There is always a worry, when you ask for volunteers, that the weather will dampen their enthusiasm.

Maybe it was the chance to improve the environment, good company or the promise of cake. But, a little bit of rain didn't put off our volunteers.

So, this was day two of the Radbourne Walk enhancement plan. Simon had planned another wildflower meadow - this time at the Occupation Road end of the path. We also had plans to start the loggery. We know we have Stag-horn beetles on the allotments because one of our plot holders found their larvae in his compost bin.

HOW I GOT STARTED ON MY WEED INFESTED PLOT

So you reached the top of the waiting list and you now have the key to the allotment site – congratulations. Now the fun begins.

I was on the waiting list for about 3 years and I’ve had my plot since May 2011. So, I’m still a relative newbie. Some people have had plots for over 20 years.

This is a very personal view of how to get started – based on what I’ve learnt from making mistakes and talking to more experienced allotmenteers. I hope it helps.

A well cared for allotment plot

If you would like to join our waiting list please download the form on the Pathways website.

On Saturday morning (1st February) a group of Northfield allotment plot holders and local residents got together to put a plan into action. Luck was with them because the sun shone - not a drop of rain fell all morning.

Last night thirty plot holders turned up for the inaugural AGM of the Ealing Dean Allotment Society. We did a bit of tweaking to the proposed constitution and then we took a vote. Everyone was in favour of the new constitution - no one voted against and there were no abstentions.

I have a favourite TV programme - it's called DIY SOS. They help people who have become overwhelmed with the task of extending their home. Some poor soul works every weekend, every evening, every spare moment - but the building work never seems to be finished. Then maybe illness slows them down and it all grinds to a halt. At DIY SOS they bring expertise - but importantly they throw a lot of people at the problem. 
 
So, today was day-two on plot 243. 
 
On day-one we used brush cutters and strimmers, today it was rakes and a box of matches.
 

We have a plot - unloved and neglected - in the corner of the site. It has been left unused for a long time and the longer it is left the worse it will get. It's really sad because it is a great plot, the soil is good and there are even some raised beds. There are two fruit trees, raspberries, holly for a Christmas wreath, and you can see bulbs pushing through the soil. It is close to a gate and water - what more could you want.
 

The winter Solstice is today Saturday, December 21. Although we often think as the Solstice as the whole day it will officially happen for those of us in London at 17:11. If you want to know when it happens where you live, the times are here.

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