On the allotment this week I replaced the glass broken last summer in the move. Luckily nothing has been stored that needed it to be frost free. Off to buy a max/min thermometer this week. An essential piece of kit for the greenhouse which will let me know the high and low temperatures when I am not around during the day and night.
Managed to have a small bonfire on Saturday as the wind was coming from the East meaning that the smoke would drift across farm land rather that over the housing estate. Apparently we get complaints from residents.
I went down to the allotment this week and was horrified to dicover how hard the clay soils was! I really wondered if I had taken on too much! Later in the week after a bit of rain it all felt a lot better. I sprayed the glass house with shading to keep the temperature down and emptied the compost heap.
………………33 years later..
I’m dusting down my hoe and rake as, you guessed it….. I officially took over an allotment plot today. I honestly did not expect to get one so soon but good allotment societies make sure that unattended plots are given up as soon as the person realises that working an allotment is not easy when you work all day and only visit it once a week………. hang on, I work all week and how often will I visit?
I visited the plot last night and was so happy to get one I forgot to get all the details for you but it’s about 20 x 50 feet, the grass is only knee-high and there is a patch of autumn fruiting raspberries. The previous tenant has also left a little patch of potatoes.
The modern trend of tending allotments seems to be having a series of raised beds rather than on large plot divided into invisible thirds for crop rotation. I’m not sure yet how I’m going to tackle it.
There is also a greenhouse on site and at first did not want it but thinking about it and seeing the cost of a shed I’m rapidly coming round to the thought of “well it’s a place to keep dry” We will have to see…..
How it All Started
From an early age I was introduced to “grow your own” except when I grew up I never knew it as that. Mum and dad both worked in a large children’s home. Mum as cook and dad as gardener. All the vegetables for the home were grown by dad in a huge vegetable garden. As both worked and particularly mum who worked long and strange hours I spent the first five years of life with dad in the garden! I can’t remember anything particularly about fruit and vegetable growing but it obviously had a profound effect on me.
Even at home dad had a small vegetable patch and a greenhouse where we grew tomatoes and cucumbers and it was my job to water them. I had a small patch that was mine but I’m sure dad despaired in what I grew or didn’t grow there!
Years later after college and five years of study I finally got my own plot of ground. I left Edinburgh Botanic Garden and went to work for thB London borough of Croydon where they gave me a “tied cottage” This cottage was a newly married couples dream cottage with roses over the door and a couple of hundred foot garden, most of which was vegetable plot.
Croydon Parks Department kept horses so manure came free. All that winter I dug the plot over from end to end. It was cultivated to text-book precision and the joy of picking and shelling our first pea pod has never been surpassed. That summer was amazing. My luck in many ways was that the plot was at home so spare minutes were put to good use in the vegetable garden just ten minutes a day to water, sow and weed was enough to keep it well-tended.
Sadly this was all left behind when I was promoted and moved jobs, so my hoe and rake were hung up for an other day……………….