BHAF Newsletter October 2014

Dear Allotmenteer,
We hope you have had a good years growing, some of us certainly did!
Here are the winners of this years Allotment Competition.
The Coronation Bowl

In First place was
Ali Hasan at Patcham Court

In Second place was
Bob Woodhart at Patcham Place

Congratulations to both of them and well done on maintaining such excellent plots!
Craven Vale and Mile Oak update
As we have already reported,Brighton and Hove City Council has recently commissioned consultants to conduct an assessment of the City's Urban Fringe Sites for their suitability for housing. As a result of this two allotment sites are potentially under threat; parts of Craven Vale and Mile Oak have been listed as having 'potential for housing'.
Craven Vale have organised a petition and a Facebook page to coordinate their campaign to save the plots from development, they've also been written about in the Argus.

The 'Save Craven Vale Allotments' group have their next meeting on Sunday, 26th October @ 11.00am - to finish by 12.30pm. This will take place at the Whitehawk Community Food Project, so will need to arrive promptly to get in the allotment gate. This is primarily for Craven Vale and Whitehawk allotmenteers, although other interested parties are welcome. Especially anyone from Mile Oak, as your site is also in the crosshairs and it would be good to work together on this.

If you have any problems you can contact Jane Hawkins (Craven Vale site rep and campaign co-ordinator).
tel: 07769 683 609

Craven Vale Petition

Allotment Forum Meeting
The first of our new format 'Allotment Forum' meetings took place on the 17th September. In the past this meeting was only open to The Allotment Federation Committee, The Site Reps and The Council representatives, since the strategy review, the meeting is now open to Plot Holders as well and we are pleased to say that quite a few attended.
Allotment Forum Minutes

New Allotment Associations
Craven Vale are also in the process of forming an Allotment Association, there is also a move to form an Association at 'The Old Waterworks' site as well. We are very pleased that two new Associations are on the horizon. Allotment Associations are the best way to organise grass roots representation for plot holders. Associations are also well placed to protect their sites. The BHAF has some funds put aside to help groups wishing to start Allotment Associations and to support current Associations, so please apply via email if you are interested in any funding.
Allotment Associations

Site Rep Elections
The first site rep elections organised by the BHAF have just been completed, and Manton Road now has a new site rep. Thanks very much to Ian Dennie for putting himself forward, he was elected unopposed.
As part of last years Allotment Strategy it was decided that within 5 years, all site reps should be elected by the plot holders they represent. In most situations it is usually quite hard to find someone to do the site rep job anyway, but in an attempt to be more democratic we are endeavouring to make sure that people have the chance to endorse their local site rep. This will not only give the site rep a greater degree of validation in carrying out their work, it will also ensure the site rep takes his plot holders views into consideration. Plot holders are represented by their site reps to the Council and also at Allotment Forum meetings.

Development Fund
Once again we are asking for applications for money from the development fund.
A fund of £6,000 a year is set aside by the council to spend on projects which:
  • Are for the benefit of the whole site
  • Improve the visual impact of the site for allotment holders and non-allotment holders
  • Improve the facilities for all plot holders on the site
If you have any ideas for how this fund could be spent at your site, then please get in touch with your site rep, or with us directly to discuss them.
The Development Fund

Barbabietola-Di-Chioggia is a stunningly vibrant red beetroot and has rings of red and white running though. Please send us pictures of your crops and plots!
Roedale Allotment Garden Society (RAGS) Apple Pressing Day, 2014. Thanks to the Whitehawk Food Project for the loan of the Apple Press.
Site News
Please let us know of any news from your local sites. We're interested in hearing from you. We'd also like to see photos of your plots and crops! So please email in your pictures for us to see and include in our newsletters.

Other interesting links

Farm Terrace in Limbo
Frustrated allotment holders say they are "stuck in limbo" as the High Court verdict on Farm Terrace allotments drags on indefinitely.
Farm Terrace in Limbo
Job Vacancy : Community gardener.
The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership is recruiting a community gardener to lead sessions with vulnerable adults at a range of sites across the city. Closing date 14 November. Full-time post (Jan 2015-Sept 2017), salary £24,063, job shares welcome. More details and how to apply:

Free Compost!
New, 'zero-waste' restaurant Silo Brighton is offering free compost every 1-2 days from its innovative 'Closed Loop' composting machine. Available for pickup from their site in the North Laine :

How to plant an apple tree
- New video - 'how to plant an apple tree really well' from the Food Partnership and Brighton Permaculture Trust:

Allotment Videos
A series of videos for allotment holders, with information on clearing your plot, top tips for the first year, benefits of allotments and what it's really like to take on a plot.

BHOGG Events this winter
Brighton and Hove Organic Gardeners has a series of interesting events over the next couple of months

Bucfp Foodproject
Brighton unemployed centre run useful free courses like PICKLING and FERMENTING for vegetables or OVERWINTERING VEG. Learn to sow and care for board beans, garlic, winter onions and hardy green manures. The courses are open to all. Keep in touch with them via their facebook page;

    Top Tip
October is the time to plant your overwintering onions and garlic so they have a good head start in the spring. Also a top layer of manure on your beds now will both keep weeds down over winter and protect the soil from frosts and break down over the winter and be ready for the growing season.

If you know someone on your site who does not have email, please consider printing out our newletters for them to see.

All the best
The BHAF Committee

Brighton and Hove Allotment Federation