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Glasgow Allotments Forum Newsletter
Issue 11: August 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 Zoom Open Forum
Thursday September, 7.00 - 8.00 pm
Waste Not Want Not,

To Bin is to Sin,

Re-cycle, Re-purpose and Re-use

 

A session celebrating creativity and imagination on the plot during which GAF members can share and discuss the ways in which they have successfully made use of resources which would otherwise have been wasted.

With COP 26 nearly upon us we thought this was a good time for us to celebrate the ways in which allotmenteers contribute to more sustainable food growing in an urban environment. If you have found a good way of cutting down on waste and re-using resources please send a photo of what you’ve done to us at GAFForum@gmail.com by August 31st .and we’ll share it at the Forum as you tell us what you’ve done. To register to join the zoom session click here and go to the GAF website

Even if you feel you haven’t got a tale to tell register anyway and join in the discussion and pick up some useful ideas and contacts in the process. 

Changes Affecting Our Allotment Sites

This year there will be changes that effect every local authority allotment site in Glasgow and determine the future of food growing in the City . It is also important that the people on our waiting lists, who want to become plot holders, are aware of the issues at stake in securing land for them to do so.

As a result of our Open Forum in July GAF have produced a report (you can download this from a link on this page of our website ) The report outlines what these changes are likely to be and what the implications are for allotment associations. We think that every site in Glasgow needs to join in the debate about the way ahead.

After the Open Forum session we set up a short life working group.  This is to carry forward the tasks of

  • looking at the implications of changes in Glasgow’s Rules and Regulations for Associations’ constitutions and rules
  • determining what we think a proper scheme of delegation -setting out the terms of the relationship between Glasgow City Council and site Associations – ought to look like.

This group will be reporting to you in October.

GAF members sit on the Community Food Growers Mentoring Group.  In Glasgow’s Food Growing Strategy Action Plan, this is tasked - as the Food Growers Forum - with developing (to quote):
"facilitated consultation on allotments rules and regulations, devolved duties and legal agreements with stakeholders"

We want to make sure your voices are heard and taken into account so do get in touch and let us know what you thin k about these issues – what would you like to see changed in future to improve the way allotments are managed in Glasgow?  If you have ideas please email us at GAFForum@gmail.com.

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Tour Glasgow's allotments by bike

Saturday September 18th from 10.30am - 2pm

Do you like riding a bike? Are you interested in visiting allotments? Do you want to participate in a COP 26 fringe event? 

To celebrate the first day of the Climate Fringe and Open Day Week in Glasgow and to increase awareness of allotments, we have organised an Allotment Bike Tour Event on Saturday the 18th of September, This event will be part of GCFN's Food Fringe Programme for COP26 which has the theme of land and land access.

The plan is to meet at the Bike for Good South Hub and then visit three allotments in the Southside: Queens Park, South Western Allotments in Pollok Park and New Victoria Gardens will open their sites for an hour for the riders.  These  three allotments are all great examples of sustainability and community engagement. Each allotment will showcase a theme: Recycling for Queens Park, Community Engagement for South Western and Biodiversity for New Victoria Gardens. Ending with a light lunch.

There will be around 10 participants + 2 bike leaders. 

Bike for Good will provide bike leaders and spare bikes + helmets for any participants who need them.

If You would like to join the Bike Tour the Eventbrite link will be posted on the GCFN website and shared on face book

 

Allotment Development Awards: Presentations and Voting
Thursday 9 September 2021 7.00pm to 8.30pm
Any GAF member i.e. any Glasgow allotment plotholder can be involved in this Zoom meeting. Each applicant for a development award will give a short presentation and the audience will vote on the winners. 

To you can click here to go to the GAF website and  register for the session
Growing and using Fennel.

Fennel has a sweet aniseed taste and comes as a herb or as a vegetable. It is a worthy addition to many dishes including pasta sauces or raw in salad.

The herb is a perennial.  It is a tall attractive plant,  sometimes grown in flower borders, with feathery frondy green or bronze leaves and attractive yellow flowers (and then seeds). Both the fronds and the seeds have a pleasant mildly aniseed taste and can be used to flavour dishes. . If growing fennel to harvest the seeds, sow early under cover and then plant out to give the plant a long growing season. Let the plant flower and then once the seeds appear, cut off the heads. The best way I have found to dry the seeds is in a paper bag in the dark kitchen cupboard. Fennel seeds have a variety of uses - a favourite is in pasta sauces and in sweet pickles.

Fennel, the vegetable - known as Florence fennel - has initially the same long soft fronds as the herb but is grown more for the white bulb at the base. We grow Florence fennel from seeds in late spring, after the frost to avoid the plants bolting in the cold. We have been successful in growing them both outdoors and in the polytunnel as a companion plant among the sweetcorn, though of course, growth of the bulb is more rapid in the polytunnel. Like celery, Florence fennel can benefit from blanching and this can be done by earthing up - adding to the sweetness of the bulb. Also ensure regular watering to help the growth of the bulbs.

Fennel grated raw or roasted adds to a leafy salad or a stir fry. Initially, this seemed the scope of culinary uses of Florence fennel. This was frustrating as there was little to be done with what seemed like half the plant. The bulb is indeed tasty, but what to do with the stalks and especially, those fronds which grew in abundance. A couple of chopped stalks in a pasta sauce or a couple of fronds in a salad was enough - otherwise the aniseed flavour would be too strong.

Two recipes I came across recently from Tom Hunt (Eating for Pleasure, People and Planet) - have proved successful. The first is a fennel jam using the stalks and the second is a fennel pesto combining the fennel leaves with carrot tops.

For the fennel jam I cooked until soft , blended and then sieved the stalks to get rid of the stringy bits and then used the liquid to make a jam. The jam is a great salad dressing, complementing the bitterness of radicchio.

In previous years both the fennel leaves and carrot tops were just added to the compost. My take on pesto is any green leaves, any nut, any cheese, all finely chopped and then combined with any oil. So using the fennel leaves and the carrot tops in a pesto is a winner. This year I am also experimenting with drying the fennel leaves as another source of flavouring.

 

 

 

 

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GAF Newsletter · Garnethill Multicultural Centre · 21 Rose Street · Glasgow, Lanarkshire G3 6RE · United Kingdom

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