On January 1, 2018, I visit an allotment site with a view to take on a plot, I came away with two adjacent allotments measuring a total of 17m x 13.7m (56ft x 45ft). Along one side is a mainline railway track and a host of brambles dividing my boundary line and the track itself. Against the backdrop of a neighbouring plum tree sat a little shed from the previous owner. This came in handy for providing a place to store tools and shelter from the rain, especially during late Winter when it didn’t stop pouring down.
At the same time I was leaving an allotment which I had tended for 11 years, a much smaller plot on a different site. The plan was to run both together then give up the smaller plot once the bigger one was under control – a crazy plan. I realised this around late Spring.
At the start of Summer I erected a shed with the help of my friend Tamara and fellow plotter Sergio. The shed/summerhouse looked much bigger in real life than on paper and people on site started to comment on it. To cut a long story short I was asked by the Chairperson to remove the building for something smaller. I agreed with his reasons and was happy to take it down. You see, on my previous site even though there was a set of rules and regulations the committee allowed you to do whatever you wanted. So in a way it’s refreshing to know that I’m now on an allotment site where the rules are implemented, therefore everyone knows where they stand and everyone is treated the same way.
TAKING A BREAK
Mid-May and I decided to take a break from vlogging and gardening. The pressure of wanting to get the new allotment to a standard good enough for vlogging was making progress very slow. It was time to press the STOP button on everything. The Summer turned out to be one of the hottest on record. Daily temperatures of 28*c to over 30*c became the norm, once hitting above 38*c. So in a way I was glad I’d decided to take the Summer off from gardening especially as I find it hard to deal with heat over 23*c.
What has surprised me during the Summer is the amount of money I’m spending on fruit and vegetables! I never realised how self-sufficient I was until I stopped growing. Recently I bought an old fashioned weighing scales which I plan to keep in the shed and weigh everything that I harvest. It will be interesting to see, after a year, how much produce has been harvested and how much money has been saved when comparing it against the price in the supermarket. Follow my notes at https://diaryofaukgardener.com/costs/
During early August I had finally removed everything I wanted to keep from my previous allotment. Before I left I cut the grass and tried to make it look as presentable as possible. Maybe because of all the negative aspects over the past year but I was glad to leave. The early years were the best when there was a true sense of community. In more recent years the community has been lost. I’m happy to be leaving. Rusty the Allotment Cat who you would have seen in my videos will still be featured going forward as I’ve been spending the Summer training him to find my house and he now visits me for a few hours every morning for a cuddle and some food.
So that brings you up-to-date. It’s the final month of Summer and the heatwave is still burning everything to a crisp but now my head is clear and the main focus is this new allotment. Over the coming year I’ll be documenting my journey of turning this patch of grass and weeds into something productive, enjoyable and beautiful. First task, build a shed.Overview of the allotment in July 2018.
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