The Allotment Diary: Rich Pickings

The last few weeks have seen the allotment at Newington really take off. After their slow start (damn you, slugs!) the runner beans have been cropping well, our rhubarb plant continued to produce some fantastic stalks of rhubarb (more cordial straining as I type), . we pulled out some HUGE beetroots from the ground and squashes of all shapes and sizes are coming along nicely. We have round ones, pear-shaped ones, trombone-shaped ones and there are probably some ordinary sausage-shaped courgettes somewhere too. Frankly, it’s getting hard to remember what we planted. And it turns out Sharpie ink on plastic fades to nothing…

The only minor disappointment was our potatoes. We didn’t seem to dig up as many as we had hoped we would – some plants only seemed to have a couple of potatoes and we’re not sure why. Next time we’re going to try growing them in raised planters instead, as members of the group have had success this way before.

There is also big news in the allotment world… *drumroll* we have been offered another allotment space a few patches over from our existing one!

We did briefly have two allotments but the other was across town and we just didn’t have the manpower to manage two sites, especially in spring when there was so much work to be done at the original allotment.

We can look after this one on our usual trip so hopefully it’ll do well – but we will certainly be looking for more volunteers so if you would like to get your hands dirty and try some gardening do get in touch. Sunday morning is our regular slot and some members pop up during the week to check on things. It’s a great learning experience for everyone so if you want to find out about growing your own food, or if you know a bit already but want to be able to try out some gardening techniques then email us on folkestonecantiaci@gmail.com. It’s also perfect for anyone who has always wanted an allotment but wouldn’t have the time to manage a whole one.

The new site is very overgrown with grass and brambles but it is lovely – it’s right at the back by the field so away from the road and there is already an established apple tree, plus a shed (needs a new roof) and a greenhouse (needs glass!) and we’re thinking a little outdoor dining area would be nice for relaxing sometimes. And because it’s overgrown it is full of wildlife – including the biggest grasshoppers/crickets I’ve ever seen and a camera-shy lizard so we’ll have to make sure that we keep it very wildlife-friendly with places for reptiles and insects to live. Watch this space!

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