Court Lane Allotments to take part in the Big Dig 16th March 2013 ~ Volunteers needed

Court Lane Allotments has been accepted to participate in the Big Dig Birmingham project on Saturday 16th March 2013, 11am to 3pm. This is part of a national initiative to connect local communities with gardening projects in their area.

We are an urban allotment site in Erdington. We have 105 allotment plots, a recently-developed community garden with resident honey bees, and a thriving sociable community of allotmenteers.

Whats happening:

We are having an open day on to carry out essential maintenance of the Community Garden area and plant additional fruiting bushes along the perimeter of the site. Volunteers should bring spades and gardening gloves and a willingness to dig!

When: 16/03/2013  Time: We are open to the public 11am to 3pm. We also have an on-site gardening shop for essential tools, seeds, compost etc.
Where: Court Lane (Junction with Jarvis Road) Erdington B23 5RN
How to get there: We are a 10 minute walk from Erdington railway station. Several buses pass right by the entrance on Court Lane. There is on-site parking for cars.

VOLUNTEERS WHO FILL OUT A REWARD CARD OF VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES WILL BE ENTERED INTO A PRIZE DRAW!

More information on Big Dig Birmingham can be found here.

Edible Erdington

Since May of this year, we have been involved with Edible Erdington, a project where local residents are encouraged to volunteer and help grow fruit and vegetables in Erdington High Street.

This is a joint project with Court Lane Allotments & Erdington’s Artist in Residence, Eleanor Hoad, and it has been funded by Be Birmingham.

We will be in Erdington High Street every Monday from 2pm-5pm and we welcome people of all ages to come and take part or just have a chat.  We are situated on the brick raised beds in-between the Co-Op and The Swan pub.

If you want further information please contact Eleanor on 07974 934917 or you can email her on eleanorhoad[at]hotmail.com.  She speaks about the project in the video below.

Birmingham Allotments Get Buzzing

The January 2010 Birmingham Allotments Newsletter gave details of a proposed talk on Sunday 14th February 2010 at Walsall Road Allotments about how to attract bees to allotments. A few of us decided to go along and see what the buzz (excuse the pun) was all about.

Dr. Adam Bates, a researcher from the University of Birmingham, discussed his work monitoring the populations of solitary and other species of bees on urban green spaces. He has been putting up bee hotels on various allotment sites in Birmingham and checking just which bees took up residence. He had several samples to show us and it was fascinating to hear and see the diverse ways bees set about nesting and laying their eggs. I particularly enjoyed the story of the “sleepy” bee which settles itself in a buttercup flower in the evening, before the flower closes, and then sets off about its business the next morning when the flower reopens. There are even species of “cuckoo bee” which lay their eggs in other bees’ nests and get them to raise their offspring. If the Association is in agreement, we may even take part in Adam’s research by playing host to a couple of Adam’s bee hotels at Court Lane Allotments. If you are interested to learn more about reporting sightings of bees and other creatures, go to ispot.org.uk

Jim Hickman from Sutton Coldfield and North Birmingham Beekeepers also answered questions about having beehives on allotments. Birmingham City Council appears to be supportive of this, provided stringent criteria are met regarding the siting and care of the hives and appropriate insurance is in place. This could be a possible venture for Court Lane Allotments. As some of our plotholders are beekeepers, it’s certainly worth considering.

Landshare

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has started a campaign where land can be shared so that people can grow their own fruit and vegetables.  This has huge possibilities and it would be interesting to know how allotments like Court Lane could be part of this scheme.

The premise behind Landshare is best described by Monsieur Fearnley-Whittingstall himself in the video below.

It would be interesting to get opinions on this from allotmenteers and see how, if at all possible, it can be incorporated at the plots.

If you wish to get more information then visit the Landshare site.