For this re-launch of the Cookpole News, we thought we'd do a brief overview of our activity over the last couple of years and our immediate plans.
In future issues we'll try to give more details about particular projects.
Please contact The Secretary - Zoe Mair - on 01986 784217
Although one or two hardy perennials have been at work on their allotments, most of my activity has been at the computer, applying for grants.
We have been advised that we're unlikely to be able to claim VAT back legitimately for the purchase of goods and services by going through the Parish Council, but have had some very generous grants and donations from County Councillor Stephen Burroughes and from Flagship Housing via Ross Bangs.
These funds have made it possible for us to commission a solar powered pump for our borehole, as well as a good size and sturdy Community Shed, and I must express our gratitude for the generosity which has made this possible. I anticipate that the work will be completed and the pump operational by the end of February, weather permitting.
The solar powered pump will raise water during sunny periods, when the supply will be most in demand, and will fill a storage tank which will supply water on dull and sunless days. In addition, it will be much easier for people with less strength to fill their watering cans, and make it possible to run a hose to parts of the site furthest from the borehole, and to keep newly planted fruit trees well watered.
I am currently obtaining estimates for the Community Shed, and with the funding available, have more choice that I'd anticipated. Flagship require 3 estimates which I should be able to provide by the end of the week, and we will be buying in DIY kit form, so hope to be able to afford one or two photovoltaic panels for the roof with batteries to run an electric kettle for teabreaks.
The Parish Council's donation and funding received from Community Action Suffolk's Local Foods Funding will buy us a good selection of fruit trees, some of which have been ordered .Weather permitting we hope to be on site later this week to start planting.
I have also applied to Suffolk Coastal District Council for a Capital Fund Grant and will know this week if this has been successful. This may pay for all the rabbit and muntjac -proof fencing, with Cookpole Energy Action's donation paying for the gates which the Rights of Way Officer has specified.
In a mood of great optimism we have also agreed the date of Saturday September 13th for our first Flower and Produce Show, which will be open to everyone, not just Allotment Holders.
We have had terrific support for our project, and again I would like to thank all our donors for their generosity, and for Raymond Catchpole for his support with the time consuming adminstrative tasks.
February 16th 2014
Borehole and solar pump due to go 'down and in' on March 7. We do have dry summers and usually the sun shines at the same time to operate the pump that will bring the water into a storage tank to irrigate the allotments - neat idea!
If you would like to grow your own delicious vegetables and share the experience or learn new skills with this group of gardening enthusiasts, there are a couple of allotments still available.Contact AnneThomas on 01986 784348. You could be a star of the first Cookpole Flower and Produce Show on 13 September 2014!