I have been silent. Work at the plot has mostly been a hard work and many disappointments.
Grow your own books and magazines offer lots of advice on dealing with weeds, disease and pest. What they don’t prepare you for is how you feel as you slog through the problems, that each of us will have a unique experience of common troubles. My beautiful, healthy garlic patch destroyed by rust. Every single bean, courgette and sunflower seedling devoured by slugs and snails. Horse tail thriving everywhere, I pulled out four bin bags of the stuff on Friday (no surprise here – it was allowed spread with glee last year.)
All I remember from watching the BBC’s Big Allotment Challenge were the beautiful, weed free, turned plots handed to the contestants. Imagine. That’s. What. You. Got. When. You. Got. An. Allotment.
I got this:
and now I have this:
The National Allotment and Gardeners Society say that most people give up their site within the first year because they didn’t realise how much work was involved. That on average allotmenteers spend 203 hours per year on their plot (or four hours a week). But it’s not the tending of crops or preparing the soil that wears us down. I think it’s the effort and toil in winning the war of attrition against what already lurks on the plot.
The beautiful weed free neighbouring plots have 25 years of cultivation and experience in their history. There is great beauty to be found amongst my weeds. I love the towering teasel plants and the pretty red clover. I know with time I will win the right balance between wild and food.