Beginners Allotment course

Hello fellow plot holders!

Just a quick message to tell you about a new course that Trafford College will be running at Southern Allotments from 26th April – 24th May 17, 13.30 – 15.30pm.

The course has been created to help engage potential new plot holders and support them onto their first nursery plot, the ideal outcome being that individuals or a collective group take on one of the vacant plots with some reassuring support from everyone.

The course is funded by the Skills Funding Agency and costs £50 for those who can afford to pay and is funded fully for those who are on certain benefits, so if you know someone who’s thinking about taking up an allotment or indeed, just wants to learn something new, please promote so more people can benefit from this wonderful society of ours.  We have a a great tutor delivering this course – Liz Cole, Liz is a local and trained RHS tutor and has worked for the college for many years and who inspires learning. She has delivered courses throughout Trafford and currently works with the Whitworth Art Gallery and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise.  We hope that this is the first course of many and that we can expand our learning provision so that all society members can benefit and make our plots even better. Who knows, your plot might be featured on the course as a model of success!

Please click here for more information or come and see me on plot 81 (The guy near the gate with the greenhouse)

Happy growing!


Craig, Plot 81










Recipes for winter

Quinoa with Winter VegetablesQuinoa


  • 200g quinoa
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, cut into thin sticks
  • 300g leek, sliced
  • 300g broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 100g sundried tomato, drained and chopped
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • juice 1 lemon



  1. Cook the quinoa according to pack instructions. Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a wok or large pan, then add the garlic and quickly fry for 1 min. Throw in the carrots, leeks and broccoli, then stir-fry for 2 mins until everything is glistening.
  2. Add the sundried tomatoes, mix together the stock and tomato purée, then add to the pan. Cover, then cook for 3 mins. Drain the quinoa, then toss in the remaining oil and the lemon juice. Divide between warm plates and spoon the vegetables on top




Mustard Chicken with Winter Vegetables

Ingredientsmustard chicken

  • 1 chicken, about 1.8kg/4lb in weight
  • 2 onion
  • 6 celery sticks
  • 6 carrot
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tsp black peppercorn
  • 50g butter
  • 100g smoked bacon lardons
  • 3 small turnip, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 3 rounded tbsp crème fraîche
  • good handful parsley, chopped


  1. Put the chicken in a large pot. Halve 1 onion, 1 celery stick and 1 carrot. Add to the pot with the herbs, peppercorns and a sprinkling of salt. Add water to come halfway up the chicken, bring to the boil, then cover tightly and simmer for 1½ hrs. Cool slightly, remove the chicken to a dish, then strain the stock into a bowl.
  2. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, strip the meat from the bones and tear into pieces with your hands.
  3. Chop the remaining onion, and cut the celery and carrots into thick slices. Heat the butter in the same pot, add the onion and lardons, then gently fry for 5 mins until just starting to brown. Add the remaining veg, then fry for 2 mins. Stir in the flour, then cook for 1 min. Measure 900ml stock (if you don’t have enough, make it up with water), then gradually add to the pan, stirring. Cover, then simmer for 20-25 mins until vegetables are tender.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan with the mustard and crème fraîche, then return to a simmer, stirring gently. Season and sprinkle with parsley.


2015 Events Calendar


Summer BBQ and get together – Sunday, 28 June.  Bring your own sausages/burgers, we provide buns, sauces, salads and chat.

Summer Show and BBQ – Competition time.  Perfect those beans and talk to that pumpkin.  Prizes galore plus another chance to BBQ.

Halloween – possible date for the calendar 1 November – more later.

AGM – 2 or 3 December – venue to be decided.


If any of you have any other ideas for social events or indeed would like to run an event please contact someone on the committee.


March Workday

Again work continued on Plot 54 despite the torrential rain.  More barbed wire was removed meaning that the plot can now be accessed from all sides.  The shed totally disappeared and metal was removed to the main gate for collection.

General litter picking created two bags of rubbish, mainly bits of paper, old plant pots etc that had been sent flying by the wind.  However,  someone had left  a black bag full of household rubbish in the spent hops bin!  Please try to take your rubbish home as we have no way of removing it other than someone taking it home and putting it in their own bin or visiting the tip.

The next workday is 12 April and work will continue on plot 54.  We will also be cutting back the privet hedge at the Princess Road end of the site as this is now very high and shades the plots nearby.

February Work Day

Work on Plot 54 went well on the February work day with a number of people volunteering to help out.  The shed was emptied of a myriad of items, brambles cut and barbed wire fencing removed from the road side.  In the afternoon the wooden greenhouses were attacked and one dismantled.  Work on this plot will continue throughout the year as there is a lot to do.

If you are not able to attend the workday, the jobs we will be concentrating on will be posted on the notice board by the tea shop and also on the plot fence next to the apiary.  Please feel free to carry on with any jobs posted up there.

Our next work day is scheduled for 8 March (the 2nd Sunday of each month).