News

7th August - Annual Allotment Competition 2019

Our annual Moorside Allotments competition judging took place recently when our team of Committee judges selected the winning Moorside gardens across a number of categories to receive our prestigious annual Moorside awards.

The results are listed below, so congratulations to those of you whose hard work, imagination and innovation put you at the top spot in 2019. Your awards will be presented at our Annual Show on 7th September, so put the date in your diary to come along and receive your Moorside Competition prizes.

WINNERS

BEST HALF PLOT:  Andrew Moat. Plot 80B.

BEST FULL PLOT WITH GLASS: Stan and Audrey Tortoise. Plot 3.

BEST FULL PLOT WITHOUT GLASS: Nick and Gina Coster. Plot 103.

BEST ORGANIC PLOT: Ann Gibson and Lat Allman. Plot 99.

BEST NEWCOMER: Jean Hannon. Plot 74.

MOST WILDLIFE FRIENDLY PLOT: Joint winners  Sue Brophy (Plot 54) and Frank Lightfoot (Plots 66, 65b and 73a).

BEST GROUP/COMMUNITY PROJECT: The Comfrey Project. Plots 76/106/107a.

MOST BEE-FRIENDLY GARDEN: David Vincent. Plots 8/9a. (Not a City Competition category).

In addition, our winners’ gardens were put forward for inclusion in the City Allotment Awards which were judged by external judges early last month, the results of which are on our notice boards and on the website.  Here again, some of you were also successful in being amongst the top gardeners across the City with awards to match, so congratulations once more.   You will be presented with your City award at the City Allotments Show on 15th September, so we hope you will be able to attend.

 Susan Pownall, Chairman

On behalf of the Moorside Allotments Committee

6th August 2019.

4th August - City Allotments Competition

The results form the 2019 City Allotments Competition are in and the results can be viewed here (PDF)

My Thoughts:

 Once again it was an honour and a privilege to judge this year’s Allotment Competition. The weather was warm, dry and sunny, which was great for myself and Rachel. The quality of the crops and the abundance of produce was once again fantastic. The sites we visited were clean, tidy and cultivated to a high standard, as they always are. It was great to chat with individual plotholders, to get their take on the importance of having an allotment, be it, physical health, mental and spiritual benefits, the social side, through to healthy eating (grow your own). Thank you all, for taken time out to show us around your allotment sites.

 Rachel Flannery:

 Where has the year gone. Judging the allotments this year has been great.  Revisiting the sites and seeing all the changes that have taken place over the year have been amazing. The standard of competition was yet again high and there was little margin between everyone.

 It was great to see the enthusiasm of those who took the time to show us round and how proud they are of their sites. The level of community spirit and support for one another on each site was a joy to see.

 As always, my particular interest is the wildlife section and I found that allotment holders not necessary entered for wildlife friendly plot are all doing ‘their bit’ to help wildlife including the amount of bird baths, bird feeders, companion planting, plants which provide nectar source and consideration for night time pollinators.  Insect houses, green roofs, hedgehog hibernacula, habitat piles, bird boxes, bat boxes and basking areas.  It was great to see some allotment holders have now installed more wildlife cameras and information boards for other allotment holders to see what is on their site.

 All round thanks to the allotment holders, secretaries  and committees – who put in many hours to keep the sites ticking over.

 Please remind all winners and runners up to be at this year’s Allotment & Garden Fete, Leazes Park, Sunday 15th September, 2pm, in the main marquee, next to the bandstand to collect their trophies , certificates and prize money.

 To all of you out there wondering whether it is worth entering the Allotment Show at Leazes Park this year, I would say, go for it, let’s keep this events running for the future and for the future generations.

 Please I look forward to seeing you all at this year’s Allotment & Garden Fete.

19th June - Future Management Of Moorside Allotments

On  4th June 2019, your Committee attended a meeting at the Mansion House convened by the Parks and Allotments Trust, the City Council and  the Freemen, along with the  Committee representatives of the five Wartime Allotment Sites which have been managed to date by the City Council and – since 1st April 2019 – by the newly formed Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust.  For information, the Trust is also now responsible for the management of all the remaining allotments throughout the city which have no links with the Freemen.

The purpose of the meeting was to hear the decision by the Freemen as to whether the Wartime Sites,  including Moorside, would continue to be part of and managed by the Parks and Allotments Trust or whether, as a result of current Agreements and Leases expiring from 1st April 2020, the Freemen would not renew those agreements and that the Wartime Sites would join the few Intake Allotment Sites which are already – and have always been - managed directly by the Freemen.

We were informed by the Chairman of the Freemen at the meeting that as from 1st April 2020, Moorside Allotments along with Little Moor, Highbury South, Triangle and Coxlodge would come under the direct control of the Freemen.

Following the meeting, your Committee is working with the Parks and Allotments Trust and the other Wartime and Intake sites to pool information as well as learning about the implications of the new arrangement. There may of course be some changes but we did receive positive reassurances on maintaining existing standards, for which there is a proven track record, as well establishing a successful future working relationship.

Your Committee will ensure you are kept up to date with progress via our website and our notice boards but in the meantime, it is business as usual.

Susan Pownall

Chairman, on behalf of the Moorside Committee

14th June 2019.

11th June - Judging For Both Moorside 2019 Winners And The City’s Annual Allotment Competitions Draws Near!

Calling all Moorside Plotholders!

We’ve just been notified that the City’s Parks and Allotment Trust will be sending round their judges on the lookout for Best Allotment Site in the City as well as other ‘Bests’ in which historically Moorside Allotments Association has done so well. The City judging will take place during the early part of week commencing 2nd July 2019.

There are two stages on your way to a ‘Best in City’ award. Our own Moorside Allotment Competition is judged during the last week in June and winners are not only awarded our annual Moorside Allotment prizes but will go forward as recommended  ‘winning plots’  in the City competition.  The competition from other sites is getting fiercer as allotments are upping their game but for several years Moorside has always come within the top four sites of the 65 across the City in the Best Large Allotment Site category and the greatest triumph was when we scooped the top spot altogether.  Let’s aim for that again in 2019!

Here’s your chance to prove your garden too, is the Best!  It could be an organic plot, or best plot with glass or best newcomer, best wildlife-friendly plot amongst many other possible award-winning categories. Last year’s winners are still featured on our website and on our notice boards, so see where your plot fits in.

But before that, there is work to be done!

In addition to tackling those weeds and showing your well-tended garden, make sure your perimeter boundary is also cared for. Our plot cultivation standards include keeping your fence lines trimmed and weed free, too. Hedges should be trimmed and there should be no straggling brambles etc invading the pathways. Gather up and clear your rubbish – we have a skip coming imminently – and most of all, show what an enthusiastic and imaginative gardener you are with a variety of crops and flowers you are cultivating.

Let’s all make that extra effort to make Moorside Allotments look even more special than usual this year!

 Susan Pownall, Chairman, on behalf of the Moorside Allotments Committee.

10th June 2019.

6th May - Trading hut, Plant Scheme & The Plot Inspectors Cometh

Trading Hut/Shop

Due to the high demand for compost and fertilises, we were lucky that our Scottish wholesaler did not recognise our Easter Monday as a holiday and he was able to get another immediate delivery to us the following day i.e. 23rd April.  Already, this stock too is diminishing but we took advantage of the delivery to buy in some extra large Levingtons tomato grow bags, which you have started asking for. They are a few pence more expensive than last year but still offer good quality and value at £4.50 per grow bag.

Compost is available for all uses from organic peat free to multi-purpose to fine grain compost containing silver sand, ideal for seeds.  We also have ericaceous compost suitable for all lime-hating plants including azaleas, hydrangeas, heathers, blueberries and bilberries.

There is still time to plant your seed potatoes and we have stock of most varieties on our sales sheet, still at £2 for a 2 Kilo net, across earlies to main crop.  We can split down to 1kg for customers if required.

See our sales sheet on the website for current prices.

Moorside Plant Scheme

The Plant Scheme team have a wealth of brassicas, broad beans and early peas all ready for purchase and planting either on your plot or in your garden at home . There is a lot more to come but with the cold weather as it is, the frost tender plants are being taken care of in a warm environment at the moment and purchases would need to be protected with fleece until the cold spell has passed.  Nevertheless, the selection is as wide as always with some unusual varieties across vegetables and flowers, so come and browse the selection.

For further updates on what is ready, WATCH THIS SPACE!

Plant Scheme Opening Hours: 10am to 12 noon  on Saturdays and Sundays, coinciding with the Moorside Shop opening times.

Monthly site inspections

2nd April saw our first 2019 site inspection immediately prior to our regular Committee meeting. The inspection team were pleased to see how much progress had been made on the majority of gardens, particularly those of our newcomers.  Well done! 

Our next inspection will take place on 7th May when it is hoped even more seasonal progress will be on view.  May is a crucial month in our gardening calendar, so don’t get behind – after that it is difficult to catch up. Although our early May Bank Holiday weather is not very encouraging, even a couple of hours on a good day or evening can make all the difference and the lighter nights have seen many of you coming down after work to get some fresh air and make a difference to your plots. Keep up the good work.

(Posted 6th May 19)

28th April - Greening Wingrove News

Greening Wingrove are recruiting - for more information head over to the local events page

(Posted 28th April 19)