
Covid protocols are not as demanding as last year, but again as people bring stuff in they will be directed to various parts of the tent, so as not to be cheek- by-jowl while working.
There will be certificates for outstanding entries as follows
Display by individual plotholder
Display by a couple.. Any 2 adults working together
Display by a family.. 1 or 2 adults with 1 or more children
Display by a group. 3 or more adults & may include children
Note children may exhibit in their own names. At the judges discretion certificates may be awarded for outstanding individual items. Eg. best plate of potatoes whether stand alone or part of a display. For inspiration please see photos of last years show on the website.
Fancy a couple of hours work for a good cause?
We're a very good cause and we need your help. We're looking to get a bunch of volunteers to help us on specific days and times to do some jobs that require a bit of crowd muscle. The more the merrier really - it's a great way of getting to know other plotholders. Just let the secretary know you're coming (firstname.lastname@example.org). The first three tasks are set out below. Work starts at 10.30* and finishes at 1 p.m latest - at which point we can if we so wish, adjourn for a free refreshment at the bar. * except for the Produce Show Marquee - starts at 12.30 p.m.
Putting the Produce show marquee up - Saturday 3rd September. If you have any time and remaining energy you can help us take it down again on Monday 5th - same time
Reorganising the bulkstore - Saturday 24th September. One of those mysterious buildings behind the clubhouse requires serious decluttering. Then we can relocate the solar panels from the seedstore and declutter that building. Then we can use the seedstore for its proper purpose!
Clearing pathways and plots - Saturday 22nd October . This is general purpose site maintenance - because the City Council never does it. Likely to involve cutting back brambles, lopping small overhanging branches, strimming vacant plots or plots where the tenant is ill/disabled/has asked for help etc. Bring leather gloves if you have 'em
We are also recruiting volunteers to help run/organise events in the clubhouse.
Big John's Birmingham Mela
If you have any spare time this weekend you might wander down to the big Mela event in Cannon Hill Park. You will probably hear some of it from your plot anyway! It's the largest Asian outdoor event of its kind in the UK and will attract people from far and wide. People in cars. Who will need somewhere to park. So we're asking people to lock the gates on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st August to prevent Mela visitors from parking on site, only to come back and find they're locked out later. Sorry for the inconvenience but it's only for one weekend.
The Roof - Time to Celebrate!
Well, here it is - nearly finished and we still can't quite believe it.
We're having a bit of a do on 11th September to celebrate. We are very happy to invite you to the Moor Green Allotments “We Saved the Roof” party on Sunday September 11th 2022 from 1pm at the Pavilion for music, drinks, food and fun! This is a bit of a party to say thank you to everyone who helped save the Pavilion roof, which is due to be completed by 31st August.
The fantastic “Out Of The Blue Big Band” led by Jo James and featuring Jan Harris on vocals will be playing swing era classics of Ellington and Basie as well as Latin, Blues, Soul, Pop and even Rock and Roll.
This eighteen-piece Jazz Big Band really do know how to get a party going - check them out at Facebook: outofthebluejazz.com
Other local musicians will be performing around the Pavilion and beer garden during the day and we’re sure to squeeze some music into the evening.
As you know Jon likes to think we’re the “unofficial” 2nd home of Glasshouse, who will be having a ‘tap takeover’ on the day with 8 different Glasshouse beers on and something special.
Carol will be back on the BBQ with Lashford’s sausage and home-made burgers as well as vegetarian options.
Our ‘Pizza Boys’, Oscar and Jonathan will be bringing us a selection of incredible pizzas throughout the afternoon.
We still want your money….
With thanks to our local Councillors and Majid Mahmood, Birmingham City Council are replacing the Pavilion roof (whew!). But we still need to undertake internal repairs, site road repairs, fencing repairs and relocate the solar panels, so fundraising continues and any donations are welcome – one for the road ??
Annual Produce Show
INFORMATION SHEET FOR ALL ENTRIES TO ANNUAL SHOW SUNDAY 4TH SEPTEMBER
DOORS OPEN 9.00AM. ALL ENTRIES MUST BE IN THE MARQUEE AND PRESENTED BY 12.00 MIDDAY
MARQUEE CLOSED FOR JUDGING BETWEEN MIDDAY AND 1 O'CLOCK
THEN OPEN FOR VIEWING. CERTIFICATES TO BE PRESENTED ON THE DAY
GENERAL INFORMATION FOR ALL CLASSES OF PRODUCE
Please bring your entries to the Pavilion before 12 o'clock so that judging can begin on time. A paper plate will be provided for you to arrange your produce on. You will also be given a small slip of paper on which to write your plot number to place by your entry. The judge is an independent, experienced judge who is not a plot holder on our site. Entries are free.
Entries are divided into 6 main categories; VEGETABLES, FRUIT, FLOWERS, DOMESTIC, CHILDREN, BEST PHOTO. In each category there are a number of classes that you may enter. Information on the specific requirements for entries in each class is given below. Please read the information carefully, for instance, entries to some classes specify a certain number of fruits or vegetables or that entries be of a maximum size. If there is a class that you wish to enter produce for that you do not see noted here, please inform a member of the Committee and we will include it next year.
The Pavilion will be closed during judging. In each category the judge may award a 1st, 2nd, 3rd prize. All those awarded prizes will receive a certificate. A top tip is to ensure all your produce in a specific class is of the same size – so three carrots of the same length are better than 2 short ones and 1 long one!
At the end of the afternoon all edible produce not claimed by exhibitors will be forwarded to Food Bank. We hope you enjoy the show!
Class 1. Potatoes White. 5 white potatoes of any distinct cultivar
Class 2. Other Potatoes. 5 potatoes other than white of any distinct cultivar.
Class 3. Beetroot. 3 beetroot tops, trimmed to 75mm (3 inches)
Class 4. 2 Calabrese
Class 5. Cabbage, Green or Red. 1 cabbage with stalk trimmed to 75mm (3 inches) and with outer leaves left on.
Class 6. Broccoli. 12 green spurs with the leaves left on.
Class 7. Marrows. A matching pair of marrows not longer than 380mm (15inches)
Class 8. Marrow heaviest. 1 heavy marrow.
Class 9. Leeks. 3 leeks with the tops trimmed.
Class 10. Lettuce. 2 lettuces of any distinct cultivar with roots.
Class 11. Onions Heaviest. 3 heavy onions shown as grown.
Class 12. From Sets Onions Medium. 3 onions over 250g (8 ¾ oz) tops trimmed and tied, roots trimmed down to basal plate.
Class 13. From Sets Onions Small. 5 onions 250g (8 ¾ oz) and under, tops trimmed and tied, roots trimmed to basal plate.
Class 14 From Seed Onions Medium. 3 onions over 250g (8 ¾ oz) tops trimmed and tied, roots trimmed down to basal plate.
Class 15 From Seed Onions Small. 5 onions 250g (8 ¾ oz) and under, tops trimmed and tied, roots trimmed to basal plate
Class 16. Parsnips. 3 parsnips, tops trimmed to 75mm (3 inches)
Class 17. Peas. 9 pods.
Class 18. Runner Beans. 9 runner beans.
Class 19. Runner Beans Longest. 1 long runner bean.
Class 20. Dwarf Beans. 9 dwarf beans.
Class 21. Shallots. 12 exhibition shallots.
Class 22. Shallots Pickling. 12 pickling shallots not exceeding 30mm diameter.
Class 23. Tomatoes Small. 12 small fruited or cherry tomatoes not exceeding 35 mm diameter with the stalks left on.
Class 24. Tomatoes Medium. 6 indoor or outdoor tomatoes, approx 65mm diameter.
Class 25. Courgettes. 3 not exceeding 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) long.
Class 26. Cucumbers. A pair, indoors or outdoors with short stem attached.
Class 27. Summer Squash. 3 summer squash.
Class 28. Chilli Peppers. 9 chilli peppers.
Class 29. Sweet Peppers. 3 sweet peppers.
Class 30. Salad Vegetables. Minimum of 3 kinds displayed in a standard seed tray.
Class 29. Turnips with Tops. 3
Class 31. Swedes. 2 Swedes with tops trimmed to 75mm (3 inches)
Class 32. Pumpkin Heaviest.
Class 33. Herbs. 5 different kinds of culinary herbs.
Class 34. Sweet Corn. 2 ears of sweet corn.
Class 35. Garlic. 5 garlic bulbs.
Class 36. Cauliflower. 1 cauliflower, stalk trimmed to 75mm and outer leaves left on.
Class 37. Borlotti Beans. 9 Borlotti beans
Class 38. Globe Artichokes. 3 artichokes.
Class 39. Kalaloo. 3 stems of kalaloo.
Class 40 Unusual Shaped Vegetables. Show as grown with no additions or alterations. Class 41 Gourds 2
Class 42 Carrots. 3 carrots, tops trimmed to 75mm (3 inches)
Class 43 Longest Carrot with top
Class 44. Apples. 6 culinary (cooking) apples of 1 cultivar.
Class 45. Apples Dessert. 6 dessert (eating) apples of 1 cultivar.
Class 46. Soft Fruit. 20 soft fruit of 1 cultivar.
Class 47. Stone Fruit. Either 9 plums or 20 damsons.
Class 48. Pears. 3 pears from 1 cultivar.
Class 49. Grapes 1 bunch with stem and leaves attached
Class 50. Cut Flowers & Natural Foliage Exhibit. A collection of cut flowers and any natural foliage to occupy a space 610 mm x 610 mm deep (2 ft x 2 ft). Maximum height of exhibit including staging 915 mm (3 foot deep).
Class 51. Hybrid Tea Roses. 1 vase of 3 single rose stems.
Class 52. Floribunda or Multiflora Roses. 1 vase of 3 stems.
Class 53. Annuals and/or Biennials. 1 vase annuals or biennials arranged for frontal effect.
Class 54. Gladioli. 1 vase flowering gladioli, 3 spikes.
Class 55. Flowering Pot Plant. A flowering pot plant, pot not exceeding 150mm (6 inches in diameter).
Class 56. Foliage Pot Plant. A foliage pot plant, pot not exceeding 150mm (6 inches in diameter).
Class 57. Dahlias. 1 vase of dahlias, 5 blooms.
Class 58. Chrysanthemums. 1 vase of chrysanthemums, 5 stems
Class 59. Carnations. 1 vase of carnations, 3 stems
Class 60. Sweet Peas. 1 vase of sweet peas, arranged for effect.
DOMESTIC CLASSES - CAKES, JAMS, CHUTNEYS, PICKLE, WINE
Class 61. Madeira Cake. 1 cake not to exceed 200mm (8 inches) diameter, undecorated (not even a dusting of icing sugar or caster sugar).
Class 62. Jam or Cream Filled Sponge Cake. 1 cake not to exceed 200mm (8 inches) diameter, undecorated (not even a dusting of icing sugar or caster sugar).
Class 63. Fancy Cakes. A plate of 5 fancy cakes.
Class 64. Chocolate Cake
Please note – all jars of jam, pickles and chutney must be covered with clear plastic only – no lids please.
Class 65. Raspberry Jam. 1 jar
Class 66. Blackcurrant Jam. 1 jar
Class 67. Strawberry Jam. 1 jar.
Class 68. Gooseberry Jam. 1 jar.
Class 69. Any Other Jam. 1 jar of any other fruit jam other than those above.
Class 70. Jelly. 1 jar of any jelly made from fruit e.g. quince e.g. apple and mint.
Class 71. Pickles. 1 jar of pickles made from 1 kind of vegetable.
Class 72. Chutney. 1 jar of homemade chutney
Class 73. Home Made Wine. 1 bottle of homemade wine.
Class 74. Home Made Liquor