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Glasgow Allotments Forum Newsletter
Issue 7: April 2021

 This newsletter is distributed  to all addresses on the GAF email distribution list as well as to individual subscribers.   If you are on this list as an officer of a Glasgow Allotment Association then please forward the newsletter on to your members.   We hope they will eventually save you this job by registering themselves as individual subscribers.  This can be done through a link at the bottom of the newsletter.

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GAF Open Forum: Working With Groups, Running Open Days
Inspired by the success of FebFest and the virtual presentation by DaleFoot Composts, GAF have developed a series of virtual Open Forums to be held over Zoom. The first one is on May 6th 19.00 - 20.00.

The full title is: Connecting with Community, Working with Groups/Other Organisations, and Running Open Days

Do you think allotment sites should be involved in encouraging a greater knowledge and experience of the natural environment and food growing in their locality?  Come along and share experiences and ideas about working with local community groups. Discuss the why, what and how of contributing to your local community in these ways – particularly in the light of COVID and climate change.
 
Share experiences and practice of opening up sites to the local community, working with educational and therapeutic groups, having Open Days and arranging visits - what are the benefits, and hassles of such activities. Register at https://glasgowallotments.org/events/.
 
These new Open Forum Meetings on Zoom are intended to give us a chance, as Glasgow plot holders, to have our say about issues that concern us.  These meetings are open to all members of GAF (ALL Glasgow plot holders are automatically members of GAF through their Associations). 
 
Mansewood Allotments begin to Rise Again
Iain Sutherland

The site of Mansewood Allotments in Mansewood High Park used to be Hendry Croft Farm.  In the 1950's, just after the war, the council built the housing now known as Mansewood as part of their big house building program.  The actual  farm area became allotments for the residents. At first the whole park was allotments, approximately  400 plots.  Over the years the park has been developed for other activities.  Kid's play areas were added and plots removed.   This has continued till  today and now we have just 56 plots.

Due to the pressure that Glasgow City Council are under to provide more allotment sites we were an obvious choice for expansion. Talks started a few years ago but with restraints on budgets Glasgow City Council did not find the funds to go ahead with the works till the start of this year.

We are now 5 months into the build and are hoping to finish at the end of May. We are proud to say that, thanks to our contact with the council,  Mansewood will be a fully inclusive safe site for both able bodied and disabled people. We worked hard to get a hard standing area that is level and tarmacked and on a level with the path for disability planting troughs.

to find out more about Mansefield allotments go to their web site.  Below is a small picture gallery of the work in progress.



On the plot in a cold May
Jenny Reeves
In a ‘normal’ season I would expect to be busy weeding and hoeing by this time and to have most of the transplanting and sowing well under way. As it is, I’m going to be doing quite a bit of catch up this month as a result of the frosts. Mainly that will consist of sowing seeds that I would have expected to have sown outdoors in April such as parsnips, carrots, swedes, beetroot and turnips. Likewise I’ll be transplanting, there are a lot of seedlings still stuck in the greenhouse that need to go out as soon as we get some decent night temperatures. I’m also continuing to keep my tomatoes, runner beans, cucumbers, squash and courgettes under wraps - even in the greenhouse.
 
In my experience quite a lot of things will catch up if you plant them that little bit later so it is worth holding back under current circumstances. Of course, the other tactic is to deploy the protection of cloches and cold frames. I have found that it is worthwhile to invest in fleece or very fine netting as this gives a surprising amount of protection against the cold and it is flexible and easy to put in place, remove and store as required (we can still get frosts before the end of May).
 
On my plot, which is down in a frost hollow, broad beans and hardy peas (round seeded types), caulis, cabbage and lettuce are making slow progress under netting but other things are sulking and liable to bolt as a result of the cold nights e.g. chard and Chinese cabbage. Hopefully the potatoes went in late enough this year to avoid frost damage.
 
Whilst I have cherries setting on a south-wall fan-trained tree at my flat, where the red sandstone absorbs and radiates heat , I’m not even sure its sister on the allotment is going to flower. Our two damson trees ‘flowered’ after frost but the petals fell rather than opened so the prospect for top fruit is looking rather bleak.
 
Hopefully, we return to a more normal weather pattern by the end of the second week in May according to the forecast and our crops will be looking a lot happier.
 
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GAF Newsletter · Garnethill Multicultural Centre · 21 Rose Street · Glasgow, Lanarkshire G3 6RE · United Kingdom

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