In a weekend of limited allotment-time, we managed a couple of quick trips up to the plot. Hearing that there was a skip on site, Kasia and I dashed up there on Friday after work to rid our patch of some of the larger bits of detritus still littering the place. I managed a few more hours on Saturday morning, which I spent raking and bagging as much of the broken glass, plastic and dried bits of wood that still sit on top of the soil we will one day grow stuff in.
There's just an unbelievable amount of this, but as much as possible of it needs removed now or we'll forever be picking bits of nasty crud out the ground. It's mostly in one particular section, which has just been used as a dump for years. I trundled bag after bag of it up to the skip, making the most of the journey back by retrieving some paving slabs we'd been told were up for grabs. By the time I left, the contrast from when we first visited the plot was marked enough for me to want to put a couple of pics side by side.
|Tidied up sheds|
But the real story of what's happened with this allotment in the last few weeks has got more to do with what's happened when we haven't been there than when we have. The amount of work that our neighbour Bob and others up there have put in to the plot is amazing; fires have burned, sheds have been painted, paths have been laid and plans are afoot to put up fences and set up barrels to collect water from the guttering that is yet to be put up. The dark nights are still stopping us doing much apart from at weekends, so turning up on a Saturday to see a whole bunch of construction and infrastructure work having happened in the days since the previous weekend is a dream. Never let it be said again that these retired baby boomers aren't making their fair contribution to the wellbeing of society!
The whole atmosphere around the place is great too; having been through the travails of a site heading for closure, it makes a massively welcome change to say hello to people who have a smile on their face.
Before leaving the site I had a good dig through the one bed we've got marked out so far. Never having been grown in, it's full of stones, the larger of which I removed. Once the worse of them were out, the soil is a lovely light tilth, with none of the clods of clay we're used to. I'm sure it'll need plenty of organic matter added over the next couple of years, but there's promise in these here hills. We'll need to get some spuds chitting!
I'm excited to see what Bob et al have done to the place by this Saturday. We're running out of ways to say thanks!