AGM 2021

There were a number of changes to your committee at this year’s AGM. Giuseppe de Vai is our new Chairman and Julie Batten our new Treasurer. Pedro Vicente has also joined us. We also saw the resignation after long service of Vicky Phillips, Christina Aston and Gill Wilkinson for whose help we have been very grateful. A full list of the new committee is given on the Contacts page. We are still short-staffed and could do with more plotholders joining the team. Please contact a committee member if you’ld like to know more.

The AGM minutes have been added to the Archives page

Vacant plots

As you know we have a number of vacant plots we are trying to relet. Most are in very poor condition which can put off some potential new starters. The current list as provided by the Council Is:

3, 12A, 38a, 56, 66, 66a, 75a, 106a, 284, 67A, 75, 78, 114a, 128a, 296.

All other plots are still let to current tenants. Others may become vacant soon as plotholders are now receiving their bill for the next year.

Autumn Open Day and Annual General Meeting – Advance Notice

Given the present situation we have decided not to hold an autumn Open Day for allcomers. Instead we plan to bring forward the Association’s AGM to Saturday 2nd October at 11.00 followed by refreshments . This will be for plotholders only and we hope this is something you can support. The AGM doesn’t last very long and then we can all gather together over something to eat and drink. It should be a very enjoyable occasion.

As you know the committee is very short-handed and we are always looking for new members and for volunteers for communal tasks that come up. Please get in touch if you’re willing to help. Current committee members are listed on the Contacts page.

Spare Plant Distribution

We shall not be holding a plant sale or swap on Saturday 22nd May , but there will be a table next to the shop where you can bring any spare plants you might have or pick up some you might need. If you bring plants please clearly label them.

The table will be manned from 12-2pm.

Help needed for important Toxocara Study

The University of Surrey is undertaking a study into the spread of Toxocara at allotment sites and has asked for our help.

Toxocara is a type of roundworm parasite, which lives in the digestive tract of foxes, dogs and cats. Once infected, animals will then shed Toxocara eggs in their faeces. The parasite doesn’t cause foxes, dogs or cats a great deal of harm and they often appear normal. When the parasite eggs are accidently consumed, either directly from the soil (e.g. children playing in dirt) or via unwashed vegetable produce, the larvae hatch out in the gut and migrate to various organs of the body. This can have disastrous consequences on people, including blindness, seizures and organ damage. Thankfully, if hands and vegetable produce are washed thoroughly, the eggs are removed and infection is avoided.

The study is investigating whether allotment-grown produce is contaminated with
Toxocara eggs. The aim is to find out whether eating unwashed vegetables could pose a risk of Toxocara transmission to humans.

The study involves obtaining samples of vegetable produce grown on allotment sites, so
that these materials can be analysed in the laboratory for the presence of Toxocara eggs.
Produce that can be consumed raw is of particular interest as cooking will generally kill the
eggs so the risk of human infection is lower.

The University will supply a container on site containing ziplock carrier bags, which samples will go into before being sealed. Within each donation bag will be a paper slip with a few short questions to complete. They would like to start as soon as possible and will empty the container every week until mid-July. All donations will be completely anonymous.

They expect to complete the study in September and share their results with us if we wish.

If you would like to help with the study and are growing vegetables such as lettuce, spring onion, spinach & rocket or anything else normally eaten raw, and would like more information contact please contact me at secretarybpallotments@gmail.com

Robin Hewitt

Secretary

Plant sale

Following the announcement of the further easing of lockdown on the 17th May we plan to hold a rather late Plant Sale exclusively for plotholders on Saturday 22nd May with all proceeds in aid of charity. More detailed information to follow.

Seed Swap

There will be an informal seed swap after the Committee Meeting on Sunday 11th April at around 12:00 noon in the Shop car park. Please bring along any spare seeds you may have.

Please observe social distancing and wear masks if needed.