Community Spruce – achievements

Thank you to all members who have contributed to our Community Spruce initiative over the past year. Here’s what we’ve achieved together:

  • Tidied the site, removing two skip loads of rubbish.
  • Refurbished the toilets,  including replacing the broken toilet seat in the ladies loo, painting the walls and doors and putting new lino down.
  • Clive’s kitchen has been cleaned and a new fridge, kettle and microwave installed for members’ use.
  • The communal polytunnel has been cleared and cleaned ready for growing plants for open day.
  • The bonfire area has been cleared and new compost bins made.
  • The grass has been cut throughout the year.
  • The hedging has been pruned and overgrown areas cut back.
  • The office has been cleared.
  • We’ve planted new wildflower verges and hedging around our perimeter and planted wildflower seeds in the wildlife garden. This work is part of our re-wilding initiative, which will increase the biodiversity on our site and help support our fellow plant and animal communities which are now seriously threatened by climate change and loss of habitat.

We have been helped by teams of corporate volunteers, a great new initiative  set up by Linda, which brings donations to the site and gets work done quickly.  The 19th Bromley Scout Group also helped plant new hedging and seed bombed the wildlife garden.

There will be more opportunities to join in Community Spruce activities in 2020 as we continue to work to make our allotment site a peaceful, wildlife haven and an important community asset.

Wreaths, reindeers and rent

Today was our festive rent day and wreath making workshop.  Thank you to all our members who came along to pay their rent and sign their new tenancy agreement.

Members enjoyed mulled wine, spiced apple punch, tea and coffee.  There was also a gluten free squidgy chocolate log, a traditional Christmas cake, delicious Cherry and pecan chocolate brownies (recipe below), mince pies and festive nibbles.

Jars of honey mustard, plum jam and plum chutney were sold in decorated bags- a perfect Christmas present.

The children enjoyed making a herd of reindeers decorated with glitter glue and pompom noses.

Later members made beautiful seasonal wreaths and bunches of greenery using willow and foliage from around the site.

A lot of Christmas trees also went to their new homes.  There are still plenty left if you would like to buy one.

Committee members will also be on site next weekend to collect any outstanding rents.

 

Here’s the recipe for Jane’s cherry and pecan chocolate brownies.

It was based on Jamie Oliver’s cherry brownie recipe, but fresh cherries have been swapped for tinned (and more were used) and soft light brown sugar was used instead of caster sugar.

For one large traybake, i doubled the amounts of the original recipe. So, per tray:
250g unsalted butter
270g 70% dark chocolate
220g tinned cherries, drained of syrup (this was one tin)
90g roasted pecans
450g light soft brown sugar
110g cocoa powder
150g plain flour
Half a teaspoon baking powder
6 large eggs, beaten
90g milk chocolate, broken into pieces.

The method:
Toast pecans in oven for 10 mins.
Melt the butter & dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (gently).
Take off the heat & add the chopped cherries and pecans.
In a separate bowl,  mix flour, cocoa powder,  baking powder and sugar.
Add this to the melted chocolate/butter mixture & stir to combine.
Beat the eggs & mix in to the other ingredients.
Add the chopped milk chocolate.
Pour into your tray & bake for 25-30 minutes – 180 degrees for 20 mins then 160 degrees for 10 minutes.
Leave to cool before cutting into squares & dusting with icing sugar.

 

Brilliant Bonfire Bash!

After a not-so-promising start to the day, it cleared up in time for our Annual Bonfire Night party.   As well as a huge bonfire and fireworks display Members enjoyed pumpkin soup, hotdogs and Jane’s delicious ginger parkin. There was also a leaf-lantern making workshop.

Thank you to everybody who built the bonfire, lit fireworks,  tidied the Clubhouse and prepared food as well as those who donated fireworks.

Earlier in the day we also held our Autumn General Meeting.  We discussed and adopted the new tenancy terms and conditions. These will be issued along with rent renewals in December.  Rent day will be on Sunday 8th December.