For someone who loves being outdoors, living in a flat with no outside space was always going to be a compromise. A happy compromise for the most part, with the flat providing affordable accommodation without the need for flogging myself to death to pay a mahoosive mortgage. Which of course, gives me freedom to pursue lots of other things instead. One of those things is time spent outdoors at the allotment.
When G and I moved to Southwater early last year, one of the first things we did was contact the lovely lady in charge of the local plots. Displaying enthusiasm, strength and a bit of experience, we were soon assigned one of the more challenging plots and by the start of this year, we had pretty much cultivated it and quickly ran out of room.
So when the adjacent plot to our original one came up, we jumped at the chance to care for that one too. After 18 months of neglect, it was in a very sorry state. The soil is good there, really good. Perfect for cultivating bindweed, bramble, grasses, nettles and lots of other weeds left to grow unchecked. All of this was buried in between raspberries, potatoes, currents, chives and lord knows what else that had also been allowed to run riot. The picture below was taken on day 1 of taking over the plot.
Anyway, over the last four months we set ourselves a plan and attended the allotment with diligence and persistence. Today, we finally cleared the last of the big vegetation, digging out the diseased blackcurrents that bordered the end of the plot. We’ve replaced the currents with the water butt and compost bin that we’d found lurking in the undergrowth.
While we’ve worked on Plot 35, Plot 36 (our original) has yielded fabulous croppage. These onions were planted last November and overwintered well.
The leeks were another over winter crop. And they were absolutely delicious.
Spring and summer has also been very generous with courgettes, runner beans, green beans, broad beans, beetoot, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, raspberries and carrots that would have made my Dad weep with joy (he could never grow them, he blamed carrot root fly!)
It’s been a fabulous year and I’m very grateful that we are given the opportunity to have so much fun getting dirty.