Saturday, 17 October 2009
Sissy told me she is getting bored of all the stress in the house (yawn yawn). She said, come on, write a positive blog for a change.
So, I thought I'd tell you about my allotment. It's weird, don't you think, how sometimes the world gives us what we need at the time we most need it? I've been on the waiting list for an allotment for two or three years. Last week, I was emailed by one of the people on the allotment committee to say, they have half a plot for me, am I still interested?
I had a choice of two half plots, both very overgrown, but I chose the one that looked easier to work on.
First visit, I didn't even get my spade into the ground, before I was offered a cup of tea in the allotment hut. I met three fellow plotters over a cup of very strong tea, and then one of them came down to my plot with me to take a look. His advice was, start with the easiest jobs. He then spent maybe an hour with me helping me to clear my first little rectangle of land, telling me which weeds are the worst and chatting about life on our allotment site. I went home after a tour of his plot with a bag of beetroots fresh from the ground, and the promise of help to strim the worst of my weeds.
Second visit yesterday. I did two hours of digging, to finish clearing a square and boxing it off with scrap wood I found on my plot. I then started digging what will be my main planting area. I have rescued from within the weeds... globe artichokes, three strawberry plants, a raspberry plant, nasturtiums and some lemon balm. I have also rescued a sun dial, plant pots, canes and a trowel. I had another cup of tea in the hut, and was introduced to a number of other people. I was given a lesson in taking hardwood cuttings from blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes (I have a monstrously overgrown blackcurrant bush at one end of my plot). I've had offers of strawberry runners and runner bean seeds. Some scafford boards were mysteriously left for me, and another man has offered to help me build some raised beds, easy, he said.
I've been invited to the annual bonfire and barbeque on Guy Fawke's night, and my £26 dues for the year need to be paid by then... 50 pence a week for a lovely piece of land that once I get digging, get rid of the weeds, start planting, will be my own organic vegetable garden.
It couldn't have come at a better time...