Have I just taken the final steps into old lady-hood? I enjoy knitting and embrace an early night. Now I am so excited to have an allotment. Surely, I only have to acquire a taste for sherry. I could time-hop from 42 years old to 62 in the time it takes for a blue rinse to set.
I’ve lived in my house for over 16 years and I didn’t know that this secret allotment existed 600 paces from my front door. Over one hundred plots hidden behind a converted warehouse.
After the application had been submitted, I was lucky enough to be given guardianship within a week.
My husband and I spent 5 annual leave days digging over the plot, rotovated in some well rotted horse manure and erected a poly tunnel. Hard work done, the business of growing can begin.
Digging time is thinking time. Many people must have tended this ground before me. Perhaps a family depended on the plot for veggies during the war. I am committed to the allotment, my life doesn’t depend on it. I won’t be the last person to dig the ground so felt acutely aware of my place; I don’t own the allotment but am it’s guardian while it’s in my care. This patch of ground, will eventually be nurtured by someone else. I feel lucky to have it.
Being obvious newbies, other allotment-eers were keen to give advice, lend books, comment on how much work we would need to do. Advice was contradictory, but encouragement was unanimous.
In the first few days we were brought gifts of fresh veg from fellow allotmenteers. I don’t turn down food (genetic problem!) but two people can only make a small dent in a carrier bag of runner beans.
So, this 120 square meter patch of ground has become part of my life while I’m not riding my Triumph. I hope to grow enough veggies to make up the majority of our diet; good for our diet and saving money. The allotment will be a connection between our food and the earth; good for the soul.
Fresh air, hard work and an appreciation that food is anything but fast.