Saturday, 24 January 2009

The Big Dig

Today we have started clearing our new allotment. It was totally overgrown as you can see on the 'before' picture here. Long couch grass and lots of thistles everywhere. We also found a shoe, a sandal, a bag of dog poo, lots of plastic bottles, toys and bits of concrete. As the plot has not been in use for at least 5 years it seems that people have been using it to dump their garbage on it. Well they better not do that now that we have taken it on!

We got stuck right in with the help of our good friend Bethan. We have promised her a regular supply of fresh vegetables and fruit in return and hopefully the allotment will help us deliver on our promise. But she seemed to be happy to help and enjoy the day as much as we did.

Mattias set off with the strimmer and started having a go at cutting the grass down. He looked like a pro from the beginning! Petra and Bethan followed him gathering all the cut grass to pile it up so that we can burn it once it is dry. We got as far as cutting everything once and then almost half the plot a second time before the strimmer decided it had enough. We still need to cut the remaining grass a second time as some bits were still very long. But the strimmer would just not have any of it. So all we could do was to start digging. We came a lot of roots as we were digging away. The size of some of the roots were insane and we found two potatoes and a carrot growing in there. And a lot of worms too which we think is a good sign!

In the end we managed to dig over almost half the plot - that is all that had been cut down twice was then dug up and turned over. If the strimmer could have finished the work and cut down the rest, then we would easily have been able to complete the whole dig today. Once we got going, we really got into it and we could have finished the rest in a couple of more hours. Now we will leave it for a week before we can finish the rest of the plot. In any case, we are now well on the way and feel that we really accomplished something today. Just look at the 'after' picture. We think it is a really good start to our allotment adventure. .

Thank you to Bethan for all your help today! We definitely needed it!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Cold frame

The cold frame I ordered on the weekend arrived and is now put together and in place on the roof terrace. Really looking forward to starting using it soon. In the meantime I have put the garlic I planted before christmas inside it and left it open. As it has been raining so much recently I worry that the budding garlic bulbs will start rotting if I can not protect them against all the rain.
We will need to start thinking about what to start growing in the cold frame and when to place it there and when to transfer it to the allotment. We will learn as we go along, that is for sure.

Saturday, 17 January 2009


At the end of 2008 we went to see the overgrown allotment plot that had become available that we were about to adopt. There was only one word that could describe it... overgrown! Turns out the previous allotment holders to plot 58S had not used it for at least 5 years. As a result we have long couch grass and lots of thistles to deal with.

Keen to start, the recent cold weather have somewhat stalled our attemp to clear the plot of the grass and thistles. But now we are set for the next weekend together with some friends to clear it and start preparing it for the coming year. A year that hopefully will bring us lots of fresh organic vegetables and also some fruits.