In 2013 I did some research into the history of Dorset Road Allotments (or as we used to be called Churchfields Allotments) and created a presentation to share with members. I’ve just updated it with recent developments and thought I’d share it with you. Please let me know what you think and if you have any old photographs or memories you would like to share.
Autumn is here
As the days have grown shorter, I’ve started my annual clearing of beds and harvesting squash. It’s always rather exciting to see what has grown under the vines that, by October, have taken over my plot. I plant a range of squash each year, but am never sure what I will successfully grow. There is always a surprise hidden under the trailling vines. This year it was monster butternut squash (I thought I had planted green skinned Crown Prince Squash….).
Growing pumpkins has become an enduring symbol of autumn, whether they end up as jack-o’-lanterns, made into soup or roasted with oil and seasoning. Pumpkins and other members of the squash family not only looks good but are full of vitamins and minerals.
The secret to growing squash is to provide them with lots of moist, compost-enriched soil, and plenty of sun.
But the real joy of squash is being able to eat them. There are thousands of recipes on the internet for how to cook squash, here is one I’m fond of from www.LaaLoosh.com.
You can see pictures of our allotment site showing it’s autumn colours on our facebook page.
Pooh Corner – the story of a toilet block
One of the things that makes Dorset Road Allotments special is Pooh Corner. For those in the know, that’s the name of our toilet block. We were one of the first allotment sites to have a proper flushing toilet and we certainly appreciate it! And it looks like we are not the only one. Our Secretary Donna came across this fascinating blog which features Pooh Corner (scroll down to the ‘not pubs’ section).
We’ve been lucky enough to have our ‘proper toilet’ since the 1990s. Some of you may remember the newsletter article I wrote back in 2011. I had been talking to Phil (who I’m sure many of you will remember) about what the allotment site used to be like and we got talking about toilets. I was curious to know what people did before ‘Pooh Corner’ was built, so Phil told me about the little-used chemical toilet, the difficulties getting permission from the council for ‘proper’ toilets and the hard work digging the drainage and plumbing them in. But the real gem was the original diagrams he still had in his note book.
Phil (pictured below with his mobility buggy) played a major part in Dorset Road Allotments over the years, including holding elected roles on the committee. We have him (and the other committee members) to thank for our wonderful facilities including the clubhouse and the toilets. Unfortunately Phil is no longer with us, but his legacy lives on. Thank you Phil!