Archive for October, 2013

A limited source of funding

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Is your allotment site in the area of Glasgow and North Lanarkshire? Is it within 10 miles of Greengairs Landfill site? Is it open to the public (at least some of the time)? If so projects on your site may be eligible for funding from Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd.(WREN)

This non profit making company has been set up to fund projects eligible under the Landfill Communities Fund which is fed from the Landfill Tax. It has a number of grant awarding schemes including a small grants scheme which gives awards of between £2000 and £15000 to projects lasting not more than 1 year.

In March 2015 landfill tax will be devolved to Scotland and scottish projects will no longer be funded after December 2016. However this means that there is still more than a year in which it is worth while applying for a small grant. It may also mean that WREN is keen to use up the money it has allocated for Scotland!!

For more information and to check if your project might be eligible click here to go to the WREN website.

Update from the Climate Challenge Fund

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

ccf logoThe Climate Challenge Fund is a Scottish Government programme managed by the independent charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.  It is ‘allotment friendly’ – a number of allotment associations have already benefited from this fund.

Streamlined decision making procedures have been announced  for decisions under £30,000.  These applications will also benefit from monthly funding decisions.  They will be assessed by Keep Scotland Beautiful and presented to the CCF grants panel for a funding decision on a monthly basis.

An additional £10.3 million is being made available by the Scottish Government which extends the Climate Challenge Fund until March 2016.  Grants up to £150,000 per project per year are available.  In total 612 projects run by community groups across Scotland have received £52 million from CCF to reduce carbon emmissions, tackle climate change and make community improvements.  All applicants receive help and support from development officers at Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Applications for CCF funding are invited now.  The next funding deadline is 6 January 2014.  For full details see www.climatechallengefund.org.

You can also sign up for free training events at this web site.  These range from information surgeries to community placemaking workshops.

 

What to do in October

Friday, October 18th, 2013

October is usually a month full of chilly mornings and spooky nights. The kind of weather that puts you in mind of hot mugs of tea, bowls of soup and, if you are an allotment gardener, lots of winter digging!!

Harvesting

If any outdoor tomatoes are left collect the fruit and place them in a drawer or shoe box to complete their ripening.  Don’t forget to check on them from time to time.  Maincrop pototoes must be got out of the ground before the end of the month.  To avoid damaging the tubers, use a potato or garden fork to lift them. Harvest the last of the chard, spinach, carrots, celeriac, lettuce and the oriental vegetables.

Sowing and Planting

Sow winter lettuce and short rows of winter hardy peas and broad beans towards the end of month to provide you with early crops next spring.  Plant out spring cabbage and overwintering type of onions and garlic . It is also a good time to plant rhubarb crowns.

General

Rough dig over heavy ground and leave it in lumps or ridges to be broken down gradually by the winter frosts and rain. When the soil is frozen hard it is a good opportunity to cart barrows of manure or compost to cover it.
Insulate your greenhouse before using it to protect the more tender plants using horticultural fleece or plastic bubble sheeting, newspaper is an excellent substitute if you put several layers over your most precious plants whenever a frost is forecast.
Stake brussels sprouts and broccoli plants to prevent them from being blown over in strong winds.  It is also worthwhile dragging soil up around the base of the plants to give them extra support.

Fruit

This is a good month to prune your blackcurrants, redcurrants and gooseberries. Your raspberries and blackberries need cutting back, tying in etc. and these early winter months are ideal for planting out new stock.