Thursday 3 January 2008

Happy New Year

So, that's Christmas over for another year. We’ve both eaten and drunk far too much just like you should and the annual post Christmas diets have now been started with admirable enthusiasm. Hope you all had a good one and we wish you a very happy 2008. It's only been a couple of days but already our thoughts have turned from the festivities to the imminent growing season.

Up till now we've been blindly assuming we're going to get at least one of the two allotments we've got our names down for, after all we've been second on one of the waiting lists since last April now so surely at least a couple of people will drop out come renewal time in a few months. However, the reality of entering the New Year still with no guaranteed allotment has now hit home and we've realised the delicacy of the waiting game we're going to have to play. While we have more than enough seeds etc to populate a nicely sized allotment the danger is that we'll start off loads and loads of seeds at home only to find ourselves still allotmentless come planting out time. With seriously limited space in our back garden we'd have to give most of them away which, while not a problem in itself, (it's nice to pass on spares after all) will be disappointing from our point of view.

Part of the problem is the frankly bizarre idea that allotment fees are due in April. This means that new plot holders get their hands on a plot slap bang in the middle of the planting season meaning they have to be able to hit the ground running, clearing space and planting in a mad rush not to waste as much of their first year as possible. It would seem far more sensible to start the annual fee renewal process at the turn of the year, giving new plot holders a couple of months (weather permitting of course) to do the ground work before the need to be seriously planting.

As it is we'll forge ahead with our plans and start planting seeds etc with the assumption we'll have somewhere to put them when the time comes. Otherwise keep an eye out for a load of lovingly grown seedlings looking for homes in a few months...


Anonymous said...

That is rubbish. I have decided that i want an allotment, just for big stuff like purple sprouting broccoli and an all year round supply of potatoes. On contacting the council, i think i am now 142nd on the Asquith Road allotment list in Cheltenham. Crap eh! I found this on the council website though.


Powers and duties
Powers to provide allotments. Duty to provide allotment gardens if demand unsatisfied

I'm not sure how much they actually adhere to that though. 600allotments in chelt, and 500 people waiting!

Have you tried phoning them and saying you'd take any plot? Also, i think some leases come up in January?

VP said...

Hi paul & Melanie,

Thanks for stopping by on my site. I do hope you get a plot soon. I agree that April's a strange time to take allotment fees - presumably they've aligned it with the financial year? Our fees are due in October, a much better time of the year and we have several 'newbies' clearing their plots at the moment as a result. Vegmonkey's right - pester power could be the key to getting that plot right now!

Paul and Melanie said...

Thanks both of you :)

I think I'll be dropping an email to the one that we're second on the list for in the next few days to see how things are going. I'm not as fussed about the other site as I think we're some way down the list there so doubt it's worth hassling just yet. Also not sure jumping in with two plots straight away is such a great idea anyway... ;)