Councils and allotments

Hello all, Barnet council (cons), whom I deplore for many reasons, have just announced an unbelievable increase in rent for all our allotments with double rent for non-residents. This is another measure they are employing to get the land to sell to property developers as it is at a premium in this borough. We also have quite a few non-residents who live in inner city areas with no gardens or allotments, or even green areas. They bring their children and teach them about growing and working as a community. They even bring custom to our shops and other services. This will deter them as travail is already expensive for them and so we will have empty plots.
Please can anyone with an allotment in London let me know how much rent you are paying as their excuse is that they are trying to bring us in line with other London areas.
Also (all allotment holders in England) if this kind of harassment has been experienced by you what did you do?
There is a high court ruling which says that allotment rents can only be raised by the same proportion as other council rec facilities but they are ignoring this as they ignore any kind of feedback or consultation from the people of this borough. We will go to court if need be. Hopefully we can get them voted out next election (but then will that change this land problem anyway!)
Many thanks in anticipation.
--
Jan - N. London

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wrote:

<snip>
You should post this in uk.rec.gardening. USAsians don't have allotments, more's the pity.
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You have "community gardens" though, don't you? so educate me if you will, how are they organised, who owns/allocates them? are they a municipal function or a private matter?
Steve
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Steve - community gardens (cg) in America are very diverse...
They may be supported by University Agricultural extensions.
Here is a list from the American CG Assoc. - http://www.communitygarden.org/links/index.html#Gardens
In Fortuna, CA folks pay $20/year to rent a space in the plot. The garden is run by a consortium of the City of Fortuna, AmeriCorps volunteers, the Ag extension and a local church.
In Minneapolis, MN - many gardens are run by in conjunction with the school system. At Farm in The City - 6' x 20' plots are $10/season. Check out their very cool site: http://www.farminthecity.org /.
Here in Denver, CO the Denver Urban Gardens are funded by federal grants plus a bunch of contributors - http://dug.org/funders.html . The cost for a plot varies by location.
In Boulder, CO where land is at a premium - it is $65 for 400 sf, $41 for 200 sf & $29 for 130 sf.
Many of the smaller ones are run in conjunction with schools. That is how the one near my college was set-up.
Hope this helps... ~b
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There was one at the University I went to, too. It was for those of us living in campus apartments, then if nobody else wanted them, for the public. As I recall, it was $5-$15 for the season. The soil was poor, because people just planted and harvested instead of enriching the soil.
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On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 11:31:58 +0100, "shazzbat"

As another poster writes, they are "diverse." Also few and far-between. My 'community' plot was at a NASA facility, where a big open field was kindly made available for gov't and contractor employees. It wasn't part of NASA (or Federal gov't) policy/practice -- just a local feature 'sponsored' by the Activities Association. Similarly, the beekeepers club was allowed to keep hives in nearby woods (and we gardeners were warned not to use Seven).
Community gardens are *not* a regular part of USAsian life. I note the list of links Becca supplied has no entries for Virginia or many other states. The Parks & Recreation dept. of one city here allowed the use of a plot of ground for the first time last year. Unfortunately, it had no fence or security and was totally vandalized within a couple of months.
Europeans are lucky that allotments and similar are well-established traditions.
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AFAIK we have no community gardens here in Sydney, but I do know that they have community gardens in Melbourne because they have featured on some interesting tv docos. There has never been any mention of cost to the user, so I assume they are cost-free. Some are on land owned by the city council, some on a public housing block for use by residents in that housing block of hundreds of apartments. I reckon google would turn up a lot of information, otherwise try asking on soc.culture.australian, aus.general, or aus.gardens if you can subscribe to it.
--
John Savage (news address invalid; keep news replies in newsgroup)


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I did and got no replies. Didn't realise this NG was just for the USA. Apologies.
--
Jan - N. London

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It's not, but there are plenty of us here.
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You have now :-))
Didn't realise this NG was just for the USA.

It's not, but is largely populated by americans. They seem to tolerate us fairly well though. Comes from being gardeners I suppose.
Steve
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wrote:

This news group is not just for the USA.. just some of us are a tad ethnocentric ;-) Folks in here from UK, Australia, NZ that I've seen and I'm sure there are and have been folks from other places. I know I've seen someone in one of the groups from Finland, can't remember if it's rec.gardens or rec.gardens.edible.. but .. it's for EVERYONE :-D
As to community gardens. ..in my area, Boise Idaho, ours have usually been vacant land that has no immediate plans for sale or development that have been persuaded to allow people to grow gardens on, as it would keep the weeds down, and in some cases maybe give them a tax break. Others may be land owned by the city but again, not ready for development that year or maybe for several years, so it allows gardens there. I don't think we have any permanent community garden areas.
People who want to garden may apply for a plot, and in many cases there is no fee, it's just first come first served. In other areas there may be a small fee for water use etc. It varies with the circumstances, as I'm sure it varies in each place around the country. As the areas become more urban I'm sure that the availability would decrease and cost probably go up. But that's just a guess on my part!
I hope you find your answers!
Janice
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Janice- Where do you go in Boise to apply for one of these spots. I have a sis who just moved there?
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I know I'm just butting in here, since I can't answer for Janice. Is your sister in an apartment? Some apartment complexes have community gardens. She could try Boise State University, there are garden plots there. They go to residents of the apartments first, but if there are some left over, to anybody who applies. I believe the fee is $5 for a water key. I think when you give the key back, you get your fee back. So, it's more of a deposit. I haven't seen any other community gardens around here. But I used to live in the university apartments, so I know how that works.
More info on BSU garden plots: Applications are taken in the apartment office on the top floor of the admin building. If she gets a plot, she will need to amend the soil as much as she can. People have been growing things here for years without amending and have run the soil down. She will have to till or turn the soil herself. The university does not have anybody do this for you. Some of the plots haven't been used for years and are overgrown (maybe 8 feet high) with weeds. There is a very good chance of getting one or even two plots, since I've never seen them all in use.
Off topic: Yes, I know BSU is a funny abbreviation for a university. One person I told that I attended BSU did not believe me and thought I was making it up. It really exists. They really use that acronym. And it does not stand for Bull Sh*t University.
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wrote:

Sorry to have given that impression. Rec.gardens isn't exclusive at all. I only meant that urg would be more pertinent to your specific query. Particularly since it was directed toward "anyone with an allotment in London."
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snipped-for-privacy@vankeef.demon.co.uk writes:

It isn't, and I'm fairly certain that wasn't what was meant. I took it as a suggestion to post that specific item where you might get meaningful responses. There are many of us who are interested in gardening practices, and problems, all over the world, especially in countries in which we might have something in common. Given the diversity of the U.S.A., that would be everywhere. :-)
When I read your post, I felt badly for you that you must pay for a garden plot. We don't have much along that line in our particular community, but when we do have community gardens available (in publicly owned space), we simply apply for them. Basically, first come, first serve with last year's gardeners getting first spaces available. They are relatively small in size, but the City provides the tilling and the water. Neglected spaces are not re-issued to the same people the following year. From reading other posts in response to yours, it appears we are among the more fortunate.
The disadvantage of ours is that when the City (or other agency) decides to do something else with the land, the gardeners are out of luck. The only good part of that is that it isn't done in the middle of the season.
Glenna

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On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 19:15:55 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote:

Where do you live, Glenna? I want to move there. :-) Your arrangement sounds like what I had at NASA -- tilling and water provided -- 'though there *was* a $9/yr fee. There were/are 36 20'x40' plots and the diversity of gardens, styles, and people was fascinating. I learned a great deal.
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If it makes you feel any better, while we don't have your specific problem here in most of the United States, our 'leaders' rarely listen to us either. Well, I should say they listen, because they have to, but most of the time they don't HEAR what we are saying.
My cousin lives in a community that was surrounded by woods. A development company moved in and because they want to start a 'housing community' it meant that my cousin and everyone on his street and many of the streets connected to the little suburb would be adversely affected and have to have to sewers replaced etc... at the expense of himself and his neighbors. His neighborhood council banded together and they voted no to the proposed changes THREE times.
In the end, the developer wound up getting his way and because of that each home owner in my cousins neighborhood has been levied an assuagement of anywhere from 17-25k depending on how far the house is from the sewer and water lines being put in to the street.
Anyway.. thought I'd share. It's the same situation on a parallel.... just different specifics.
Cinnamon

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