Allotment problems

It’s not always fun on the allotment. Last night was our AGM and while that was actually a lot of fun, and I ended up being elected to a post of authority (you can just call me Madam Secretary from now on!) there was a significant amount of frustration expressed about some of the nastier aspects of being an allotment holder, so I thought I’d be honest about the trials and tribulations that were expressed at the meeting. In reverse order:

At number 3: The problem of people who won’t lock gates – this is a perennial problem at least as persistent as bindweed, and it leads to strangers wandering around the site and getting lost (and sometimes, getting locked in!) petty theft and vandalism and a general feeling of insecurity about leaving tools and produce on the allotment site.

At number 2 in the annoyance stakes – people who neglect their plots. We can all succumb to a bit of weediness or neglect at times, but this particular problem is related to people who wait until they get a weed notice, then turn up and strim and rotovate the entire plot, then do nothing until they get another weed notice … why do they have an allotment if they don’t do anything with it, is the cry from their neighbouring plot-holders? Why indeed?

Number one in the ‘allotment problem’ category – at least in the minds of those who came to the meeting – were dogs! It seems we have two large black dogs that are allowed to roam free on the site. Nobody present knew if they came from a nearby house or belonged to a plot-holder, but they have been galloping around one section of the site, trampling overwintering onions and causing mayhem. Bad enough, but the idea of coming across two large black dogs in the dark as you leave your plot in the evening is quite scary, and for some of our less mobile members could be really frightening.

We take our dog to the allotment, but always on a lead and when he’s there he’s secured on a running line on our plot so that he can’t annoy anybody. It’s really unpleasant to think that all the hard work people put into growing crops can be destroyed by one thoughtless person and two boisterous dogs – it’s not the dogs’ fault, of course. Just wait until we locate the owner – there will be some very honest expressions of annoyance to be heard!

I wonder what problems other allotment holders experience – anybody care to share their woes?

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Thursday, October 23, 2008


Blogger Lindab said...

I agree with all of these. The first and third make me cross - especially people whose dogs are obviously in a category apart. I agree with the second because we are very nearly in this category at the moment - no Letter, but a fatal combination of rain when we've had time and then no time to get along to the plot.

I'd add a fourth - plotholders who light bonfires of green weeds, which then don't burn but instead put out an acrid reek which pickles everyone else, plus my washing. Our house is downwind from an allotment site, and these inept bonfires are the bane of my life.

Fingers crossed for a dry allotment day tomorrow.

November 1, 2008 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Ah, the bonfire bane. Funnily enough you don't ever hear complaints about this from allotment-holders unless they also live around the fringes of an allotment site ... it just shows that we don't always see the problems in our own behaviour, doesn't it? The dog one seems to be a real problem. And the weed notice issue: well, we all have our bad months, don't we?

November 3, 2008 at 2:34 PM  

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