Back in January we applied to the local council for an allotment and received the exciting news at the beginning of the last week that one had become available. After making an appointment with the site manager to go and see the plot last Wednesday we came away brimming with excitement and full of ideas.
We are planning to keep it pretty old school by planting fairly traditional crops directly into the earth rather than making raised beds -which look very pretty but offer us no advantage. The crops we have discussed thus far includes kale, carrots, potatoes, broccoli and a mix of culinary and medicinal herbs etc, crops that my maternal Granddad would have easily recognised.
My Grandad was a gentle man and a gentleman, who was also a keen veg grower. Occupying a corner spot, my Grandparents house had a generous garden in which to grow things. The garden to the front was full of pretty flowers and shrubs, while in the larger side garden cabbages and kale stood in precision rows like a troops on parade. It was here, in this garden that my Grandad thought it would be a wheeze for my sister, Deb and me to take photos of cabbage patch dolls amid the cabbages (Sadly I couldn’t find those photos). At the rear, beans and peas covered cane supports, which to our youthful imaginations were teepees in which we would sit and play.
I digressed somewhat there didn’t I! Our hoped planting for the allotment isn’t born simply out a romanticised nostalgia for (my) childhood but more practically, it’s a reflection of the vegetables that we eat in quantity. Although our allotment is a half plot – approximately 5 metres wide by 26 metres long- there is still plenty of scope for growing and we hope that by next year that between the greenhouse at home and the allotment we will be growing a good proportion of our food. Until then of course we have our veg box from Riverford Organics, with whom we a really impressed.