Archive for November, 2013

Community Empowerment consultation opened

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Following the exploratory consultation on the Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill  in 2012 the Scottish Government is  again asking for your views.  This new consultation opened on November 5 and takes forward ideas which emerged from the first consultation and from further discussion with stake holders.  Allotment plot holders are  a community and  have a strong interest in community affairs and particularly in community use of land so it would be great if  many allotment organisations and people responded.

You can see a summary of the results of the original consultation by going to http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/engage .  Ministers and officials will be visiting events and groups to explain the proposals and this link should also help  you find out what is happening.

If you want to have your say on all or several aspects of the bill then you can download the full consultation document from http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Consultations/Current.

However there is a section specifically devoted to allotments.  This is section 4.3 starting on page 39 and going to page 45.  SAGS has extracted this section of the document and if you only want to consider the allotment side of community empowerment then you can download this section by clicking here.

Jobs for November

Thursday, November 7th, 2013
No time to rest! There is just enough daylight to clear and tidy up the allotment removing any old crops in preparation for next year. Don’t leave the remains of summer crops to rot. They will harbour over wintering pests and diseases. Wait for a clear, crisp, sunny day and go for it. You’ll feel shattered but a lot better at the end of the exercise.

Harvesting
Start to harvest winter cabbage, brussel sprouts, leeks and parsnips.  Leave parsnips till after the first frost because the chilling effect turns the starches into sugars and gives them their natural sweetness.  Pick brussel sprouts working from the bottom of the stalk upwards to give all of the sprouts get a chance to swell. At the same time snap off yellowing leaves at the base to ensure that there is good air circulation around the plants.

Sowing and planting
If you have a greenhouse or coldframe you can sow a crop of a hardy round seeded pea  such as Feltham First in 3in/7cm pots.  If the weather conditions are really favourable they can even be sown in open ground but remember they will rot off in wet ground. They should be transplanted when the roots have reached the bottom of the pot. Transplant any pot raised broad beans sown earlier to somewhere sheltered and protected from cold, icy blasts. It is not too late to take a chance on an outdoor sowing of broad beans if it is done early in the month. Transplant October sown lettuces to grow on under cloches or frames.  Space them 6 in/15 cm square.

Although these winter varieties are tough enough to withstand most normal weather it is always best to have some protection on hand – coldframe, cloches, fleece –  ready to protect them if need be. Always remember wet growing conditions can do as much damage as cold ones.

Fruit

Now is a good time to plant new fruit trees and bushes. This is the time to prune soft fruit bushesand they can also be moved as needed.

General

Dig, dig, dig. This is the priority job of the month. The more that you can get done before the end of the year the better.

Most of the leaves will have fallen by now. Collect them up and make a leaf mould stack.

Brussel sprouts ready for harvesting

Brussel sprouts

lettuce

Winter Gem lettuce

Collecting Leaves

Collecting Leaves

CSGN Development Fund open for further applications

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

The Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN)has announced a further round of funding for the year 2014/15.  However this funding is only available for applicants who have ALREADY received a grant from the development fund.  The funding is only available for one financial year and CSGN believe that this restriction will maximise the impact of this additional funding.  There are no other restrictions that are totally set in concrete but there are priorities.  For example priority will be given to applicants asking for more than £10,000 and whose new projects extend an already funded project in some way.

For further details and to see the conditions and restrictions see their website.