Allotment Adventures: Communal Space

Last week an email came from the allotment committee, reminding us that rent notices will be winging their way towards us soon and more importantly that we are moving to an October start so this year’s rent will be for 18 rather that 12 months. I love my half plot so view it as worth every penny but it is expensive compared to other sites! So this is a big change.

Also in big change, the committee has identified a plot that it would like to turn into a communal plot. The idea is that we could use it for teaching, open days, volunteer days etc. It would be a place for the allotment kids to hang out, somewhere for plot holders to grab a cup of tea, a space we could invite schools and groups to use. You get the idea. I think it’s a fabulous plan and I’m slightly in awe of Christina who is head of the committee, she’s got a lot on already and we still have the threat of development hanging over us but she’s still working to make the allotments a good place for the community of plotholders and the community at large. We are listed as a community asset and she really wants that to mean something!

So when Ma and I turned up at the allotment on Saturday, two hours later than intended, (it was the martini effect!). We surveyed a rather bleak plot. I’m not sure that it would win a ‘pretty plot’ award right now! Ma started at the top by getting the big weeds up. I filled up the bird feeders and ‘tidied’ up the herb patch. It’s been getting on my nerves for a while. I’m not sure that it actually looks tidier but I viciously chopped the sage back, and got rid of some of the rosemary! Hopefully, I haven’t killed the sage, I suspect not because it’s hard to kill but I had to give the thyme and oregano a bit more room…

Then we got chatting to Christina about the plans for the communal plot and talked about the open day in July and hours passed. It was getting cold so back to the plot and I helped with the weeding.By May/June this space will have sweet peas, rhubarb and the gooseberry bush in all their summer glory, there will probably be californian poppies all over the place and we are going to plant winter squash there too. We’re not going to get to grass or paving this year and because it’s bare, people just walk all over it, hopefully, if we cover it with squash, we’ll get more squash and Ma won’t have to weed it so much!

We also got a massive rhubarb crown from Christine, who was splitting hers and that will go in here too.

We still have lots of work to do. February is looming but this is what we need to have done by the end of February:

  • plant the rhubarb crown
  • dig up raspberries and the gooseberry at the end of the plot
  • sort out the raspberry frames
  • paint the shed
  • cut the grass at the edges of the path
  • order new raised beds
  • build new raised beds
  • fill the new raised beds with compost and top up the others
  • sort out the sides of the current brassica bed
  • create sections at top and sides of allotment for flowers
  • clear that bed of broccoli and kale
  • prep the buckets and boxes for carrots, radishes and mint
  • put up and secure the cloche
  • trip to the dump
  • bonfire
  • sort out sowing supplies and start sowing leeks etc

I am really looking forward to spring but there is a lot to do….

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About nicdempsey

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