allotment plot back in May 2010 I have been in need of more space to grow all that I need for the kitchen. I had preconceptions about allotments prior to getting mine and what I didn’t bargain for was being allocated a quarter plot. I’m sure this is ample for most and with the current demand for space I guess a little land is better than none but I had plans, which were later scaled down. My quarter plot currently contains two 24ft x 6ft raised beds, an equally long soft fruit alley, a small cutting garden and my chickens. Suffice to say that this plot is now established and I’ve crammed it full to the hilt in order to maximize what I get out in return. It’s relatively maintenance free, only requiring heavy mulching in autumn with a layer of cardboard, chicken/horse manure and a tidy up every now and again. I still have plans to extend the chicken run around the back of the coop and complete the dead hedge, to square off the plot, but that is certain to happen this autumn/early winter.
After a pretty unremarkable week came an email that had me seriously excited. If anyone had actually seen me they would have thought that I had either just won the lottery or taken an overdose of stimulants, suffice to say I was rather happy. I had been offered the chance to expand my plot. But it was better than that, I had a choice of two plots. The first plot is directly above mine and is a half plot. It’s a well cared for and fertile space with established currant bushes the only downside, and it is a big downside, is that taking this on would mean that I would have to give up my current plot. I am not prepared to do that. It would entail leaving behind raised beds that I had spent ages enriching with compost, manure and fertilizer and moving the chicken coop and run, which is an almost impossible task on its own. The other option was to take on a quarter plot, which is towards the top of the site and this immediately stood out as a more exciting prospect. Plots at the top receive more sunlight and plants appear to thrive. This would give me great growing conditions and really help me to grow those vegetables that enjoy a warmer soil and plenty of sun. It could also allow me to erect a small poly-tunnel. The decision of which plot to take appeared pretty straightforward.
I met up with my allotment secretary yesterday so that she could outline the plot boundaries and I was not disappointed with what I saw. The plot has a gorgeous row of comfrey the whole length of the plot, I get through a lot of comfrey, and this immediately appealed. It also housed a herb garden, including sages, mints, chives, fennel and a curry plant, which I could put to good use. Of course, the plot was completely overgrown and has the national collection of docks growing on it but this was no real problem and I could do with the exercise anyway. What I didn’t anticipate was that this piece of land also came with an additional plot, which appeared to be even bigger again. On the additional land stood an old apple tree, mature blackcurrants, several large buddleias, a bamboo and a blackthorn. Below these lay old beds that lay in semi-shade, making it an unlikely candidate for prospective allotmenteers but absolutely perfect for me. To say that I was thrilled is an understatement and I said yes there and then. I even made a joke about getting a pig, which was received enthusiastically and I had to point out that I have enough animals at present, thank you very much!
Today I started work at the new plot. There was much gazing, pondering and planning to be done and after a quick tidy up of the grass path I started to weed the plot. Five wheelbarrows of weeds later and hardly a dent made I left the plot soaked through due to the ever-present (or so it seems) Welsh rain. Tomorrow’s outlook appears to be much better and I’ll save my energy for then. I cannot wait to see what this new plot brings and I am very keen to get it back to full production.