Author Topic: Allotment inspections return  (Read 1209 times)

Vinlander

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Allotment inspections return
« on: July 16, 2020, 11:53:40 »
One of the sites in my borough has sent out a message that inspections will start again on July 1st. Apparently some dirty plot notices have already been sent out.

At least one other site has had no such communication from the borough (according to the secretary) so nobody knows whether it's the borough policy creeping unevenly through the channels or just some lone apparatchik chucking his weight about...

The tone of the note is terse and quite peremptory - clearly implying that perfection is required with immediate effect - no consideration of the fact that many tenants have been unable to visit as much during lockdown due to legally imposed suspension of services and suppliers - public transport, no shops selling gardening supplies etc. etc. Obviously some people have been spending more time at their plot - so there's a complete spectrum of fall-out

Is this happening anywhere else?

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

Allotments 4 All

Allotment inspections return
« on: July 16, 2020, 11:53:40 »

Deb P

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Re: Allotment inspections return
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2020, 20:49:05 »
I would have thought that with the wide ranging effects of lockdown on people’s health and limitations on their ability to cultivate, any threats for failure to cultivate should be unenforceable . Should be being the operative words! May common sense reign hopefully.
If it's not pouring with rain, I'm either in the garden or at the lottie! Probably still there in the rain as well TBH....🥴

http://www.littleoverlaneallotments.org.uk

ACE

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Re: Allotment inspections return
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2020, 07:34:17 »
I had been keeping an eye on an old mates plot as he was proper locked down with complications. Like his wife would not let him out. Now he is knocking it on the head and given up the plot as he has room at home to grow. We all agreed to keep an eye out for those that could not get to their plots and stop inspections this year, not that it is really strict inspections, just a quite word if you really let it go as there is a waiting list and they would rather see the plots in use. Surely there should be a bit of leeway this year everywhere.

Tiny Clanger

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Re: Allotment inspections return
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2020, 10:19:47 »
The Tidy Police out in force again.  I strongly suspect that our BC wants to do away with our site as we are sitting on around £14 million of housing land - and the road structure runs right up to the site border on one side.
I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

BarriedaleNick

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Re: Allotment inspections return
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2020, 07:44:10 »
Nothing at all on my site nor my wife's and we both have waiting lists.  However both are run by the members, mine being private and OH's being self managed. 
We have one guy in his 90s suffering from dementia and frail after a stroke last year.  He cant do much but sit and poke about but his daughter does a bit and other members have been secretly planting stuff for him and tidying up..  One of the last things we did before I left the committee was to tell his daughter that his plot is his for as long as he wants. No one is getting chucked off either of our sites this year.

newspud9

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Re: Allotment inspections return
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2020, 14:44:05 »
Just seen your post. Where we are, "t'Committee" seems to have upped their inspections to monthly. It's one of the biggest gripes and so we've formed a Working Group of growers (t'Committte aren't) to provide a more co-ordinated and informed response as to why we dont have soil like Monty Don and so don't get the same results.  We think that now we have full capacity on the site, folk should be encouraged to enjoy the whole veggie growing experience and not be "called to account" by individuals who may not have the first idea as to why a holder has not been able to work their plot to some arbitrary and unrealistic standard. 

Vinlander

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Re: Allotment inspections return
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2020, 18:26:09 »
Just seen your post. Where we are, "t'Committee" seems to have upped their inspections to monthly. It's one of the biggest gripes and so we've formed a Working Group of growers (t'Committte aren't) to provide a more co-ordinated and informed response as to why we dont have soil like Monty Don and so don't get the same results.  We think that now we have full capacity on the site, folk should be encouraged to enjoy the whole veggie growing experience and not be "called to account" by individuals who may not have the first idea as to why a holder has not been able to work their plot to some arbitrary and unrealistic standard. 

Monthly is even worse than our threatening letter (which nobody has owned up to - so most people have ignored it).

Good for you - reassuring to hear that serious growers have chosen to take an active response to the kind of power-seeking deadheads that only push themselves onto a committee because they enjoy telling people what to do.

I'd like to point out some weak spots in any "tidy police" reading of the Allotment Acts - especially regarding the meaning of a "clean plot" and any other indicators that don't tie in with the obvious paramount aim that plots must be productive - for the sake of "food security" (a new name for a very,very old idea - older than agriculture itself)...

On this basis it's hard to imagine the original writers sharing any blind spots with the idiots who think that a plot with a few annual weeds and grasses is a problem despite the fact that the holder has worked hard to keep perennial weeds and grasses out (some of which are tolerated by the "tidies" despite them being actually illegal). This is clear evidence of the rank ignorance of the inspectors.

The old-fashioned title of "allotment gardens" no longer makes sense - at the time it was coined, nearly everyone who had a "garden" at home had already turned it over to growing spuds...

Talking of spuds - they make the March inspection very misleading - unless you grow spuds there will be nothing to see - maybe not even bare earth - and why bother? The main reason for digging the whole plot over the previous Autumn was to plant potatoes at Easter.

In these slug-pellet-free times, most people have their onion and leek seedlings at home and I certainly find it better to plant them when the soil is dry enough to dig in Spring. Most of my plot is no-dig anyway - I just plant my Mediterranean stuff (90% of what I grow) in May as big seedlings in a richly fertilised hole in an otherwise undisturbed bed - and it also pays to wait for flowering before planting out if you want an early crop.

Be very careful to make points about the actual size of your plot. Your 125 or 250m2 plot will include half of the 60cm wide unproductive paths around it - a 10x25m plot loses 21m2 of its 250m2 - so these unproductive areas will be around 10% of the whole plot - a (not unusual) 5mx50m plot has already lost 33m2.

I don't know where the 75% cultivation rule come from but it certainly can't apply to the gross area since the cultivated area would have to be 84% planted to meet it - you wouldn't be able to have more than a single 1.2m bed with 45cm paths both sides - the rest of the plot would be a quagmire of trodden mud unless you have enough planks  - and careful the tidies don't see them or they'll call that unproductive soil.

It's nonsense of course - everyone who's studied 1.2m beds agrees that despite the paths they are more productive than open beds, and the raised version much more so - double that on heavy soil.

Anyone who grows on a slope also gets the massive benefit of terracing for the same amount of work - but it's all nominally illegal in our borough.

I haven't run out of examples of stupidity but that's enough for now.

Cheers

With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

BarriedaleNick

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Re: Allotment inspections return
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2020, 08:14:33 »
Sad to report that the fella I referred to up page has passed away.  Always sad to see the old tier of gardeners pass on and I can't imagine anyone else having plot number 1.  Ernie and others built our site in the 50s - effectively squatting and growing on on railway land with no water and a steep old slope.  It was unused so there was never any hassle and in time the arrangement was formalised.  We will line the street on Tuesday to see him off and past his plot which he loved. 

We seem to be blessed with good committees (well I was on it for 15 years!) on mine on OHs plot.  Not everyone joins a committee to tell people what to do or to feather their own nest.  In fact being on the committee was a royal pain in the arse at times.  The problem as I see it is that 90% of people wont do it and have no interest in how the site is run, hell you can't even get most people to turn up for communal work days.  That leaves few people to choose from and the busy bodies often rise to the top. I was only ever on the committee to stop other more power mad types from taking over...

So we still have no inspections on either plot but sadly we do have one vacancy.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 12:00:36 by BarriedaleNick »

Vinlander

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Re: Allotment inspections return
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2020, 11:28:07 »
Not everyone joins a committee to tell people what to do or to feather their own nest. 

I would never argue with that - however whenever the committee do something stupid it will be most likely (though not inevitably) triggered by the ones who know least about gardening...

The same effect works in politics (in spades) - my wife read Paxman's book - when I asked her what Paxo thought was wrong with politicians she said (reluctantly) it was pretty much what I always say - they go in because they have no discernable talent for anything useful.

Basically, as Woody Allen said - if you can't do, teach, if you can't teach, teach gym, - you can extend that to:  if you can't teach gym go into management/politics, if you can't do that go into PR or marketing.

Rant over - before I start quoting W.B.Yeats.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.