May 2020 Hello FOTA’s It’s been a busy few weeks down at the allotment which has proven to be a safe haven, and the ideal place to go whilst in lockdown as you can certainly practice ‘social distancing’! It’s good being outdoors, particularly during some of the beautiful weather we have had, keeping the biceps and triceps moving! We’re very grateful. We really are looking forward to when you can join us at the plot. We miss you! There are always jobs to be done but we have managed to get quite a few big jobs carried out as we enter the growing season. For example…… All four of the higher raised beds have been weeded, turned over, topped up and are now in action Three new beds have been installed near what will be the ‘Bus Shelter’ seating area. Oh yes, we have named these beds Dave, Doug & Doris! We’ve ‘dug’ Doug. Get it!! We are constructing two higher raised beds inside the polytunnel for easier access for folks who can’t bend so much. Thanks go to Rob who is becoming the best ‘brick basher’ around! We have temporarily developed an area which has now been planted up with kind and generous donations from Homebase. Much appreciated! The footpath has been weeded, and the grassy areas have been strimmed The perimeter hedge has been trimmed, although it needs another trim now! A bit like my hair!! Although, the ‘sheepdog’ look may catch on? We are now growing a veritable variety of veggies (good alliteration, eh!) including Leeks, Cabbages, Broccoli, Onions, Beetroot, Peas, Potatoes. We will plant more as the season develops. We can tell it is getting busier as it takes more and more time to water everything! We also have two new residents at the plot, Mr Bert & Miss Dotty, two wonderful scarecrows, designed, named and made by members of our local community, Karen and Erin. We are sure that they will play a key role in protecting our produce! I wish they’d learn how to water! We would like to thank John, Lisa & Derek, who have all volunteered at the plot recently and carried out some key tasks, enabling us to move quickly with some of these developments. We are always on the lookout for more help, especially with watering and weeding, and all tasks are important and valued, no matter how big or small. If you would like to get involved, please contact the Centre on 0121 558 2998. The next big development for us is getting the main vegetable plot dug, turned over & scraped, so that we can install the five big beds which we have constructed. This is likely to take place in the next few weeks. We are also building a protective fence for our polytunnel as the friendly foxes seem to enjoy playing with it and on it during the evening and have left their mark in one or two places, including on the roof!, which isn’t so friendly! Well, folks, as ever, we hope you keep safe and well. We’re flying a new flag above the polytunnel in tribute to the NHS and other front line and key workers. Look after yourselves and we hope to see you down at the plot really soon. Best wishes, Karen . .