2020 Annual Report
The 2020 Annual General Meeting cannot be held as we would normally do. As a compromise, here is the annual report usually presented at the meeting in May.
Welcome to the 2020 ‘Virtual’ AGM of the Inverleith Allotments Association – let me tell you what your committee has been up.
But first I’d like to share the usual numbers.
We have 181 plot holders here on 128 official full plots. We have had just one new plotholder during 2020, The waiting list for our site is around 900 where people have added it as one of their choices. The last plotholder arriving had waited 11 years.
I’d like to note the time and effort everyone on the site committee gave during the year. Sadly Warwick Taylor, who was active on the committee for many years, passed away, we certainly miss him. Andy Crofts and Kathy Parker left the city for a more rural life in Skye. Thanks to you all.
So, what’s been happening?
- We had a visit from Mairi Gougeon the MSP for Brechin and the Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment. She had expressed an interest to Scottish Allotments in seeing an allotment site herself.
- The ‘Conference centre’ had a fresh coat of paint which toned it down a wee bit.
- Our sixteenth Flower Show and social gathering went ahead. Again, the turnout was excellent with plenty of exhibits. Well done to ‘Best in Show’ Ed Mackey with his sweetcorn exhibit. Unfortunately, we don’t know if lockdown regulations will permit a show this year.
- We also enjoyed our Tattie Boiling to coincide with the early spuds being ready. Thanks are due to Pam and Jerry who again spent most of the afternoon boiling spuds. Covid might also prevent us holding the event this year, but let’s hope later in the year we can have some sort of ‘gathering’.
- Pete Urwin organised a pressing of spare apples and produced plenty of juice which is now cider. This was to have been a surprise at the Tattie Boiling. It now seems it will be a surprise to Pete that he’s got to try to drink it all.
- Our Communal Compost bins continue to be well used. We used some of our funds to repair the existing bins and add a third one. Hopefully we can get together and do some emptying during the spring next year.
- A clear out weekend complete with skip was planned but had to be cancelled in April. As soon as possible we’ll be organising another.
- Rabbits are rarely seen now. Unfortunately, some dropping do show they are still about. The good news is they aren’t causing the same damage to crops as previously. Our fox population are quite active and I’m sure help. Let’s hope we can take down some of the fences that have become a feature during our eight years of rabbits.
- Rats also seem to have gone, but please don’t leave food around. If you do bring in household waste put it in a pest-proof compost bin, we mustn’t encourage vermin by feeding them
- Bulk purchases of compost proved popular, as did leek plants arranged hastily after the cancellation of Gardening Scotland where I had bought them in the past. The plants proved popular at other sites and will become part of the FEDAGA Potato and Onion order later in the year. The coffee grounds over the main gate seem to have stopped. This was good whilst it lasted.
- Our communal area was extended to allow more space, thanks to all that helped remove two raised beds, add a wooden edge, membrane and wood chip. Such a shame we can’t really use it for our AGM!
I attend the monthly Management Meeting which provide a forum for individual sites to discuss the current situation on sites in the city. We continue to hold meetings over ‘Zoom’.
Site representatives discuss such diverse subjects as Waste Bins, trading seeds, potatoes and onions and creating the Newsletter. They also negotiate what the limited funds available for maintenance on allotments in the city will be spent on.
The Allotment Show cannot happen this year but will be replaced with a virtual show along the same lines as the National Vegetable Society. Watch out for announcements in the newsletter.
Speaking of which; the FEDAGA newsletter is now sent to all paid-up members after the Allotment Service agreed to share names and email addresses of members. This should help keep all members informed with what’s going on in the city. No more ‘I never knew about that’ – provided you are a member. Please join when you get your rental bill in February. Membership costs £2.50 and £1 of that is passed back to our site.
FEDAGA also hopes to bring together everyone’s thoughts on the value of allotments during the pandemic lock-down. Please contribute through words, photos, painting,,,whatever. Full details in the last newsletter. Do please take part, we are living in strange times that should be recorded.
I also attend the Allotment Strategy Committee with the Council. We’ve been focussing on new Allotment Regulations, unfortunately stalled during the pandemic.
The SASA potato scheme has also not been able to take place this year.
I continue as the FEDAGA president and have altered the focus of the Federation from being a pressure group for more allotments into a more helpful organisation that assists its members; the current plotholders. This could be from cheap seeds, advice on having a plot, help with problems, visits and keeping the show as an annual celebration and get-together. Meetings are well attended and good humoured.