My Allotment: What I've Learned This Year
This question was posed recently over at UK Veg Gardeners and I realised I've learnt quite a bit over the past few weeks, never mind this year. Possibly not the kind of things Jo had in mind though ;)
- Nettles bite even when dead - my legs have just gone a bit tingly again at the memory
- Growing your own bamboo canes isn't perhaps the wisest thing to do - especially when it decides to grow under your compost bins and out the other side. I'm growing Phyllostachys nigra by the way - a bamboo I thought wasn't that invasive
- Wasps attack bees - I witnessed a very aggressive chasing off of a bumble bee from the raspberry patch a couple of weeks ago
- The rootstock used for my Victoria plum is a thorny beast, as my head found out recently (and how come I didn't notice it had sprouted until it was nearly 8 foot high?)
- You'll never know what you'll find buried on a plot. I'd got used to finding dozens of bags of soot, bits of twisted metal, rotting wood, baler twine, empty plastic bottles of a dubious nature, enough carpet to cover the entire plot and loads of gaffer tape, but suitcases????
- Who needs a diet or gym membership, when there's major allotment clearing to do? I certainly didn't - I lost half a stone in 3 weeks and can now do a passable attempt at the atlas stones game after taking 90x50 litre bags of rubbish to the dump. But when the top picture is transformed to the one below, it's got to be worth it...
Perhaps the most important thing I've learnt is sometimes you need to nearly lose something to understand its true value. I've had notice to quit on half of my plot this year owing to various circumstances and apart from the disappointment of losing the means for us to be self-sufficient in vegetables (and almost in fruit), I felt that the heart was being ripped out of this blog. I don't always write loads about what I'm doing up at the plot, but it is where most of my ideas and musings pop into my head.
Thankfully NAH has now agreed to be a lot more helpful around the plot and our combined efforts over the past few weeks resulted in me receiving the bill for a full sized plot on Saturday. Never has a demand for money been more welcome! Perhaps I need to rename NAH to AH from now on?