Always Learning Forever Growing has taken a rather literal turn with a long held dream becoming a reality. We have an allotment!!! Awoohoo!!!
After more than 3 years on the local waiting list, our turn arrived last week, with us getting the keys on our wedding anniversary (which I thought was rather lovely).
I have been collecting clippings from magazines over the years with gardening and food growing tips, which will now finally be put to use rather than put in a folder and left to gather dust.
Today, (A) and I went to our plot to start preparing the beds for winter. He is going to have his own section and has plans to grow garlic (to make garlic bread), tomatoes (to make sauce for his pizza), pumpkins (for Halloween) and potatoes (for mash).
We have been very lucky with the plot we have been allocated. It has been in use previously and already has 4 beds in place, plus a shed (which the previous owner sold to us). At this time of year it really is a case of getting ready for winter and protecting the soil so that we can get stuck in when the Spring comes round.
Up until now, the only gardening tools we have had to our name have been my trowel and wee fork, as all the ‘gardening’ has been in the few tubs under our windows at home. But thankfully my Dad came up today, armed with proper tools for us to borrow: hoe, rake, spade and big fork. This made such a difference in terms of what we achieved today. My Mother-In-Law has her Father’s old gardening tools which she doesn’t use (has her own), so we are to inherit those. There is something very warm and fuzzy-feeling about being able to use Hubby’s late Papa’s gardening equipment on our patch.
Between the 2 of us, (A) and I cleared half of one of the beds (he was particularly taken with a rather large crop of thistles/nettles in the middle that he ousted with the “big fork”). Looking at the photo it doesn’t look much but was 1.5 hours of work. When not used to this kind of labour, my beginners enthusiasm was rewarded with an aching shoulder once we stopped.
We will finish clearing this bed the next time we are there.
What we have learned so far in our Grow Your Own journey is :
- Any work takes longer than planned
- You feel like you have accomplished a lot but it doesn’t look like it
- Remember to bring the camping chairs next time
- There are no loos at the site – go before leaving home! Especially if drinking tea
- Bring a flask of tea and some biscuits
- Pinterest delivers yet again. New board is filling up nicely
- (A) to bring warm gloves as well as gardening gloves and
- Gardening hurts the body, but goes unnoticed until finished for the day (grateful for bubble baths)
The only thing I have successfully grown to date has been sunflowers, so we really are complete novices at this, but eager to learn and grow.