A group-effort skip on Twenty Pound Meadow

Dear members, please see a message from Athene below:

Hello!

We are canvassing allotment members to find out if there is interest in a self-funded skip for people to get rid of rubbish from their allotments.  With 20 participants, the cost would be about £12.60 each for 1 skip.

If you would be prepared to pay that amount, please could you email athenereiss@hotmail.com and let her know which site you are on and your plot number/s.  This will help us work out if there is enough demand to pay for a skip or two between us.  The skip/s would be only for people who contribute financially.  If there’s anyone who would like to make use of a skip and can’t afford the contribution, please write to Athene to explain.  We don’t want anyone to be excluded.

I am putting together a list of interest, and once we know how many people there are, we will be back in touch about practicalities.

Best wishes,
Athene

Oxford Hub: Allotment Volunteer Support

Oxford Hub are offering free volunteer support for people who are not able to maintain their allotments during lockdown due to vulnerability to Covid-19.

If you are aware of anybody who may benefit from this support, please ask them to fill out the form (or fill it out on their behalf, with permission).

Oxford Hub will then contact individuals and match them to a local volunteer for support. Please feel free to distribute to anyone who might be interested. If you have any questions, please email lizzie@oxfordhub.org.

Oxford Together is Oxford Hub’s campaign to provide support to those in need. Their volunteers are assisting people with shopping, collecting prescriptions, phone check-ins, and more.

The Association Committee discussed this offer of support at our recent Committee meeting and are happy for members to access this service should they wish.  If you do, please let the Secretary have the details of the volunteer(s) who will be accessing the site.

OCC ban on bonfires

Hi Folks.  In case you didn’t receive an email with this news, we have received the following from the Council via ODFAA

The Council is concerned about bonfires during the lockdown period when many people with pre-existing respiratory problems are stuck at home.
They are asking allotment sites to refrain from bonfires during the lockdown period. This coincided with a halt to their garden waste (brown bin) collection scheme while OCC staff are redirected to priority areas. (The ban has since been lifted and collections resumed)
Twenty Pound Meadow already has a site-wide ban on bonfires but this OCC request means that we cannot burn waste on the burn area to the north of the site. Please do not take waste for burning to that area as it will rapidly mount up and become unmanageable – please store it on your plot until such time as bonfires are allowed again.
For Botley Meadow, please do not have any bonfires until the restrictions are lifted – please store the waste on your plots as above.

Sorry for this inconvenience and I hope that it will only be a short time until we can proceed as before.

Nick Jackson (on behalf of the Committee)

Virtual Seed and Plant Exchange now LIVE

UPDATE!

Sorry – there was a technical glitch that prevented you from replying to a post (either an offer or a request).  This is now fixed. Remember that if you are exchanging contact details, these will be visible to all members logged in so you might want to think about limiting it to“I’m on Twenty Pound Meadow, plot XX, I’ll there on Saturday morning and so on …”

Thanks for all the emails we have received expressing interest in a virtual seed and seedling exchange this year – during what are uncommon circumstances.

After an initial hiccup to do with website security we are now ready to launch the discussion board.  So please can anyone who has expressed interest in their emails to us please post offers/requests on the discussion board …

How this works:

  1. Head over to the website and click on Log In under the Topics tab on the top menu bar
  2. The first time you do this you will need to complete a short registration form and the Website will send you an email (from wordpress@westoxfordallotments.org) with a link to activate your account.

Once you’ve successfully registered you can find the Seed Swap discussion under Topics (the only Topic so far).  So – If you’ve been caught short by the Lock-down (or can’t find a firm that will deliver in time) and need seeds or seedlings please post a request, listing:

  • Your name
  • Your plot number (and which site you’re on)
  • What it is you’re looking for (tomato plants, beans etc.)

Then wait to see if somebody can match your request with surplus of their own.

Similarly, if you have more seed than you think you’ll need this year, or if you’re likely to have extra seedlings that others could use, please post a comment with the same details as above and wait for an answer.  Once you’ve exchanged your surplus it is worth adding a post to say that they’re all gone to avoid any more people asking!

After that it is up to you. The secretary will moderate this list but can’t and won’t take an active role in matching up requests and offers.

As we stated, this is a discussion board thread for members to communicate for the purposes of swapping seeds and plants. Please don’t use it for any other purpose. If you want a discussion thread for another topic please contact the site secretary to discuss.

And Finally! – We trust that members will abide by Government recommended ‘social distancing’ when exchanging seeds and plants!

WhatsApp Group for Twenty Pound Meadow

One of our Committee members, Cathy, has created a WhatsApp group for members on our Twenty Pound Meadow site:

There is a WhatsApp group for speedy exchange of information, this is the best way to communicate issues to everybody particularly with regard to guidelines for COVID-19.

Download WhatsApp to your phone and send a text to Cathy Feenan 07769 346066 with your name and plot number to be added

If members are interested we can look at a similar WhatsApp group for members on Botley Meadow

Community & Gratitude for Wild Greens

Read some of Ally’s latest blog dealing with Community & Gratitude for Wild Greens:

What extraordinary, challenging and creative times we live in!  Over the last few weeks life as we knew it has been turned upside down as the Coronavirus swept from country to country, town to town, community to community.

It is a time to be taking great care of our health and well-being and for supporting others in ways that are possible.  Amongst the deep challenges and loss that many have already experienced, we are also seeing that, ‘we are all in this together’.

Communities are springing up where there weren’t any, and where they already exist much kindness, compassion and gratitude is flowing between people. These times of challenge and creativity are reminding us of the interwoven nature of all life, (yes that includes us too).

Read the whole article here

Shop Update!

Dear Members

Following the latest COVID-19 guidelines and lack of stock, we are closing the Association Shop until further notice.

We will put a notice up on the shop door and TPM gates and add it to the Osney & St Thomas WhatsApp group.

Our delivery this week was only 20 bags of farmyard manure and 10 grow bags which we will keep.

The Committee will wait until the situation improves and then review procedures.

Thoughts of a Virtual Seed Swap

Problems finding seeds this Spring – Thoughts of a Virtual Seed Swap

We have heard from several members that they have had difficulty in obtaining vegetable seeds this season – with many firms quoting long lead times for delivery or even suspending trading (e.g. our own link with Kings Seeds).

I wondered whether those of us with more seeds than we need could find a way to share with those who missed out?  Would members be interested in this if we were to set up a blog on our website where people could offer or request?  Obviously we can’t organise a traditional seed swap due to social distancing, but two individuals could negotiate a swap or exchange and find a way of safely handing the seeds over …

Would this be useful to members? Please let us know what you think using the Secretary’s email.

Thanks Everybody!

As a Committee we thought we would like to thank all of our members for their cooperation under these difficult circumstances. Reports suggest that Twenty Pound Meadow is quietly busy with folks all keeping carefully apart.  Children are staying close to parents.  It has been a glorious week, weather-wise, and people are quietly keeping track of each other.  It’s starting to look really good.

Botley Meadow was looking wonderful yesterday with many members on site – all studiously observing the two-metre rule but engaging nonetheless.

Thank you all for your understanding.  As ever, if you have any questions please direct them to the secretary at: secretary@westoxfordallotments.org

 

NAS Coronavirus Emergency Measures

UPDATE:

Having just read through the Government advice on the lockdown criteria we believe that both our sites can remain open to provide members with the opportunity for exercise. However, the following would seem to be the conditions under which we will operate:

  1. No congregations greater than two people (from the same household)
  2. Do not get any closer to anyone else than 2 metres (6 feet) under any circumstances
  3. Coffee mornings are off for the moment – classed as a communal activity and therefore not permitted
  4. The shop may be allowed to continue opening on Sunday mornings but we will need to give more thought to queue control, access to stock and payment methods

Please observe these conditions. The most recent news posts confirm that the Police will be checking to make sure that the public are observing them and if they suspect that they are not then we could be compelled to close the sites – just when all of us are gearing up for the growing season!

Be considerate – the introduced measures are there not just to protect you but also those you hold dearest; friends and family.

Emails: we propose not to deluge you with email updates (it takes the Secretary seven separate emails to get a message out) but will instead be using this website as a primary way of communicating with members.  Please – if you haven’t already done it, can you bookmark this page and check back regularly for updates.  Do also let other members know the website exists (but from 2 metres distance!)

Best wishes & stay safe

Nick (Association Secretary)

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