Monday, January 2, 2012
First day at the allotment
"We're not going to be allowed to use hoses"
"Really?! There's no way we can water our plots with watering cans, that's how to do your back in".
"I think that's what it said. I need to read it again".
I feel my blood boiling every time I hear about the council's plans for the allotments.
We'd been on the plot five minutes when I lost my temper with my boy who went stomping over my transplanted strawberries after I asked him not to. My husband went back home to get a football. While he was gone my boy picked up the camera. Lately this has been a great way to keep him occupied. He took the photo of Colin the Crow and our dog.
I got to work pruning the brambles, or blackberries. They are a hybrid variety planted by the woman who owned the plot before me. We get huge, juicy fruits. It's a bit of a shambolic hedge but does work really well as a boundary, spreading in tangled loops up the side of the allotment. I cut the fruited branches back to the main stems, cut out all the dead wood and trimmed back the rest to a bud, thinking about which direction the bud would grow in. My camera battery ran out before I could take more detailed photos. It's not the conventional way to grow blackberries but I don't care, it works for me.
I sowed some oriental leaves under fleece in autumn and some of it has come up. I can't remember what it's called and couldn't read the lolly stick. I went home with a couple of beetroots, some brussels sprouts and my first proper harvest of purple sprouting broccoli. It was just starting to flower, I think I got there just in time. Tasted so delicious. Sometimes I get just one or two meals out of the small amount of veg I grow. It's worth it! My brussels were pretty disappointing but when I discovered a few perfectly formed ones I was delighted. There's nothing like growing, harvesting and cooking your own.