Feb 2012

Global Warming!!

The last two years have seen us under loads of snow and temperatures well below zero up at the allotments as well as here in Aviemore. This year, in February, sees us with temperatures in the teens, no (well nothing to ski on) snow on the Cairngorms and the Inverness garden centres looking like Piccadilly Circus as everyone rushes out to make the best of this early Spring.

Having personally experienced the excitement and expectations of the warm spell last April only to experience the disappointment when the early buds and blooms were exterminated by the following two months of night frost which killed off my raspberries and other plants, I am trying hard to resist the temptations of getting up to the allotments and getting things going.

To be honest however, I have already been up there a few times this year to tidy things up, show people round (prospective plot holders, Cairngorm park employees and Planning Officials [more rants on this to come below]) and to harvest crops. The remaining tatties were not up to much and should have been harvested last November but alas a family bereavement prevented this. The Jerusalem artichokes obviously loved last years wet conditions as did the horseradish whose roots spread around the plot. Parsnips and beetroot were also harvested. There is nothing like harvesting veggies to get one in the mood for planting more but as I said above - its too early!!

Back home in Aviemore, I had ordered replacement clips etc to help repair my greenhouse which we had to remove the polycarbonate glazing from the roof during last Novembers hurricane. Alas one of the pains had not been rescued and must have flown over Aviemore. I managed to get a replacement and now the wind damaged cold frame from the allotment is sheltered in the greenhouse and already lettuce seeds are germinating.

The autumn planted Garlic, Onions and Leeks are also progressing well up at the allotments.

Now time for my RANT. We, the Dulnain Bridge Allotment Holders Association, are trying to get funding for a large communal shed and polytunnels (to extend the growing season) for the site (we cannot apply for funding for the shed or polytunnels unless we have planning permission). I communicated with the Kingussie Planning department and arranged to meet their representative on site to discuss our requirements and determine what planning permissions we needed. We took their advice which was going to cost £80+ for diagram plus submission costs, I liaised with our local councillor who was very helpful in letting us know what we needed to do, we put in a claim to the ward Discretionary fund to ask for funding for our expenses for putting in for planning permission, and submitted our application via the new eplanning system.

MAJOR RANT NOW COMING - I received a phone call today from planning to say that I hadt not applied for the correct planning permission which would cost £400 + . I informed them that I had submitted our application as advised by them!! They are now away to check things out!!

REALLY MAJOR RANT NOW - here we are in a country which imports a lot of vegetables from Africa where they have major famines yet it appears that here in the UK anyone wanting to grow vegetables is thwarted by planners and red tape!!

Watch this Blog for more on this fiasco.