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February at Moor Green - Newsletter

Welcome fellow plotters to the February edition. Not much seems to be going on down on the plot – the ground is still too cold but actually early spuds are chitting in sheds, broad beans and onion sets are being planted and everyone seems to be clearing back bushes, shrubs and weeds ready to make a start when things really warm up (hopefully) in the next couple of months. And there’s a lot going on across the Moor Green site despite the appearance of calm. Oz has planted a pear tree at the main entrance which is nice.



I was going to have an argument with him about putting it so close to the fence that it might encourage young miscreants to climb into the site or just pinch all the pears - just as your editor would have done when he was a young miscreant. Then I figured that Oz and I would be long gone before it's big enough for that to be a problem, so that's OK then. And it will be a lovely tree. Meanwhile all sorts of other things are happening elsewhere on site – see below.


Calendar of Events

Thanks to Louise for the first time ever we have a provisional calendar for everything that’s going to happen at the Clubhouse this year . This means that you can make a note of all of these things in your diary good and early and MISS NOTHING. So here it is – now where’s that diary? Obviously if you put all this stuff on your phone you're sorted.

  • Spring Fair – to coincide with the Coronation Bank Holiday Weekend on May 8th

  • Bank Holiday curry nights. Dates to be confirmed but definitely Jamaica Day on 6th August

  • seed/plant swaps March/April/May every Saturday when the Committee meets ie. 4th March, 15th April, 6th May, 8th June . Located at the Seedstore door

  • Pizza oven available for delicious outdoor pizzas – same days. Also taking place on the committee meeting days

  • Masterclasses. Heavily trailed in our earlier Newsletters. First Master Class scheduled for third Saturday in March and the same for the summer months thereafter

  • Annual Produce Show - 9th/10th September

  • Summer Fete including jazz band, stalls etc - Saturday 24th June

  • Halloween – Saturday 28th October (actual Halloween date 31st October)

  • Apple Pressing – Saturday 7th October – includes bring and share Harvest Lunch

  • Winter Fair – Saturday 26th November

That should be enough to keep you entertained. We do need volunteers to make all this activity possible – see our heartfelt plea later in this Newsletter.

Fly-Tipping

Not this again. We’ve had a couple of new incidents at either end of the site. The first at Holders Lane was a dumping of stuff by the bays where the grass cuttings are – someone must have brought it in by car, van or trailer.



Your tireless committee of heroic volunteers (I may have mentioned them before) cleared it away pronto into a skip which we’d hired primarily to take care of the second incident. The Russell Road entrance is plagued with dumping problems – the overhanging laurel bushes at the entrance are perfect for sneaky littering. And the problem extends to the boundary fence at that end too . Our tireless committee etc etc – in this case Tom and Rob specifically – have cleared all the rubbish away into the same skip. Many thanks both.



It's really great that we can call on these people to do jobs like this but

• Skips are expensive

• Rubbish is unsightly and often unhygienic

• Its everyone’s responsibility to tackle the problem. If you see someone flytipping, either challenge them or email any details you can get (car reg etc) to the site manager madahal.sitemanager@gmail.com

We’re going to pilot the idea of positioning cameras in strategic locations to get pictures of the perpetrators BUT

  • we've had mixed success (well, no success) from sending the police pics of people caught in the act of nicking stuff on site, so we're not confident we'd get any better response from them to pictures of flytippers. To be more positive though we can at least report the pics to the Council Environmental Services as well as the Police so there might be a better response from that quarter

  • the camera is no use unless someone is monitoring it on a regular basis which means a volunteer - probably from the zone/area most affected to make sure we can respond quickly to any sighting

  • the camera is no substitute for someone spotting a flytipper and taking some action. Don't put yourself at risk but a registration number/vehicle description can be included in the Newsletter - name and shame!

Culvert Works

This is far and away the most exciting event on site at the moment - February is a very thin news month. The Severn Trent Contractors are in with their dedicated portakabin, massive plant and high-vis jackets, reprofiling the upper brook between Zones A and B, fitting the new culvert and strengthening the banks.

And standing around a bit. But you'd expect that on a job this size. And it is big job - an 8 ton excavator has already been brought in

and there will be a couple of 8 wheel lorry loads of stone to deliver and muck to take away by the time it's finished. Loads of opportunity for plotholders in the adjacent area to lean on their spades and enjoy the sight of other people working. They shouldn't have it all to themselves - feel free to wander over and have a look if your plot is further away. Or you could address the local plotholders (who won't listen) from this podium. We've no idea what it really is..


Volunteers!

We need them everywhere but here's the priority list

Bar/Clubhouse


"With spring/summer approaching we are looking for more bar volunteers." says Alan Doyle, one of the bar team. "The cons of the job are no freebies or pay. Pros - It's the best place to work in the world ever. If like me you are shy then you get to meet loads of lovely people whilst keeping yourself busy. Join a fantastic group and a very funny WhatsApp bar team.Get tokens for tips and yes you can drink responsibly on the job if you wish. Big discounts on Pavilion hire. Full training given and you're never left on your own until you are ready. Staff Christmas party. Only 2.5 hours per shift." Just drop a line to us at madahal.pavilion@gmail.com - You won't regret it!

Seedstore

We will soon be clearing the seedstore for action by getting the solar panels removed. Potatoes and onion sets have already arrived so we're keen to open in March if possible. We already have a number of volunteers who staff the seedstore at weekends on a rota - a couple of hours on Saturday and Sunday afternoon - but a few more would spread the load. Just drop a line to madahal.seedstore@gmail.com and we'll get right back to you!