Managing Expectations

Dear Member
Here we are at the start of another allotment year, rents are paid for 2021 and as the nights start to draw in we need to think about next year. It’s been a real challenge for many of us in 2020, but hopefully we can start to return to normal in 2021, maintaining our health and well-being going forward.
While the society implemented a number of safety measures following government guidelines regarding site operations, we also took a pragmatic approach at the start of lockdown by suspending all plot inspections for the remainder of 2020. Some of our members were shielding or unable to come down to the allotment and it wasn’t appropriate to add further pressure at such a worrying time. However, as we leave 2020 behind and welcome in this new allotment year, we believe it appropriate to set the scene for the start of plot inspections in March 2021(Sunday 7th). We want to support all members in getting a head start and preparing for the new Spring season and by outlining the plot activity/ preparation expectations between now and the beginning of March 2021, we’re giving everyone a clear view of what we want to achieve.
• At the first Plot Inspection in March 2021, we’d like a minimum of 50% of the plot to be cleared and prepared for cultivation/planting.
• At the second Plot Inspection on the 4th April, we’d like everyone to achieve the required 75% of the plot ready for planting/under cultivation (as outlined in the tenancy agreement). Any non-productive areas, kept weed free.

If, for any reason, you are concerned that you will not be able to achieve this level of readiness in March, please get in touch and we can see if we can lend a helping hand. Whether it’s digging over the ground, or clearing a particularly difficult part of the plot, there’s always someone who can help you out.
As you are aware, we have spent a significant amount of the Society’s funds on Skips for clearing rubbish off the site. In an effort to avoid future unnecessary costs, the monthly plot inspections will also include a review of unused “project” materials left around the site/individual plots in an effort to avoid the build-up we have seen in the past. We’ll be encouraging everyone to remove rubbish as it becomes evident and we’d ask you to have a critical review of anything you have on the plot, behind the shed or just tucked away that you could be got rid of. We’re organising Skips across both the main and extension sites this Autumn. So even if you can’t take your rubbish to the local tip, you’ll have an opportunity to remove it before the plot inspections in March. We hope that 2021 will be a return to normality, enabling everyone to enjoy their plots and enjoy their gardening. However, as always, please notify the committee if your individual circumstances change and you need some support.
Best Wishes
The Committee, Red House Farm Allotment Society