Allotment business – the AGM

We had 44 people turn out for the AGM – nine more than last year and that meant standing room only at the back, which was great in one way, but in another it means that we need to move the AGM offsite next year to a bigger venue, which is a bit sad.

As usual there was a mixture of fun and frustration. Prizes were awarded for the onion and sunflower competitions, at least to those who could be present (if you couldn’t, yours will either be in the post or in the shop if we don’t have your postal address) and then we got down to the business of running the place.

This year’s problems were different to last year's.

Top of the list, from us on the committee – access! There are too many allotments where the frontage is spilling onto the paths and roads and we’re duty bound to keep access clear for council and emergency vehicles. We’ve had to have ambulances to the site twice since I started visiting, and it’s not a lot of fun to try and get our own vehicles around when dirty great brambles scratch the paintwork or elder trees try to rip off your roof rack! So the council have told us they will cut back the frontages this winter and after that we have to make sure tenants maintain their own plots.

Speeding – we have many more children on site now than we did a couple of years ago, and while it’s a parental duty to ensure they are safe, having drivers zooming around the site is not a good idea. We’ve imposed a 5mph speed limit and we’ll be reminding parents that children should be supervised too. Both sides need to work together to ensure safety on this one.

Trees – um. Somebody had been round rumour-mongering that all the trees were to be cut down. I can’t imagine why, when it’s not true, but we had about six people ask the same question about trees at different points in the AGM so obviously some idiot had completely misunderstood the new Allotment Officer’s tree ruling and then gone around and blabbermouthed their own foolishness far and wide. Most trees (not all trees, there will be certain exceptions such as veterans, trees that aren’t on plots, trees where neighbours agree to keep the tree whole etc) will have to be cut down to 2 metres. New trees being planted should only be on rootstock that enables pruning to two metres. Only fruit and ornamental trees should be planted. We’re going to produce a factsheet about this but basically, allotment-holders need to remember what they are: tenants, not owners! At some future point, another allotment-holder will take over their plot (nobody lives forever!) and it should be in a condition that allows them to cultivate – half a dozen great big trees dotted around can make the soil impossible to work and shade nearby plots as well as stealing water with deep roots that then starve crops with shallower roots. In other words, it’s a bit of live and let live, but you’d have thought we were threatening to spread agent orange on anything over a foot tall. Oh the fun we have sometimes!

Still, mostly the meeting was great, we have a list of great projects to get on with, and I was re-elected Secretary. So you’re stuck with me for another year.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Tuesday, October 27, 2009

1 Comments:

OpenID allotments4you.com said...

congrats on the re-election...I totally see the point about the trees...and too be honest why would anyone want to waste their allotment space with anything but fruit trees??? Anyway sounds like it was a good meeting in all...

October 28, 2009 at 2:07 PM  

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