January - New Year, New Start!
Well, fellow plotters, I'm not quite sure I'm ready to start in this weather. This is a pretty quiet time and anyway, the chill came back last week. "Withering and keen the winter comes " says John Clare, the allotmenteer's poet, speaking of January "While comfort flyes to close shut rooms". So unless you know someone with a woodburning stove in their shed it's not surprising if you've been sticking to the comfort of close shut rooms at home rather than down on your chilly plot.
But if you do venture out, you can detect small signs on the site that life will be coming back soon. The daffodils are beginning to poke out of the ground
And there are buds on the blackcurrants
And this rhubarb is raring to go...
And this could be iris and snowdrop making a first appearance
And there's a broad bean or two down there under that cloche...
Of course some of us are still growing crops. These obviously missed the big Christmas cull
And that cavolo nero is tough as old boots. (Unfortunately it sometimes stays that way after cooking...)
And some plotholders just carry on digging whatever the weather....
But whatever the weather Moor Green is always the loveliest spot in Brum. Just look at it last Friday.
So what's happening this month?
Item 1- the Culvert
Well. strictly speaking its an ex - culvert. That big lump of concrete in the middle of the picture used to channel the little stream between Zones A and B. But the whole adjacent riverbank has collapsed, displacing the culvert. Severn Trent have a major job on their hands putting it all back together to stop the house on the right from sliding downhill and illegally taking over Dougies's plot. Work on site is due to start shortly and the job is expected to take 4-6 weeks. They will be using some earth moving machines and other heavy equipment - all brought in via the main gate - so expect some unusual traffic as you come down Holders Lane. Hopefully though the finished job will much improve the waterflow and give us a proper boundary with the house.
Item 2 - Retiring Chairman
After three years of very hard slog our redoubtable chair, Maxine Smith has resigned from office - she will however ( for which much thanks) remain on the committee. Max had to deal with a mountain of very unusual challenges including a pandemic which did wonders for attendance on the plot but messed up pretty well everything else including social activities, fund raising and people's lives generally. Then there was the disappearance of the clubhouse roof and the endless grind of getting the Council to recognise that it might be in their interest to repair their own asset. Max was tireless in talking to elected members, badgering officers and raising funding in a building full of water-collecting bins. And emptying those bins. We all owe her a great debt of gratitude for doing a job as volunteer that most people wouldn't do if you paid them. Best wishes to Max and to Paul Rooney who has agreed to take over the job of chair until the AGM.
Item 3 - Clubhouse Repairs
We thought this saga was over, says the plotholder. Well, yes. The roof is sorted of course but we do still have repairs to the wall of the gents which a driver inadvertently crashed into in November. However the work should be completed this month which will then enable us to get on with the big job of refurbishing the Clubhouse itself ie. rewiring, replacing the old central heating pipes and removing and then replacing the celing, which took some punishment last year when the only thing above it was two layers of polythene. We're really keen to get all this done by late Spring /Early Summer so that the Clubhouse is an attractive summer venue both for thirsty plotholders and for weddings and parties - this is our best income earning period of the year. We'll keep you posted. Meantime the magnificent team at the bar are still serving delicious beverages every Saturday and Sunday. Mine's a Munari.
We're hoping to provide you with a calendar of events this year so that you can get dates in your diary. Your tireless committee of heroic volunteers (I may have mentioned them before) are trying to put together a schedule at their next meeting in February. So far we have the following (the ones with asterisks are pretty much a certainty - we just need a date or dates)
i. Spring Fair
ii. Bank Holiday curry nights – esp. for Jamaica Day*
iii. Produce Show in September *
iv. Dog Show?
v. Rent Collection (2 weekends in October)*
vi. Apple Pressing (separate from Halloween this year)
vii. Winter Fair *
viii Masterclasses - see below
If you have any other ideas please let us know. And if you're willing to help with any of these events please, Please, Please let us know.
"In 2023 Masterclasses will be on the 3rd Saturday of the month. In the Clubhouse. Commencing 18th March. For those of you who take longer to get over Christmas/New Year celebrations, this notice will be repeated in January. " That's you told again.