Friday, October 28, 2011

Pleased to meet you

At my allotment I like to: weed the beds, sow seeds, plant out, provide protection, lie on the grass, have picnics, chat to neighbours, take photos and harvest. I enjoy looking at tadpoles, grasshoppers, slow worms, dragon flies, and ladybirds with my son.

Last week we had an allotment meeting. Quite a number turned up and a new committee was formed. We are a mixture of young and old, men and women with a few kids and dogs too. One elderly man said he thought the site looked awful. Years ago it was neat and tidy. But years ago they were spraying it with every chemical going to keep it neat and tidy. Maybe it's time to change our idea of what a 'good' allotment is.

Cleared earth isn't good for the soil. Neither is constantly digging it. Long grass attracts insects and wild life. Does a family need rows and rows of runner beans? And we don't need to grow the most giant onion really do we? A few edible plants, fruit, herbs, perennials mixed up with some flowers in soil that is rarely bare and is fed regularly is a healthy allotment. A plot that has some wild areas, log piles, homes for bees, ladybirds and bugs is a 'good' allotment.

When I was last there I rescued a lizard from a bucket of water on an abandoned plot. It was a good day's work.


  1. I'm with you all the way on this - perhaps our generation could teach the old ones a thing or two.

  2. I think some of them would have trouble listening Elaine (and not because of hearing problems). Still, I love the mix of young and old at the allotment even with our opposing views!

  3. A woman after my own heart.....I can't cope with the giant veg brigade, although we do have rows of peas etc and I give away extras or make lots of soup. How do you cope with the chemicals other use leaching onto your patch?
    The lizard is a wonderful creature. I've only seen them abroad.

  4. I've never seen anyone use chemicals on the allotment. The one above is organic, and I think the one to the left (new tennant). The one to the right might be. He's old and has been ill lately so his is not as tidy as it used to be, the one below is a new couple and they haven't been up much so lots of long grass. I'm practically in a nature reserve; I love it. I feel very honoured to have held this little lizard. Absolutely beautiful.


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