Autumn is here

Autumn is here

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.

Spicy Roasted Acorn Squash Wedges

Spicy Roasted Acorn Squash Wedges

 

You can see pictures of our allotment site showing it’s autumn colours on our facebook page.

 

 

 

 

Pooh Corner is famous!

Pooh Corner is famous!

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).

 

toilet block

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.

Diagram for pooh corner

Diagram for pooh corner

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!

Phil

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The Secret Garden is taking shape

The Secret Garden is taking shape

Our Secret Garden is taking shape.  Thanks to our local community we won a community grant from Tesco Bags of Help scheme.  Since then we have planned and built our new Secret Garden. The garden, designed by two of our members, will be a calming space for members and visitors to relax in.

The Garden Design

Secret Garden – initial sketch design

The theme for the garden was ‘secret’ and ‘woodland’ and the aim was to create the garden using as much recycled material as possible.

Concept design – recycled doors

Creating the garden

The main structural elements were put in place by contractors in March to ensure the garden is safe and accessible.  Since then volunteers have been bringing the garden to life. They have planted a willow tunnel and a fedge, recycled donated plants and built features such as the hazel pole fences, hanging picture frames and windows to peek through.

     

 

Thanks

We would like to thank everybody who has helped to create the garden so far, but especially our members Jane and Damien for all the hard work.  We would also like to thank the 19th Bromley Scouts who built the two bug hotels

Next steps

We hope to have a formal launch party for the garden in the summer when the plants have grown. Before then there’s still a lot more work to be done ranging from weeding to woodworking.

If you would like to be part of the team creating and maintaining this wonderful new community garden please speak to a committee member.

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