This week was chilly, very chilly! The ground was to frozen to dig and even too frozen to weed! Our new allotment friends the moles seem to have been unperturbed by this frosty ground, atleast our soil must be good. Luckily the tea wasn’t frozen, and delicious. Today we enjoyed ginger and turmeric, and dandelion and burdock.
There was still somethings to do. Frank cut our dishevelled green house into small car sized pieces. The rest of us, and then Frank, gave the apple tree a haircut so hopefully this year’s apples will slightly more healthy.
Even the sun was pale today!
It’s 2017! Goodbye 2016 and your excessive culling of dearly loved figures of popular culture! Hello 2017, a year of great times ahead!
We broke ourselves in gently with some light weeding and digging over of a few beds. We also consumed some frankly essential tea, as well as resuming our recycling and composting.
We made a few nice surprises, one was the first shoots of some rhubarb, and growth on our fruit bushes. It wasn’t all casual weeding, Mike released the apple tree from it’s thorny prison of brambles while Shallots were planted. Simon turned our bed into a zen garden.
Our beds are ready, perhaps we might be ready for the planting season?!
This week we turned over more beds, and battled with the compost containers. We opened our hearts to three soon to be homeless herbs and a hyacinth bulb. Those are really the only constructive things we did.
A great amount of time was devoted to drinking tea and enjoying the sun, as we discussed everything from quinces to some certain recent political event. Rose Lemonade tea and a delicious Marigold /Peppernint/Lemon blend went down very well. There was even cake! Truly a terribly civilised Sunday morning.
We just need to decide what to plant!
This week was largely spent burning things. Head fire starter Mike prepared a roaring fire, into which we put as much of the waste wood and grass we could. Strangely hypnotic we still found time to discuss the various mushrooms found growing on the allotment and that continuously contentious presidential election.
With a small eye on the fire though, as small bits tried to escape. It was not a good day for health and safety. The fire Mike made was also a powerful thing, and will certainly be the end of this poor rusty barrel. We did manage to sort the rubish which was one productive thing. We were also donated by a neighbour the frame for a greenhouse table which was very kind, we’re very grateful. No doubt Frank can fix it into some masterpiece.
At the other allotment we helped Pat burn more things and marvelled at the amount of growth still happening. The wild flower bed is now a carpet of future flowers. And there are still raspberries! Delicous yellow ones.
Nature is amazing!
At the allotment this week we discovered the mysteries of the corner!
At our first allotment Frank fixed things and we weeded. We also got to enjoy harvesting some vegetables that seemed relatively unscathed by insects. Maybe it’s the weather, whatever it is the nasturtiums are loving it and bigger and better than ever!
Meanwhile, in the corner we outlined and dug a new bed. It’s curved again to help biodiversity, we are assured, and frankly Sunday morning proved to not be the time for calculating surface area so we’ll go with it. In the corner (pause for effect) however we found a mature sage plant hidden in the grass. We also found blue mushrooms. The corner certainly is a mysterious place (made quickly less mysterious by Google)! Perhaps an ancient disturbed corner spirit or perhaps as it has been suggested a child’s toy, we also encountered a marvellous tiny badger! There were of course more potatoes in this new bed, we are being stalked by vegetables!
Another fun day’s adventure at the allotment.
Join us on Thursday for our communal meal, our celebration of the produce we’ve grown and the harvest season! The meal will include a vegan tagine and curry made by Cantiaci member and Kipps’ chef Nick Todd.Delicous raw vegan treats will also be made by Klara Darkly.
We can’t wait to try them and see you all there! For more information and the Facebook event click here.
Work on the second allotment has been progressing, with one bed now ready for planting (when will that be though?) and another halfway. It’s rewarding to be digging and turning the soil, removing the grass roots until we have a fine soil ready for planting. During the process we found ourselves musing over a whole range of political topics, from gender identity to the arms trade and veganism to the US presidential elections. It’s good to have a Sunday morning chinwag on these important topics.
As well as chatting we also did some work, including clearing out the greenhouse, digging the beds in it and planting some winter spinach seeds.
We have put carpet down where the two rows of raspberries will be going to try and kill off the weeds ready for when we move our canes in November. The raspberries at the first allotment are far too crowded and are suffering because of it so when they’re dormant we’ll thin them out and transport some to the new site.
Meanwhile, we’re also planning the layout of the new allotment. So far we have some curved beds (these improve biodiversity, apparently), a wildlife pond, a wildlife border and a seating area planned. Frank has also donated a pile of gardening books for the growing Cantiaci library and Rebecca has found some wooden stools left out at the side of the road so we’ll soon have a nice little area to sit and chill out with a book and cup of tea.
Speaking of chilling out, on the way home we stopped off at the Peene Railway Museum where they had lots of lovely fresh apple juice being pressed. Nom nom!
It’s still very early days for this second allotment and if you would like to help out, have a say in what we grow there and get some tasty fresh organic produce do get in touch. Being a group allotment the commitment is not as extreme as taking on an allotment of your own – we all cover for each other when members of the group can’t make it, so it’s a good way of learning about growing vegetables without taking on too much.