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Report Back from meetings:
MAY 2010 UPDATE
Just thought I would update you on a few things, since there are so many emails going around and around! We have been working on resolving a number of the issues on site - so thanks for your help in doing this as well!
Culvert: Letter written to Jane Davidson AM & County Councillor Adrian Hobson. One of Jane’s advisors works with me and has assured me that she will be responding personally - so fingers crossed.
Land: I have written to Sustrans who have already gotten back to me saying they don’t think they own it, but will look into it. However, they have also said that they are also working to improve biodiversity and wildlife along the Taff Trail above us. They would like to arrange a meeting in July to discuss how we can do this together - this would be on the land above the Community Garden, which is looking rather messy!
Japanese Knotweed: Poster has gone up, and an email has gone out. We still need to fence it off though ( see news article)
Asbestos building: We were going to have a meeting on Saturday to discuss a programme for renovating this building, but this got a bit overshadowed by yet another water bill!! We do however need to get a bat survey done ASAP, as, if there are bats , then we still can’t touch it!
Water: We had a meeting on Saturday and we found that the serial number on the water bill does not match the serial number of the meter on our site, niether does it match the one just outside the site. In fact it matches the one outside the football club opposite Glan y Ffordd. So... we have a meeting with their engineer on Friday afternoon to discuss this however, we will not be needing to pay this bill. In fact, if you want to have a look at the previous bill, if the serial number ends in something similar to 04022 (it def ends in a double two!), then it is likely that these do not correspond to our site either!
Garden Funding: We are currently working on a large application to Environment Wales, it should be going in the next couple of weeks. If we get any of what we are asking for, we will be set for the rest of the year, as far as activities on the garden go!
Website: I will think about getting a few things to put on the website, it is obvious it is really working due to the number of enquiries we get from it. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know
Publicity: We will be having a stall at the Taffs Well Gardening Club Summer event in august - for awareness and also to sell whatever we will have hopefully grown. For this we will be wanting to get all sorts of publicity aspects sorted - posters / fliers / signs etc. So it will also be good to have the website all sorted and up to date for that. We could maybe think about more things to put on it, such as designs and so on.
Constitutions: I have emailed Katie at City Farms & Community Gardens, who we are members with, to see if she could send me any templates, particularly to show how she would recommend incorporating a garden into the association. However, if any of you can get hold of any sample Standing Orders, that would be great.
As you can see ... lots to be thinking about, however I think we are on top of it!
JANUARY 2010 UPDATE
I hope you are all looking forward to a very successful and productive 2010 down on the allotments and community garden.
I thought that a we are quickly approaching the new gardening season I would give an update for the New Year and explain where we are with planning.
Progress so far has been the commencing of ploughing the two fields, albeit a couple of lengths. This task is being carried out free of charge by Jeremy in Taffs Well, and so far the ground has proved too frozen to plough properly - it is supposedly not "turning over" properly! Therefore, i am sure this will continue to progress over the next few weeks as the ground thaws.
Clive and Lynne Thomas have made great progress on fortifying the "store shed", and this is now good and secure - so many thanks there.
Further to this, applications are currently in the position of being sent, these include the following:
- EAGA Application, sent prior to Christmas, decision day was on Friday 8th Jan so w should hopefully hear from them - potential £1000 for fruit trees, wood for raised beds etc
- Env Wales Application - being finished now, significant potential for funds
- Keep Wales Tidy - £500, probably to be spent on insurances etc - fun!
Other large donations have been made from:
- £500 Ferris Coaches
- £250 Community Council
We will be budgeting this money and prioritising how it will be spent, this will be presented at the AGM.
Initially you may remember that Ii had mentioned having a meeting in January. However, as January is quickly passing and we have planned for our official AGM to be on February 14th, we have decided to merge these together.
AGM – February 14th am, Rugby Club
We shall be having a Committee Meeting on Wednesday this week to plan for the AGM. Letters/emails will be sent out in due course. If there are specific items which you want discussed at this AGM, please send these requests to myself.
The main point of this AGM will be to discuss the successes and potential problems that may have arisen during the last year. However, in addition to this, we will be discussing exactly how we will move forward in the next year. This also forms the start of a new financial year, and therefore, we aim to be handing out the plots officially to coincide with this new financial year. This obviously is on the basis that the ground has thawed enough to plough, and we have dividing the ground out equally.
You may all remember i emphasised that we will be allocating 5 perch plots only (approx 9 * 14m). This is on the basis that the point of this project is to encourage more people to grow vegetables and set up a growing and thriving community; rather than encouraging fewer people to grow more produce.
The community garden is to hopefully really take off this year. In less than a month we will have a perfectly ploughed, empty field to fill with whatever you want. On the basis that we do get the £1000 from the EAGA application, we will be purchasing all the initial raw materials to start building raised beds etc. However in the mean time, the field will be ploughed and rough ground level beds will be marked out, along with pathways. Therefore, planting can start as soon as the weather and seasons permit. However ...
... we will need some vegetables to grow! If you wall look on our website, you will see a vegetable planner, highlighting many of the important vegetables, there sowing time, sow outside time, cropping time. We would all be grateful if everyone who wants to be involved in this adopt a vegetable, let me know, and please go about growing them. I know this is extra cost up front (in the future we hope to have funding for the likes of seeds, or even better learn how to save seeds).
You will have previously received an invite to the first of the monthly talks. This project has joined with the Taffs Well Gardening Club to help educate everyone on growing produce and all the horticultural extras that go along with this. The Gardening Club have successfully contacted their extensive contacts list and brought in some great speakers. This is an ideal opportunity to learn more and become enthused and inspired by what growing produce really involves.
This will be an ongoing project. We will be contacting Ben Williams from Keep Wales Tidy to arrange a Pond Specific Meeting to design and plan the pond. However, initially what we would hope to produce is a natural wildlife area that will be both attractive and practical.
Again, on ongoing project, depending on funding and materials. Results from the Env Wales Application will have a great effect on this, unless free materials can be sought, or alternative funding materialise.
It has been highlighted that the access to the site is not ideal. On this note, the Committee has been working to make all padlocks across the site the same. Therefore the car park that was built, and subsequently become overgrown, needs to be utilised before additional parking is built. However, hardcore will be sought to make the pathway to the fields less boggy. It also goes without saying that in the future when this project is at a point where the likes of disabled charities will be invited down, we will work with these charities to design the pathways to suit. They will also bring specific needs and requirements, and particular funding to make this happen.
This is obviously going to become more of an issue as the months warm up, however, with the help of everyone’s scrounging skills, we hope to get all the water butts to source enough water for everyone’s needs!
e: Mayday Open Day
Just an idea that has been developing and we can talk about this further at a later date!
Ok, so that is a lot of writing, i hope you haven’t given up reading by this point. However i do hope i have gotten across how much there is going on! We invite you all to the Feb 14ths AGM, and look forward to seeing you all there. I appreciate there are two groups of interests : Allotments & Comm Garden. We hope we can full fill all aspects and needs for this project over the forthcoming months.
If anyone wants to contact me, my details are below. Please keep your eyes on our website, http://www.taffswellcommunityallotments.com.
Community Garden Meeting 23rd November 09
24th October: 9:30am Site inspection ‘reckie’ – come in your gardening clothes and be ready to delve into the corners of the site to see what we have got!