Milverton, Somerset
13/07/2024

Open allotment day

Amendment to the previous open allotment post.

Come and join us for open allotment day. Have a look round the allotments at Courtfields from 10am to 4pm on 12 August for the day.

Anita Dakowski

Water for the allotments at last!

Allotment rainwater harvesting scheme

When the land for Milverton Allotments was purchased it was just that. There was no water on the site and people were obliged to bring water with them to their allotment garden, unless they put a shed up and added a water butt. This situation continued until earlier this year.

Previously there had been several attempts at getting water to the site but all proved to be prohibitively expensive. One of the important requests from the allotment holders was always that they had provision for water so the new committee decided to take advantage of the current climate where Rainwater Harvesting was becoming popular.

In May 2021 the Parish Council and allotment holders committee, had a meeting to put into progress the Rainwater Harvesting Scheme. A couple of the committee members drew up a design and costed the project. The Parish Council gave a grant and some of the allotment holders got together a working party to prepare the 3 sites that were chose. 2 sites were not really viable land i.e. one was a small triangle, one where a plum tree had stood and had had to be felled-only one site was part of a half-plot, which had not been cultivated for a while.

The first part of the plan went well and quickly the blocks to put the tanks were installed then we hit the Summer and the working party were on holiday, we then had some delays on the delivery of the tanks which eventually arrived in March 2022.

Then the timber frames were constructed and the roofs put on, and as a very last touch some seats were added under the roofs for shelter if necessary and some shelves were installed for swaps etc.
It was all finished about a month before the Jubilee.

It is now collecting water at a great rate after a couple of months drought.

A huge vote of thanks goes to the working party and organisers of the Scheme.
THANK YOU!

Milverton allotment gardens

Have you also wanted to try growing your own fruit and vegetable? Now is the time to get an allotment plot and get ready to plan for the year’s harvest.

We have several different sizes of allotment for rent. From small starter plots to a variety of larger sizes. Please contact Milverton Parish Clerk at clerk@milvertonpc.org.uk or call 01823 432959. We are happy to show you around and discuss your needs.

Allotment December update

When the Parish Council set up a committee for 3 Councillors to inspect and advise on Milverton Allotments I joined Phil Young and Anita Dakowski. I did not know much about the Allotments and although I knew they existed I did not know exactly where they were. But I was curious to find out.

On our first visit it became clear that a map of the plots did not match many of the sizes, and some of the footpaths seemed to be in odd places. This made it difficult to identify the plot holder. All the plots had been measured in Rods, an old system of measurement – some of you may remember being taught about Rods, Poles, or Perches but I don’t believe they were in common use!!

To make it easier to identify the plots and correct paths Phil decided that it would be easier if everything was measured in metres. So we undertook a re-measuring project of all the plots.This proved to be fairer system as some the plots we of odd sizes. We were also able to identify common paths and those which belonged to the plot holders. Phil made some wooden stakes and each plot was given a number.

The majority of plots were well cared for but some were badly neglected, the plot holders were contacted.

All the plot holders were invited to a meeting to discuss any problems and ideas for solutions. Water was at the head of their list, many have rain barrels but not all.

A grant from the Parish Council was applied for and given, and the allotment committee now had a budget to begin a Rainwater Harvesting Scheme for common use.

At this meeting 3 plot holders volunteered to join our Committee which adds valuable and current input.

The Allotments are a pleasure to visit, plot holders grow whatever they wish, resulting in varied displays of flowers, vegetables and fruit vines. Some allotment holders have sheds, some have seats and there are even some lovely home grown chickens!

Molly Burton

Notes from the allotments in October

September sees the meteorological beginning of Autumn and now is the time to harvest and take stock of the past year on the allotment. What has been successful? What changes would you like to make? What to do about slugs??It has been quite a challenging year; some crops were late to be sown or planted, we experienced lots of rain (not necessarily at the right time) and some very hot temperatures. One benefit of this strange growing season has meant that fruit has been plentiful; so many blackcurrants, gooseberries and loganberries that the larder is stocked with jars of jam and the freezer is groaning with frozen fruit for use in the winter.

Finally, what about the slugs? I have tried crushed eggshells, a product called Envii feed and fortify organic slug deterrent, wool pellets and physically picking them up and disposing them, but still they come! Ah well, next year is bound to bring different challenges and we will deal with them as they arise.

It has been lovely welcoming new allotmenteers and watch how their plots are put into production.

Allotment gardening

If you’ve thought about growing your own vegetables or you are a seasoned grower and would like an allotment, we have several different sized allotments for rent. From small starter plots to a variety of larger sizes.

Contact Milverton Parish Council at milverton.pc.allotments@gmail.com and we will happy to show you around. 

Our AGM is at 11.30am on Saturday 11 September at plot 14. Please come and join us, its your chance to air your views.

 

Allotment gardening

Allotment gardening has seen a growth in popularity across the UK in recent years. The Covid 19 pandemic has probably been a catalyst for many to pick up a spade and look for a plot in recent months.

Milverton is no exception and the allotments at Courtfield are very popular. Plots do become available from time-to- time: contact the Clerk to the Parish Council if you are interested in renting a plot for a small annual fee.

The plot holders at Milverton are a friendly bunch and welcome newcomers including those starting out with their first allotment.

So why has this become so popular? A common perception of non-allotment gardeners is that the incentive to take on a plot is about saving money with self grown fruit and vegetables. When the allotment movement started in the late 19 and early 20 centuries, this was probably the main driving force. It is still possible to save money on your food bill with an allotment but for many, this is just one of the benefits.

The 21st century benefits of having an allotment are much more than saving money:

  • A convenient source of fresh food
  • Proper food without chemicals, packaging or food miles
  • A chance to spend time in an open green space – a proven positive for mental health
  • Fresh air and physical exercise with a purpose
  • Anticipation of a rewarding outcome – also a proven positive for mental health
  • Social interaction (Covid 19 rule compliant)

Besides the gardeners themselves, there is one other beneficiary from allotments: the natural environment in which we live. Recent academic research has shown that allotments support a much wider diversity of pollinating insects and nectar rich plants that improve the wider food chains and ecosystems when compared to most modern farms. Allotments also have much more healthy soil structures compared to many modern farms. These environmental factors add up to a small but positive ecological benefit. It is just a shame that only a fraction of 1per cent of our food is grown on allotments. Maybe we need more?

Richard Earnshaw
May 2021
(Member of the Milverton Parish Council Sub Committee)

Milverton community allotments

Spring is almost here and allotment holders have already started preparing beds and tidying plots in readiness for planting.

So, it is fabulous news that we have been given £900 by the Parish Council for a Water Harvesting Scheme. Thank you Phil and Anita for working hard on our behalf to achieve this. A site has been chosen and volunteers are needed to help clear and develop the plot and take down the old barren plum tree.

Many plot holders have their own rain water harvesting tanks but for newcomers and particularly those who are taking on a small plot a communal water harvesting site is needed. There is no accessible water supply at the allotment site so a communal site would be hugely helpful.

It is fantastic to see the vegetables and fruit produced and everyone will agree how wonderful it has been over the past year to have an allotment to go to.

Anyone who feels that they could help with clearing the site, put forward ideas for a design or take down the plum tree please contact Phil Young – phil@fordbridge.co.uk or Anita – andak47@yahoo.com