What Would You Do?

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  • What Would You Do?
    [INDENT]I know it's a thread that could be moved but hopefully it isn't as it's the brains of the self sufficiency people I want to pick, hopefully I can describe my situation so you can form an opinion.

    Plot 1.

    Was a good plot, I'd dug it over cleared the weeds and had it planned out. Then the councillor who runs it gets a digger in to clear some wastleland out and leaves almost a bowl at the top of my plot that eather needs filling with about a ton or two of soil or raised beds putting in. The site as no footpath leading to the plots apart from block paving which covers a 1/4 of the path if that and as just been thrown down, no sand or concrete forms to hold it so if you push a wheelbarrow across it moves, if you carry something heavy it moves. The rest of the dirt path is covered with weed membrane but is flooded underneath, according to the councillor it's our problem. This site isn't official it's wasteland he's claimed, I was going to put a polytunnel on but at the moment the fence doesn't enclose the full site as its just the portable wire fencing stopping vandals getting in on half of the site. Also if you've read the compost thread everything as to be netted, one plot owner as pigeons, oh the site is about 1/2 mile away and you can put up structures. Size of plot 18x36, google earth just shows the old waste ground. I complained to him and he's given me the option of staying on it or getting my money back, rent is £50 per year and my year is up in September.

    Plot 2 is exactly 3.3 miles away, it's a site I'm going seeing next week. I've been but no idea which is mine. There's railings all round and proper pathways and it's officialy run, picture the square in eastenders with allotments within the railings. Drawback structures aren't allowed, size no idea and cost tba. If you look on google earth and put in Weston Street, Atherton you can see the plots. I think there's 6 plots in all so easy to vet to know everyone.

    Plot 3 no idea on this one, it's a new site that's using waste ground and work on it's only just started so be a month or two before I get on it. So I have no idea on rent, structures allowed or not although could ask nor size of plot. Google earth just shows wasteland and it's about 1 mile away, take my nephew to college and i actually drive past it so ideal for dropping in on my way home. 28 plots by all accounts and officially ran, with it being new should see all plot owners in the first few days of opening as be like ants all over it at first, so get to know people.

    Only other info is I've got loads of seedlings need repotting, around 100 potatoes chitting and a polytunnel to put up although my sister says I can put it in her garden for the summer at least. Couple of neighbours have offered to let me put some potato bags on their property which I've told them they get some of the potatoes when grown. I have a few blueberry bushes that could last another summer in pots at a push, I've also got some raspberry canes but just purchased them and in pots for the moment but wouldn't get anything from them this year anyway. Got 30 strawberry plants in pots but should be okay for the summer, very healthy plants and I've always grown in pots so no biggie on that front. I've also got garlic, onions and shallots in pots that could do with planting out and 3 very small rhubarb in pots that are in no rush to go in the ground.

    Think thats all but any questions just ask, my first reaction is wait till next week and see plot 2 if any good tell plot 1 I want my money back which should cover plot 2 rent. Then move strawberries, onions, garlic, shallots down there and if room some spuds and beans. Also wait for plot 3, hope it's full size and structures allowed then have that as my main plot with shed and polytunnel and plot 2 as an overflow plot or maybe just for one produce say fruit, brassicas etc.[/INDENT]

  • What you are thinking of doing is how I would be thinking, too. Plot 1 is too uncertain, and could take ages to work out, if ever.

    Go for Plot 2 if it looks generally okay; even if it's only for a year it gives you somewhere to put your stuff and make a start.

    Plot 3 depends to some extent on what you are offered, but if it's not too much like a wasteland you can work on it when you've done the essentials on Plot 2 throughout the year. Also the possibility of planning it more thoroughly, deciding what sort of shed and where it goes, etc.

    If Plot 2 is super-efficient at turning out bumper crops (few are!), you can hang on to it for awhile, or even permanently, if it's easier to work. But no structures is a bit of a no-no for me, in the long term.
    (Our present plot had a wee shed on it when we took it on last year, more like a toolbox stood upright on end! If it rained heavily I could just about sit on a plastic chair inside, with my knees hard against the door! Couldn't stand up inside, as it was only about 5 feet high at its highest point. When I built my pallet shed I gave it my neighbour next door, to keep his tools in).

  • The no structures is a bit of a downer, luckily I have the van/mini camper to ferry tools, seedlings etc and somewhere to sit in if or should that be when it does rain. It does however say "permanent structures" so have to see next week when I meet them see how far I can push that, shed on wheels :whistle::D I've kind of made my mind up but will have a better picture in my mind next week, then i'll have seen plot 2 and I'm going to call in on plot 3 and ask the lads getting the allotments ready how long before there ready. Thanks for the input, much appreciated.

  • Our council land was given to the parish council.
    Who were initially horrified at the prospect of being landlords to our private association, but after they had all visited and commented on how nice it all is, have given us a peppercorn lease without end. Yay!

    Sadly when they wrote up all the rules for the site, no barbed wire, no livestock (covenant on the land by the lord who started the town) and no structures larger than 6 by 4. One per plot.

    All to do with planning regs.

    They shouldn't apply, but councils being councils, they do.

    So anything under 6 by 4 is outside the scope of planning.
    Anything without foundations is non-permanent.
    So you should be allowed a small shed.

    If plot 3 is wasteland.
    How is it being prepared? Scraped clear to reveal the useless subsoil? Chemical destruction? or tons of topsoil to bury the rubbish?

    Personally I would give up plot 1, get money back. then take plot 2.

    Use plot 2 to propagate the stuff you already have. Possibly even grow lots in containers, make it easy to transfer to plot 3.


  • Thanks for the input Dave, no idea what their doing on plot 3 but when I meet the guy at plot 2 next week i'll ask him as he's the allotment top dog for the council so will ask him. What you say about the subsoil is exactly what I said to the councillor who runs the unoficial allotments where plot 1 is, his response was it was over grown with weeds it wasn't I took photos everytime I went and the last photos were a week before he dug it up. Even if (they weren't) 6ft tall he should have spoken to me first, however I can't get through to him he's ruined the plot and shouldn't have stepped foot on it.

    To be honest I wasn't going to give it up till September as he'd have got someone else on and charged them thus making double, I should have learned what he was like when he took my £50 of me stating it wasn't rent it was for fencing, paths, coummunity shed with tools. At the moment we have most of the site fenced by mesh fencing (building site stuff, forgot name), quarter of a path at most just block paving that is just thrown down, no shed and a wheelbarrow which as disappeared. However when I emailed him he replied I can have my money back so going to snatch his hand off.

  • Update, allotment bloke was busy last week. Meeting him tomorrow to view plot 2, told councillor who runs plot 1 I want my money back as he'd offered a refund, he's now begging me to stay as two others have dropped out which leaves 10 plots, 1 keeping chickens, 1 keeping pigeons and one growing beans, he only grows beans he must love them the other 7 empty.

  • Another update :o went seeing plot 2 this morning, nice plot not too many weeds as it was only given up at the end of last year. According to the allotment bloke from the council he'd had it 20 years and won some awards for his produce, usually take pics on the camera or kindle but took them with my phone, so you'll have to wait until I figure out how to get them on here or take some more tomorrow.

    The plot as running water but also a few water butts full which as erased my worries on that subject, there's a few bits and bobs that will save a few pennies, even a wheelbarrow, bit rusty and a flat tyre but if the tyre will inflate then it'll do. £60 for the year but I'm on probation for 3 months and you don't pay for those months, nothing really growing on it apart from a very nice rhubarb plant. No idea what he's grown but I'm thinking maybe raspberries or maybe asparagus as there's a trench at the top which as been lined round it with some sturdy black tiles. I knew before I went I couldn't put a greenhouse or shed up but one disappointment was you can only have one plot from now on due to the waiting lists being so long, so had to decide to take plot 2 or wait for plot 3, so decide to take plot 2. Advantages to this were larger plot, running water, not as many on the site, overlooked by houses so no vandals by all accounts. Disadvantages are no structures allowed and couple miles further away, so felt the advantages outweighed the disadvantages, plus got an idea in my head for the greenhouse and shed problem.

  • Good to hear, Clayman. If no structures are allowed, I wondered if you'd thought about making an underground tool box, like buried in the ground, maybe some cover of some sort on top, and waterproof, just to keep fairly inexpensive tools and stuff in, nowt expensive. Might save bringing them to and fro.

  • Could be a plan Keith, I had a storage box from a neighbour whose back yard I cleared last year for them but didn't have the room so sold it to someone at work, would have been ideal for your idea.