Monday, 24 December 2007

Storage Box

The storage box is now finished and in place - it looks really good. It has blue waterproof lining and 2 shelves. It also has some decking in front of it and my mum has already christened it by sitting on a deck chair and surveying the site.

Each time I go down to the allotment now (which is not so often because of the season and weather) I take more garden items down and it is filling up nicely. It is so nice not to have to make several trips to the car when I want to do a few hours work.

Here are my pictures:

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Berried Treasure

This week (in the very cold weather) I have managed to plant 8 raspberry canes. Here's what I did.

I banged in two scaffolding poles so that I now have a line of them all along the top of the trench and wound galvanised wire around them so that I now have a "trellis" of wire for the raspberries to grow up against.

I uncovered the trench that I had prepared earlier (see blog "berry good") and dug in the leaves that had covered it. They have been composting down nicely into a rich thick dark mulch. I dug the trench about 12" deep and and gave it a very generous covering of blood, fish and bone which I very lightly forked in. Next I got one of my £1 compost bags and emptied it all along the trench and then lightly forked that in too. Next I placed the raspberries (which had been soaking for about an hour) along the trench, two to each scaffolding pole - one either side - and back filled the trench with the earth/leaf mould mixture. On top of all that I emptied another 4 bags of leaf mould mixture and gave the raspberries a good watering.

Next I turned my attention to the blackcurrant bush. I dug a big hole about 10" deep and added some more compost and leaf mould mixture. I placed the bush into the hole and back filled with compost. I placed a generous amount of leaf mould mulch all around the base of the bush and gave it a good water too.

Hopefully with all this preparation and some TLC we will have good harvests of berries for many years to come. I took a photo of the trench after I had mulched it with leaf mould, and although you can't really see the raspberry canes, but you get the idea.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Still harvesting

I'm very pleased to say that we are still harvesting at the allotment, albeit only potatoes, onions (red & white) and chillies. The potatoes are called Sante and have been very productive, the only downside is that some of them have been attacked by something eating them - I suspect it is eelworm or something like that - however it is more than made up for by the fact that they are absolutely delicious roasted, boiled, chipped, mashed or made into tuna potato salad.

The onions are great tasting too, especially the red ones Red Baron and are excellent in salads. The chillies Cherry Bomb are of medium heat and I think we have done pretty well to get approximately 15 of them considering the lack of summer sun this year.

I still get a thrill when I am harvesting anything and I guess that will always be the case. I'm always so amazed at the fact that you plant seeds, sets or tubers and with a little care and nuture from me, and rain and sun from above, that after the appropriate period of time you have an abundant crop.

All the chillies and onions have now been harvested, so that leaves one row of potatoes left to dig up - so maybe I will get my wish and have home grown potatoes for Christmas dinner. Will let you know.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Berry Good

The section at the end of the allotment is a perfect place for raspberries. I have dug the part which meets the main path from top to bottom to a width of about 2 ft. Before the earth was dug it was full of trampled grass, loads of bindweed and buttercups and the ground was very compacted. It needed at least half a dozen thorough digs to get it into some reasonable state. The earth is now nice and crumbly and has about 4" of leaves on top of it which were well watered. On top of all that is a length of thick black plastic so that the leaves will "sweat" and break down and hopefully produce a good mulch/soil enhancer so that the raspberries are given a good start in life. Today I went to the local recycling centre and picked up 3 "fill a bag of compost" sacks (they are quite large and it took some effort) for £1 each. Bargain! These will be put at the bottom of the trench I shall dig so that the raspberries will be putting their roots into some good, wholesome muck.

I have ordered 2 types of raspberries - summer fruiting and autumn fruiting. Glen Ample and Glen Moy are both summer fruiting and should be ready to harvest between mid/late June and early August. Autumn Bliss is the autumn variety that I have chosen and that should be ready to harvest from late August until mid October. So hopefully there will be a steady supply of fruit for about 5 months of the year. My mind is already running away with me - raspberry jam, raspberry ice cream, fresh raspberries, raspberry jelly.....

Monday, 12 November 2007

What's in Store

Last Wednesday when I went to the allotment I met up with another allotmenteer who is a carpenter and he has offered to construct on site a lockable storage box for me. It will be 7 ft wide, 1m high and 1m deep, on 4" plinths with a small amount of decking in front so that we can sit down for a well earned rest on our green camping chairs with a little something to drink. The roof will have a layer of asphalt on top, the insides will be lined with a layer of thick waterproof plastic material and will have an assortment of hooks and a shelf or two. I'm very excited as this is the first permanent structure at the site and the rest of the allotment will work around it.

I redrew my original plan when I knew where the storage box was to be sited and the allotment is now beginning to take shape and get some structure to it.

As soon as it's in place I will photograph it so you can all see.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Cucumber Relish

Two weeks ago when I went to the allotment I was very excited to find that I had 9 cucumbers that were ready (one or two were more than ready) for picking. Although we love the cucumbers, I wanted to preserve some of that lovely taste for later in the year so decided to search for a receipe for cucumber relish.

Here it is:-

9 cucumbers (diced)

1 red pepper & 1 green pepper (diced), pith & seeds removed

8oz onions (chopped) I used our red onions from the allotment

3 celery stalks (chopped)

1 tbsp mustard seeds

10oz sugar

15fl oz white vinegar

Place diced cucumber in bowl, sprinkle with a little salt and leave overnight. Drain and rinse in cold running water. Put cucumbers into a saucepan with the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30-40 mins or until relish is nice and thick. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal.

What could be easier? It tastes delicious and the children love it with "salad bits" as my son calls them. Now we have a winter's supply of lovely tasting relish, together with home made pickle (made from apples from my brother's tree). Luvly jubly!!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Looking Ahead

Over the past 4 weeks since my last blog a certain pattern has emerged when I go to the allotment. The first thing I do is to inspect the crops and to see what has grown (and in the case of the tomatoes what has not grown!) and then decide which to pick at the end of my time there. After that, as I am beginning to prepare for the next set of planting I am concentrating on digging certain areas so that seeds/seedlings can be planted at the optimum time. Last week I received my favourite seed catalogue (Thompson & Morgan) so I will be spending an evening or two deciding what it would be nice to try and grow.

The last month has been relatively quiet at the allotment (we've been on holiday) and apart from watering and harvesting there is not a great deal to do apart've guessed it...digging!

Over the summer I took the opportunity of making myself a "wish list" of all the things I would like at the allotment and I came up with the following:-

  • 4 big beds, all 4 ft wide
  • herb bed
  • strawberry bed
  • salad bed
  • 2 childrens beds
  • wild flower & flower bed
  • raspberries along trellis
  • blackcurrant & redcurrant dividing "hedge"
  • fruit tree(s)
I drew myself a plan and this helped me to realise that with a little planning it is all achievable in the next year or two. I'll keep you posted as to progress.

I've also looked into a bulk order of compost/manure from the local council being delivered to the site so that the worms can work some magic over the winter months.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Fresh 'n' tasty

The past few weeks have been so rewarding because we have been harvesting vegetables at least twice a week and eating them within a day or so. We still have lots of salad potatoes "Charlotte" to harvest and they are great for making into potato salad, or slicing into favourite receipes or cutting into wedges, drizzling with olive oil and roasting for about an hour.

The courgettes continue to grow at a fair rate of knots and it almost seems that they grow before your eyes. One of them was the size of a small marrow because it had grown so quickly. Between arriving at the allotment and leaving a few hours later I'm sure they have grown an inch or so! They are delicious with pasta and vegetable bakes and they cook so quickly and are so lovely and tender.

The French beans are still doing well and the children love searching the plants for them and then picking them off. Some of them get eaten straight from the plant -can't get fresher than that.

The cucumbers "burpless tasty green" are now romping away and although some of them are a bit curly, they taste absolutely delicious and are so crisp. The straight, glossy supermarket cucumbers are not a patch on my curly, earth covered ones.

The tomatoes "Ailsa Craig", brandywine" and "legend" are all doing well and have masses of little yellow flowers. Quite a few of the plants have already set their fruit and some of them are quite big already. The wet weather recently has made everything grow like mad, so we haven't had to do any watering for a while - which is so labour-saving.

My son was ecstatic when he went to check up on his radishes - they were ready for harvesting and they were big, red and tasty and very crunchy too. We had them straight away for lunch with our cucumbers and salad leaves (from home). My daughter was so impressed with them that she has prepared a small patch of her plot ready to plant some seeds next time we go down.

Some of the onions are almost ready to harvest - they should be ready in a week or so. The red ones seem to have done much better than the white ones, but no matter, the white ones will be just as tasty I'm sure, just not quite so big! You can't win them all!

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

From Plot to Plate

I've now picked our first two courgettes and made one of my favourite receipes with them. It's a very quick and easy receipe so I thought I'd share it. It only takes about 20 minutes to cook and it's delicious.

Cook tagliatelle in pan for approx 5 mins until 'al dente'

Peel thin strips of courgette with peeler and saute in pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Add 1 clove of crushed garlic, a handful of basil (fresh if available), 1 chopped chilli, juice and zest of 1 lemon, and a generous splash of white wine. Cook for a few minutes until courgettes and chillies are slightly softened. Add 5 tblsp of single cream and heat through.

Strain tagliatelle and place courgette mixture on top, served with parmesian cheese. Enjoy.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Guest Appearance

On Wednesday last week I took my first "guest" to the allotment and she absolutely loved it. She couldn't get over how much we had cultivated and planted. We spent a very happy two hours there talking (of course) while we were working. She kindly weeded amongst the onions (a big job I might add as there are quite a few rows). As "payment" for all her hard work she took home a bag of potatoes and some beans for her family. She loved it so much that she said she wanted to come back again because she wanted to finish off weeding in between the onions - I think it's because she has fallen in love with the place.

While she was weeding I continued shearing and raking the grass in preparation for laying some more of the paving slabs and last week I was almost halfway along the path. I think that there will just be enough to finish off the path which divides us from the plot above.

This week my "guest" did come back to the allotment (it was her last chance before going on holiday) and she finished off weeding in between the rows of onions while I carried on laying slabs on the path before the grass grows too long again (one or two more visits and the path should be completed).

Each time I visit the allotment now there is plenty of harvesting to be done (so exciting) - potatoes are in abundance and it's great fun to dig up a plant and then discover how many potatoes are there. To see the delight on the childrens faces was wonderful when we were digging up and counting how many potatoes were on each plant, and others around us were caught up in our enthusiasm. I have shown the children how to pick the French beans and they count how many they pick each time. Some of the courgettes are almost ready so I shall pick them next time I go as I don't want them to get too big.

Monday, 9 July 2007

First Fruits

Last Wednesday was a very exciting day at the allotment because it was the first time that anything was harvested. I dug up 2 potato plants "Charlotte" and was amazed to see how many potatoes were hanging off one plant. When I brought them home I weighed them and saw that I had harvested 5.5lbs. They smelt beautifully earthy and were a fair size too. That evening I made a potato salad and drizzled some butter over them. Perfect. They don't take as long to cook as shop bought ones, and there is no comparison for taste.

On Monday I picked some French beans and they tasted delicious raw straight from the plant. Lightly steamed for a few minutes is all they needed.

Although all the digging and watering was hard work, you seem to forget about it when you see your labours on a plate and there is a great sense of achivement when you realise "I grew this from seed".

On a more serious note - there is potato blight at the allotment site so we have had to spray the potatoes and tomatoes. Some of our potatoes have been affected, but hopefully we have caught most of them in time.

I now need to look at my cookery books and check out some new receipes.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Step by Step

Great news! One of the dads at the children's school is having his front garden revamped and is getting rid of all the paving slabs that are laid there. He has said that we can have them all if we are prepared to take them away. Are we? Of course we are - they will be perfect for creating a pathway between our allotment and the one above. If there are any left over, we will lay some paths between the different beds that we have marked out. So far we have collected 17 slabs with many more to come. They are about 2ft square which is just a little narrower than the pathway between us and the allotment above, so with a little spadework straightening up the edge of the pathway we will have a lovely path to walk on, and best of all no more strimming or mowing there which will leave more time for .....digging. Must get back to it!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Greenhouse Growth

It's very satisfying to see the main greenhouse being emptied of its small(ish) plants and for them to be put in the patio greenhouse and then hardened off outside before being planted at the allotment. Over the past 4 weeks I have planted 24 beefsteak tomatoes "Brandywine" and after a slightly hesitant start they are now "putting on weight" and looking good. 23 "Ailsa Craig" tomato plants have also gone in and are beginning to perk up. I have also planted 4 courgettes "Defender". At the moment they look a little floppy as they were quite pot-bound, but with some TLC I am hoping they will perk up. Waiting in the wings are the cauliflowers and the 5 different varieties of chillies. We know that we are a little late in planting out most of our vegetables, but are suffering from lack of cultivated space. With each bit that we dig, however, we are planting as fast as we can. We reckon that even if we get small amounts of produce it will all have been worth it and we are learning all the time.

Before planting out we dig a patch at least 3-4 times to get it to as good a standard as we can in the time available to us. Well over half the plot has now been cultivated, and it really has been worth it as our plants are thriving in their planted positions.

I'm already thinking ahead as to what I might like to grow next year .......

Bean There

Last week it was time for some planting. First to go in were the cucumbers (burpless tasty green) and they are at the top of the second bed in front of the pathway that separates us from the plot above. It is sheltered by a 12" drop between plots and is a sun trap. I put 7 plants in at about 18" apart. They are not quite tall enough yet to be tied into the canes that are next to them, but with some sun, rain and a feed (3 essentials I am told that cucumbers need) hopefully they will be happy.

After having dug and re-dug the part of the bed just below the cucumbers and onions, it was ready for the French beans to be planted. I made a very deep trench and lined the bottom of it with torn up newspaper and then soaked it with water. That was the easy bit. Next I had to construct a "tent" of canes, which was quite difficult as I needed 2 pairs of hands and not just mine. The canes were 8ft high, and I'm just over 5ft tall, so I improvised by getting a huge clod of hard earth and used it as a ladder to reach the top of the canes to put the crossbar on the top and then tie them all in. It was "arm-breaking" work and I was looking into the bright sun all the time I was doing it. However, there was a great feeling of satisfaction when it was all done.

On top of my trench with newspaper and compost I put a thick layer of home-made compost and then planted 28 beans into their places next to a cane and tied them in. I gave them another good water to settle them in and will see what happens.

I also planted the last of the potatoes Bonnie which seemed to take quite a long time to "chit", but as they have been planted much later than the other two varieties (Sante and Charlotte) I am not particularly in a hurry to harvest them.

With all this digging, carrying heavy bags full of weeds, kneeling, bending and stretching, who needs to go to the gym or keep fit? Get an allotment - it's cheaper, plenty of fresh air, and loads of home grown tasty fruit and vegetables to eat that haven't clocked up hundreds or thousands of air miles.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Space Invaders

Over the past four weeks since my last blog, apart from being away for a week, we have been digging as much as we can. We have divided the plot up into 4 beds. Bed 1 is the biggest and is the potato and onion bed. It has been thoroughly dug apart from about half a square metre right at the very bottom. The tomatoes are almost ready to plant out there when the final bit of digging has been done. Bed no. 2 is half dug and we have already planted some red onions there and is now ready for some of the beans to be planted this week.

Before the rains came over the past week, the ground was so hard that the digging was very laborious, but now it has been well and truly soaked the earth is beautiful and crumbly. The only problem is that the weeds have taken over in a big way and are really invading the rest of the plot. Last Wednesday Peter spent most of the morning pulling up grass from bed no. 4 (which is the bed where the compost bin is). It was coming up very easily, but underneath we found some huge cracks in the ground, some of which were over 2cm in places.

The greenhouse looks a wonderful sight with rows of pots full of tomatoes (3 varieties), French beans, courgettes, cucumber, cauliflowers, strawberries, chillies, white onions and chitted potatoes all ready to be planted out as soon as the ground has been dug.

The potatoes and onions that we planted before Easter are growing really well. The onions have got green tops on them that are about 12 inches in height and the potatoes look lovely and bushey and are getting quite tall. I "earthed up" some of them last week for the second time. Must sign off now as there's lots more digging to be done.

Monday, 9 April 2007

My Patch, Your Patch

Today we went to the allotment for a couple of hours - it's amazing how the time seems to just fly by as the digging progresses, plans to plant what where, new people to meet and chat to, and of course the odd few minutes to sit down with some water and take stock of the progress made.

All the people we've met on the site who stop for a chat are really friendly and are very encouraging to us. They love to see us as a family all working together, each doing our bit. We've been given lots of friendly advice too and it's interesting to find out what they are growing and how successful they have been. It's a very relaxed atmosphere and no-one really seems to rush.

The children have now got their own mini plots of about half a square metre each and they are both working hard watering, digging and "mashing up" the ground. They have collected lots of stones from around the plot so that they can make a nice edging when they have finished digging.

Today we planted 5 rows of onions red baron (about 50 onions in all). They have all rooted nicely and we planted them in rows about 12" apart with about 4" between each onion set. Each one is nicely bedded in some home made compost with just the tip sticking out. We're now hoping that they are rooted enough to discourage the birds from pecking them out of the ground.

Now it's time to start rooting the white onions so that we can plant them in the next fortnight or so.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Dig, Dig, Plant

Since I last posted a blog we have been methodically digging the plot so that we can begin planting. The middle of the plot seems to have huge amounts of bindweed roots that we are digging out so that the vegetables that we grow do not compete with them. The edges of the plot do not have so many roots and it is always very satisfying to find the tapered end of a root and to think that "another one bites the dust". Although it is hard work and it would be quicker and easier to rotivate the ground, in the long run it will be well worth it.

With the hot, sunny weather that we've been having just recently, we are wetting a small patch of earth, let the water sink in and then dig that particular bit. It's very encouraging when we come to dig over that patch of earth again a day or so later to find that the earth underneath has retained that water and it hasn't all drained away.

We have also tested the soil with a really good soil testing kit that is very easy to use. We are very fortunate in that our soil has a pH of 7.0 (neutral) so hopefully we do not have to be too choosy about what we grow.

To date we have planted 6 rows of "Sante" potatoes and 2 rows of "Charlotte" potatoes. They have chitted really well and it was fun to plant them in their trenches. The children enjoyed spacing them out and counting how many potatoes were in each row (about 9 if you're interested).

So for now, it's back to some more digging.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Dig, Dig, Digging

Between us we have now made 3 trips to the allotment and have almost finished digging the first rectangular strip ready for planting. The earth where the cabbages were was easy to dig, but as we have now gone well past where they were, the earth is harder to dig as it has become a bit compacted and with the glorious weather we had last week there is a very dry crust that we have to dig through. We have also hit a big patch of bindweed roots, so this has slowed our progress a bit. We are being careful to get out all the bits of roots that we can so that in years to come they will not be so prevalent.

Although the digging is getting harder and the progress has slowed down a bit, there is something very satisfying about looking back over what has been dug, and there is a real sense of excitement that as soon as the first strip has been completely dug, the potatoes will go in, followed by the onions.
I picked up a tip from one of the allotment holders about onions - plant them on a shallow bed of compost so that they grow small roots before planting them out in the plot. That way the birds are not able to peck them out of the ground so easily before the top growth starts.
We have also assembled the compost bin and it is already half full of vegetable matter and some grass. When the children come down to the allotment next week I'm sure they will enjoy adding screwed up newspaper and cardboard to the ever-increasing pile.
The sweet peas that I plan to plant up the sides are growing nicely in the greenhouse and are almost ready for pinching out as they are about 6 inches high.

Monday, 5 March 2007

Starting Digging

Today we started to dig out the clumps of cabbages that were left on the plot. It took about 2 hours and some of the roots were at least 2 ft long. Even though it was quite hard work, there was a great sense of satisfaction that at last we had begun to cultivate our plot. When we had finished pulling up all the cabbages we were left with a fairly nicely dug patch of earth that was teeming with worms, and hopefully after another thorough dig in the next week or two, we will be able to plant the potatoes that are happily sprouting in the greenhouse. After the cabbages were all dug up, we cut them up (leaves, stalks, roots and all) into fairly small pieces and started off our compost heap with them. The weather was kind to us and as we were working, the sun was blazing down on us and we both realised that the name chosen of "sunshine allotment" was very apt. So ended our first day.

Wednesday, 28 February 2007

It's Ours!

Today I went down to the allotments and after paying my sub, became the proud owner of a half plot (no. 25B). Last Monday there was a huge bonfire on our site, so there is a lot of ash left which I am told is very good to dig into the earth. Hopefully, we will be able to get to the site in the next couple of days and start digging and warming up the earth in readiness to start planting in a few weeks time.

The seeds being started off in the greenhouse are beginning to sprout and it's exciting to think that soon they will be placed in their new home in the ground to grow, develop and mature and become wonderful, tasty, fresh organic food on our plates. As Carol Klein said in her recent excellent series "Grow your own Veg" ...."the furthest journey the veg will make is from the plot to the plate" and in our case that is less than a mile away.

Meanwhile, the planting of seeds goes on..... and on.....and on!!

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Bonnie Charlotte Sante

Today the children and I started to "chit" our potatoes. I have chosen three different types of potato:-

  • Charlotte - a second early very popular salad variety

  • Bonnie - second early, good for boiling and baking

  • Sante - early maincrop - a good pest and disease resistant potato

I got the children to count the number of "bumps" on each potato and then place them in egg boxes with the most number of "bumps" on the top. So far we have got 4 egg boxes full of potatoes, and they are sitting happily in the greenhouse and will be joined with some more once we have some more empty egg boxes available. The greenhouse is beginning to get very full, so soon the mini greenhouse will have to take the overflow of seeds etc. I can't wait to get planting and free up more space for more seeds and start the succession of planting that we have planned.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

All in a heap

I've been searching for a compost bin and have found what I think is a good bargain from It's half price at £29.99 and it is a big wooden slatted one that we assemble on site. When I say "we" of course I mean my husband. We have ordered it today and delivery is in about 2 weeks time.

In the meantime I have planted 70 sweet pea seeds (they have already started to sprout) as my idea is to grow the plants up and around the compost bin a) to hide the essential rotting mass, b) to attract beneficial insects, c) to make good use of every bit of space that I can, and d) because I just love sweet peas. Will let you know how my idea works out in future posts.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Seeds Galore!

The postman has finally arrived with the seeds that we ordered 10 days ago - it seems ages since we filled in the order form. I spent a lovely morning with my daughter (aged 7) sorting out the seeds and she enjoyed reading the backs of the packets to see which month we should start sowing each individual vegetable. There are masses of them and I know that the greenhouse will soon be heaving with trays of seedlings just waiting to burst forth into life.

We have decided to start very simply and grow most of the salads and vegetables that were successful in the garden last year, plus a few others. They are:- cauliflower - all the year round; cauliflower - avalanche; parsnip - tender and true; carrot - sugarsnax; broccoli - belstar; courgette - defender; beetroot - boltardy; onion - Bedfordshire champion; spring onion - white lisbon; radish - rougette; cucumber - burpless tasty green; tomato - balconi red; tomato - brandywine; tomato - ailsa craig; chilli - Thai dragon; chilli - numex twilight; chilli - Hungarian; chilli - jalapeno; chilli - cherry bomb; chives; parsley - French; coriander; and marjoram. In the garden we will be growing lettuce - little gem; basil; and wild rocket.

A quick tally of the total number of seeds is 4,600! Of course I'm not expecting all of them to germinate, but even if one half of them do, and then of those half that have germinated are then thinned out to produce strong, sturdy plants and I am left with one third of my original number, I'll have enough produce to feed our entire road.

Here's to sowing, and hopefully lots of growing.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

From the Air

I've just looked on "Google Earth" and found a good aerial shot of the allotment in all its glory. It is the two sections in the middle of the photo just above the green netting. You can see the storage area that the former owners put up in the top left hand corner of the plot. Needless to say, it will be removed soon as it is quite dilapidated and hopefully that is where we will be having the compost area.

The seeds, onion sets and potatoes have not arrived yet, but I am all geared up to get sowing as soon as they arrive. The sacks of compost are piled up, the pots and trays are ready and the greenhouse shelving has been cleaned in preparation. So now, as they say, we wait for the postman.

Monday, 15 January 2007

It's Begun!

Today my husband and I went to view an allotment that had been offered to us at the local allotment society. This will be my first allotment and I was so excited as I have been waiting for one to become vacant since last summer, and wasn't expecting it to happen this year. The site is a half plot (about all we could manage at the moment) and was cultivated up until December last year, so it doesn't look too bad. The photo shows its current state. It faces due south so will be sun-baked in the hot weather - good for growing my husband's favourite vegetable - chillies!

The reasons we have decided to get an allotment are:-
  • to grow a wide variety of organic fruit and vegetables for the family
  • I have outgrown the available space in our garden
  • It will be fun

We will take possession of the site in about mid-late March so in the meantime we have ordered seeds, onion sets and potatoes and as soon as they all arrive sowing will start in earnest.

I hope to post at regular intervals as things progress.