Your friendly local Gardening supplies cooperative
WGA News and Updates
27th November – AGM
The AGM was held online using Zoom on 27th November. The full minutes of the meeting and this years’ accounts are attached. The main points arising from the meeting are below:
Secretary Roll – As many of you will know, Darren has decided to step down from the roll of Association secretary. Thanks were again passed on to Darren for his work over recent year to keep everything on an even keel, the committee and a few members had previously made a small presentation to recognise his contributions. Liz Sanders has volunteered to take on the roll from next year and this was confirmed by vote at the AGM. Many thanks again to Darren and to Liz for stepping up.
Financial Report – Colin summarised the accounts. Our turnover was higher than in at least the previous 5 years despite the difficulties of obtaining some products and the pressure on prices. Overall, we made a loss of £43 so consistent with our aim of selling our products as close to cost price as we can.
We also raised a total of £1350 (another recent record) for the two charities we support and Cancer Research. Thanks to everyone who supported the plant sales and have donated during the year to allow us to achieve this.
Membership – Terry reported that we have 163 current active members which includes 29 new members. Hopefully, some of the members who haven’t felt able to return to the shop this year for obvious reasons may do so next year and boost our numbers again.
Committee – The committee was re-elected with the addition of Liz as secretary.
Sale of Peat based compost – as most of you will know, the sale of peat-based compost has been shown to be environmentally detrimental and the government will ban its sale by the end of 2023.
We asked the membership for their views on stopping the sales of peat-based composts by the end of 2022 in a recent newsletter.
The unanimous view was that we should do this by the end of the 2022 season at the latest with many requesting that we stop sales sooner. Sales in 2021 support this with around 250 bags of peat free compost sold against 150 of peat based, despite the lower cost.
We will move forward with this policy.
On-Line order preparation – the facility to order products online via the web site has proved very popular during the year including the period after restrictions were lifted as far as access to the shop was concerned. It is also much more efficient for the volunteers in serving members as the orders can obviously be pre-prepared. It was suggested that we extend the volunteer rota to include Fridays to prepare the orders that have come in that week. This was agreed, if you are happy to help out occasionally with putting these orders together, please let Terry know.
Other Newsletter Items
We hope the shop will reopen as normal in February – we will update you nearer the time and the effect of any covid rules in force then. We have already ordered potatoes however and expect them to arrive for February.
These can be pre-ordered online at any time for collection when we re-open. We have reduced the number we order this year to try to avoid waste. So far, we have sold about a third of our total order with some varieties close to selling out.
Please put your orders in now to ensure you get the varieties you prefer – https://wantagegardeners.org.uk/product-category/potatoes/ . Payments can be made on collection by credit card or nearer the time by bank transfer.
If you are not comfortable with using online ordering you can send an email with your requirements and we will reserve your order.
As usual, we ask that you use our Kings Seeds 30% price discount scheme to order your seeds too and pass the link on to your friends so that they can benefit too – the Association did well from the commission we obtain from this last year – https://wantagegardeners.org.uk/kings-seeds/ .
Thanks for your support this year – see you next year.
Happy Xmas and New Year
24th September – Newsletter Contents
It is our last week of opening this Saturday (25th Sept.) so come along to the shop and stock up for the winter – preferably placing any orders through the web page shop.
We have stocks of Aquadulce Broad Bean seeds at 50p a packet as well as a few packets of overwintering green manure from Kings (See details here) for £1.10 per pack to cover 16M2.
We still have some peas / French beans and runner bean seeds which we will sell off at 25p a packet – first come first served ready for next year!
We have some seed catalogues from Kings in the shop if you would like to collect one to browse over the Winter. If you have previously purchased from them or requested one through your membership form you should be receiving these over the next few weeks however.
Thanks for all your support in buying seeds using the discount link – we significantly increased our sales through this route this year and this will help to maintain the 30% discount we get from them. You are welcome to tell friends and family about the discount for them to use as the more we sell the better the discount we can offer.
We have reduced the quantities of potatoes we will stock next year to avoid some of the waste from this year. We have ordered 150 x 2Kg bags of the various varieties that are most popular.
If you want to ensure you get the varieties you want, please pre-order using the shop on the web page, We will then reserve your order and let you know when they are in in February 2022. For simplicity for us, please only place potatoes on these orders at this stage. The varieties and quantities we expect to have can be found here.
We expect stocks to be in by Feb reopening and will let you know when they are ready – there is no obligation and you can cancel if you change your mind and you can pay on collection.
We have been able to keep prices at £2 / 2Kg bag for most varieties and so these are probably the cheapest you will find!
We will also have garlic, shallots and onions and will add these to the shop when we have details of varieties.
We will have an AGM this year – after a lot of positive feedback from the enforced on-line event last year we have decided to carry on with this and so will hold a Zoom meeting at 7:30 on Thursday 25th November. We will send a link nearer the time.
Thanks again for your support this year as we have slowly returned to normality. We have raised a lot of money for charity and our takings for the year have been better than the last several years. The supply and pricing situation is still difficult with constant price hikes but hopefully this will settle down next year. We have done our best to maintain stocks however and are still looking for new products that members would be interested in, we have ordered some Vitax Slug Gone wool pellets for next year as this is becoming increasingly popular and is very expensive on Amazon!
Saturday 10th July – Perennial Plant Sale in Aid of Cancer Research
One of our members has been selling plants to raise money for Cancer Research and would like to see if the Association members are interested in buying any.
He is selling mainly medium to large perennials for £3 – £8.
There are over 100 plants available and will set up a stall at the hut on Saturday 10th July 10-12. We don’t need any further donated plants thanks, just come along and buy what you need at very reasonable prices and obviously help a very worth cause at the same time.
We have also had a range of good quality / working power tools donated including :
Stihl electric chainsaw / Titan chainsaw lopper / hedge trimmers / Flymo leaf blower and more.
All will be priced up and available for inspection on Saturday morning, come along and take a look.
Plant Sale Update – Thanks to everyone who donated plants / came along to buy them and helped out on the days – we made a total of £500 from plant and tool sales which will go to the charities. Thanks again!
19th June – Second Plant Sale along with a wide selection of second hand tools and pots etc. Starts 10 O’clock.
29th May – Annual Charity Plant Sale. We plan to hold our annual plant sale on Saturday. We will be selling plants form 10-12 and setting up from 9-10 when donations will be very welcome. It will be outside and we will aim to set it up is as socially distance manner as we can.
17/5/21 – Welcome to the new web site! We have had to upgrade the package we use to support the web site and its now progressed enough to launch – please take a look.
We have also decided to try out e-commerce too – you can now find our first attempt under the SHOP tab above. We are still populating it but it should now work as well (or hopefully better) than the spreadsheet option we were using before.
Its very simple – add the products to the cart (just like any other web shop) go to the Cart page and review quantities then progress to the checkout page.
This is set up as we had previously where you have the options to pay by BACS to by credit card on collection. You will then receive an email to confirm you order (ignore the part about not being progressed until paid for). If you have any queries or comments please feed them back to help us finish the site off.
There is no need to set up an account, just enter your email address when checking out and it should all work and keep a record of your details from last time.
We realise this would have been more useful at the start of lockdown rather than (hopefully) the end but hopefully many members will continue to use the ‘order in advance’ option as it still helps us out as we still have some restrictions on using the shop.
Shop Opening & Ordering – we will continue to open 10-12 on Saturdays with a maximum of 2 members inside the hut at a time. We will review this as government rules are updated but feel it is sensible to stick with this until the June 21st review at least. This does mean members may have to wait to come in and so we would encourage you to continue to continue to order in advance, particularly if you are in a hurry.
Shop Helpers – Thanks again to those who have helped us out over this difficult period, we are still welcoming volunteers but are only looking for 1 per week at present as the committee continue to be there to sort the orders out. As always, please contact Terry on firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
Plant Sale – we are planning to have our annual plant sale on Saturday 29th May although the weather has been against us – hopefully we will have enough plants to make it worth while.
The shop is doing reasonably well despite limitations on access, thanks again for your continued support and patience.
Potatoes – We still have a few bags of well chitted potatoes we would like to find homes – all are now £1 a bag.
24/9 – Please order your potatoes in advance to ensure you get the varieties you want (we have reduced the amount we will buy to match this years’ demand). Order through the web shop and pay / collect in Feb ’22.
19/6 – Melcourt bark back in stock (limited quantities however). Awaiting a delivery of growbags and so temporarily out of stock.
30/4 – Last few bags of Potatoes now £1 each to clear.