Monday, July 14, 2008

New Kid on the Plot

So we have an allotment.  We also have a contract.  A contract that says we will do three things in the first three months of being given an allotment:
    1. Ensure that allotment is readily identifiable by clearly displaying our plot no. (3b)
    2. Rough dig entire plot (approx. 52' x 26', and covered in weeds, the previous "tenants" were kicked off)
    3. Ensure all the edges and paths are clearly defined
Well No. 1, is done, the plot was already marked when we got there.  No. 3 I'm doing as I go.  No. 2, is part way there, this weekend marked the completion of a little under half the plot being dug.  I'm really pleased with myself because I've only really been able to start digging this weekend because of trying to clear the weeds, which means we're on target to meet the contract deadline of three months.  So long as my body doesn't fail me in the meantime, because this morning I ache bad!
Now I spent Saturday morning digging, Saturday afternoon I spent hoovering (the house not the allotment), Sunday, all day I spent digging.  My day started at 9am on Saturday, and finished at 4 and at 10am on Sunday and finished at 4.  Add to that the leaving do I went to on Friday night where considerable alcohol was consumed, I was very surprised not to feel hungover on Saturday.  I think at the end of it all my body will get used to this new "exercise", truth told it could do with it.  It also seems to be good mental exercise, because it seems to clear my mind as I work, nothing much in there at the best of times, but it's definitely clear while I'm digging.  The digging is a fork at a time, turn it over, pull out the weeds, break up the soil and then carry on.  It's quite slow going, but I can see progress.  I stop at the end of every other row for a break and a swig from my water bottle, it's thirsty work 'coz I'm getting through about 4 litres just while I'm there.
Then there is my new neighbours.  Being the new kid on the plot, I have four "new" neighbours, plus other nearly neighbours.  There's Ron and Peter who are alongside me.  Both nice, and I already have some squash plants growing thanks to Peter.  Then there's Margaret, who is also my real next door neighbour at home (bit of a coincidence that).  Finally I have a mystery fourth neighbour.  We haven't met yet, but I want to, because he/she (I'm gonna go for she here until I know otherwise, I just have that feeling from looking at her plot) has bird boxes, and mason bee houses on her shed, and it really looks like a truly "organic" plot.  Other nearly neighbours include Steve, who I met by the gate on the first day, and haven't spoken to since, but we kinda wave and nod and then Dave, who is also the site manager and keeping an eye on me as a newbie to ensure I don't step out of line.  I am sure others will appear, there were plenty of people about on Saturday and Sunday, who I didn't get a chance to talk to.
We're bringing along some seedlings that we should be able to plant out soon, and I've also got some plug plants on mail order for the middle of August to give us some winter salad and spring vegetables.  It's soon going to be all go on the plot.

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