Advice is always forthcoming from others on the plots and even if it is sometimes contradictory it is always right! The inevitable gluts of produce are always shared so you can go home with rhubarb even if you don't grow it.
Allotment holders get a great deal of satisfaction from their hobby and it’s great for exercise – so much better than paying a gym sub to exercise indoors with no fresh air. There is tremendous variety in the plots with lots of flowers, fruit trees and chickens as well as the traditional rows of vegetables.
Even if you have never grown anything before, why not give it a try? If it seems a bit daunting, how about teaming up with someone to share a plot? Other plotholders will be happy to give advice and a bit of help if needed. Spare seeds, plug plants and cuttings are often on offer to help get started.
A Brief History of AFTA
The site opened at Easter 2011 on what had previously been a farm field. Initially the plots were marked out with pegs and string and from that daunting start has emerged the lively and colourful site that exists today
AFTA developed from discussions between the Plot holders and Atlantic Hardware the landowners, to provide more local day to day management of the site and promote and develop it with the wider community in the area. As a result AFTA was established in Nov 2012 with a constitution and committee and initially 30 members.
The main aim of the association is to be a collective voice working with the landowners and all our members to develop the plots and facilities on the site, and undertake the day to day maintenance of the field.
We look after the communal compost area and cut the grass on the tracks and walkways. We have an association shed and a secure container by the car park known as the Tardis. We organise deliveries of compost and shredded material for paths, and arrange for a farmer to take a silage cut off the undeveloped part of the field. We liaised with the Woodland Trust to provide hedge trees which we have planted at the bottom end of the field.
Our committee meetings allocate tasks to committee members and plans and ideas to promote, safeguard and improve the allotments. We meet four times a year on average. However, there is always the opportunity to discuss an develop new ideas
The Association now has a membership of nearly 60 and is affiliated to the National Allotment Association. The site has expanded from 30 plots to 57 whole and half plots and there is still plenty of room for more.
- A contact and communication point for all plot holders
- Raising the profile of the allotments locally by publicity and adverts
- Sharing of knowledge, ideas, stuff!
- Contracting for grass cutting and cutting of the undeveloped part of the field
- Contact with and working with other groups locally and in related areas like the garden club and the Town council allotments
- Social network
- What else we have done so far
- Email address, logo and website development
- Building contacts with local and County Council, Community Police, Frodsham Transition Initiative and members of the local community. Local councillors and the MP have all been on site visits to see what has been achieved at the site
- Stall at the Frodsham Community event
- Invited to share stall at the Christmas festival
- Exploring collaborative events and funding opportunities, contact with other local allotment associations (Kingsley)
- Stall at the Frodsham ‘Grow it and Show’ in September at the community Centre
- Site visits from the NW region of the National Association
- We are working on plans to improve composting facilities at the site
- We are raising funds to help with provision of a composting toilet and communal hut