Sunday, 8 May 2011

Our Allotment Association

I've never been one to involve myself in our allotment association. Sure, I pay my £5 a year for a quarterly newsletter, public liability insurance for the plot and good discounts on seeds and manure and stuff. They look after us well, with a community orchard where members can pick their own fruit, picnic areas on each site, and regular deliveries of woodchips, skips, compost and more. But the social events are usually at awkward times for me, and when they're not I always find some other excuse to avoid going and meeting new people, and anyway, I'm still not quite past the point where I'm a little bit embarrassed about the state of my plot... We lead such busy lives these days that it's hard, sometimes, to add a new thing to the mix. I always say we should get more involved, but it never actually happens.

You'll understand, then, that I was pretty surprised when our 'plot officer' and my allotment neighbour, Terry, asked me to take over the newsletter! Apparently somebody got wind of my being a copy editor and it went from there... I agreed - they obviously really needed someone and it seems the perfect opportunity to get more involved in the allotment community.

So I made an extra special effort this morning and went to the association's AGM, a very friendly and informal do held in the 'sub aqua' clubhouse next door to our site. I was surprised to see a couple of familiar faces there from other walks of my life, and quickly started chatting to a few people as we waited for proceedings to start. The big issue discussed was money; outgoings for the association are going up and up - just like everyone else's - and subscriptions aren't enough to cover it any more. Then we elected new committee members (yours truly included) and the meeting was hurriedly closed to move on to more social pursuits! One of the members provided a barbecue - with lots of lovely homemade stuff including freshly baked bread, spicy burgers, coleslaw and potato salad and some lovely parsnip and lemon muffins - and there was an informal plant and seed swap, for allotmenteers to offload some of their spares or pick up plants they didn't have. Most importantly, I managed to put lots of faces to names I'd read in emails and newsletters, and had a good chat to the chap who did the newsletter previously, and to the new chair of the committee.

No excuses now! I'm going to have to stay in the loop and try to get to more events! It'll be nice to get to know some of the people we share the site with a bit better (although a lot of them are from the site over the road and I won't bump into them as often) and to feel we're making a contribution too.

Maybe I'll even get round to entering some veg in the show this summer!

1 comment:

Paul and Melanie said...

Sounds lovely, I wish we had something similar. We all just pay our annual subs to the council and wait for next years collection letter... On the one hand it's nice that we dont have any overbearing overlord paying attention to each and every little rule. But it'd be nice to have a bit more of a community feel down there like you do. Don't get me wrong everyone down there it lovely and stops for a chat, but it'd be nice to do a bit more... :)

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