|Ben, Michael & in the background Jenny|
filling the birds feeders
There are soooo many jobs that need to be done before the start of the new growing season. I managed to recruit Ben and Michael to help dig the two beds I am going to plant the potatoes in this year. They were on loan to from my neighbours The Community Plot and they made short work of digging the beds. Some how the path between the beds disappeared, but hey ho grass grows very well on my plot . All I will need to do is fork it over and edge the the beds. It felt so good to see the beds beginning to be prepared for planting.
The Allotments are less relaxing now as the previous Chairman at the allotments retired and the New Chairman is a City Councillor and has not got his own plot yet! The waiting list for plots here is over 500 people and the Council is keen to get this down quickly. In April, May, June, July the number of Dirty Plot Letter quadrupled and anger grew as people whose plots were flooded for weeks on end got letters, Relentless every month these two people from the committee went round inspecting plots and drew up lists of dirty plots for the Allotment Officer to inspect and send out letters. He had no knowledge of horticulture and relied on the Committee Members to guide him. He is now assistant Parks Manager.
The anger also grew amongst people who worked as they had three months, from April to July when they could rarely get on to their plots to work on it, because weekend after weekend there was torrential rain. To receive a a Dirty Plot Letter in the post inflamed many of them.. Everyone had Crops fail because of the low light levels, the water table rising higher and higher and finally an army of slugs and snails emerged that ate many of seedlings and plants that were growing!. A miserable Spring and early Summer seasons compounded by two of the Allotment Committee members not supporting the plot holders but the Councillors and their eagerness to get the waiting list for allotments down.
New Plot holders were expected to have a perfect plot in weeks. I blame Joe Swift's TV program on Allotments, but that is another story, It took me eighteen months to get my plot fully productive after I took it over. Now there is an expectation that the plots should be 79% productive at all times. Errr last year I did not achieve that for more than a couple of months. Even the Potatoes had to be dug up early because of a blight scare, which left three beds empty,
When I saw the dastardly pair approaching with clipboard at the ready I felt tense and almost held my breathe until they passed without adding my plot to the list for a Dirty Letter. I became acutely aware of all the jobs I hadn't done at my plot and tt was a horrible feeling. Fortunately the Council has now employed someone who has worked in horticulture and I hope things will look up this year. I also hope that the weather will be much much kinder to all of us.
I love my plot and enjoy being there, surrounded by the fruit trees, bushes, plants, vegetables. I love the perennial and annual flowers I grow which draw in bees, and insects and wild life. It is my haven and retreat,
My daffodils and crocus are flowering, my fruit trees beginning to bud and I enjoyed two sunny, if cold, days at the allotments this week. Happy days - more please Mister God!
With Reiki blessing and Light