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By childshill, Oct 5 2015 09:57AM

Hallo everyone! Hope you are enjoying the Indian Summer. Everything is ripenin, and all the hard work is paying off. It really is a fabulous time of year. But, don’t forget to tell me your news, please:


A bicycle has been abandoned by the side gate to the allotments. If someone does not claim it soon, the committee is likely to remove and dispose of it.


Want to know all about apples? Then you might be interested in the Apple Day on 17 October organised by Urban Harvest ( in London N4. The website has all the details. Another interesting organisation for those of us who have fruit trees on their plots is The Urban Orchard (


We’ve been so lucky this year. Here in Child’s Hill, blight did not hit until mid September. If your plants are suffering, you should remove them from the site, or burn them, immediately.


All plot holders are invited to a HARVEST TEA PARTY on Sunday 4th October, 3-5pm, at the community garden, lower car park. Please bring a sweet or savoury dish that you have made with your own produce.


If you are pruning your bay tree, keep some of the off-cuts. Bay leaves do not only add a herby taste to soups and stews but they are also useful for deterring infestations of moths in the home.


I have hollyhock seedlings, if anybody is interested. They should flower next summer. The colour is likely to be a shade of deep burgundy. Also, a few self-seeded verbena bonariensis, if anyone would like some mauve-blue shades on their plot. Contact:


Onions (radar and senshu) and garlic have arrived in the shop. You can plant them now. Seed company Thompson & Morgan suggests planting mint among the onions to confuse and deter onion fly.


Natives of tropical Asia and Africa, loved as pets by the Victorians, the ring-necked parakeet is now very at home in 21st century Barnet. These noisy flocks of parakeets that we once saw flying high in the sky above the rooftops of Barnet are descending lower and lower towards our crops. According to the RSPB, it is the UK's only naturalised parrot – and they eat practically anything. So beware…….


Thanks to all those who contributed courgettes recipes. You can find them on the CHAS website ( We’re now asking for your chutney and pickling recipes. Please send them to:


Several plot holders have spotted a green woodpecker at the allotments. So, keep your eyes open and you might be lucky enough to see this stunning-looking bird too. Just so you know what you are looking for, in the words of the RSPB, ‘It has a heavy-looking body, short tail and a strong, long bill. It is green on its upperparts with a paler belly, bright yellow rump and red on the top of its head. The black 'moustache' has a red centre in males. They have an undulating flight and a loud, laughing call.’ Green woodpeckers eat ants, so they are really very useful. You might see them on a grassy path, poking the ground with their beaks to extricate the ants.


Homeless Action in Barnet ( is a charity that provides meals for homeless people every lunchtime, Mon – Fri. They would welcome any surplus produce we have. You can take it there yourself, to HAB, 36B Woodhouse Road, N12 0RG, any time between 9am and 3pm (9-2pm on Thurs). Otherwise, bring it to the shop on a Sunday and I will deliver it myself.

If you know of other local charities that could use a random unpredictable supply of fruit and veg, please email me: