Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Winding Down

The allotment is winding down. We are letting it wind down permanently. Six years we have sown and nurtured and harvested, and weeded and planted and cleared up after the bloomin' foxes who seem to enjoy a nice Chinese takeaway and can of Coke on a Saturday night.

But it's time to stand down, to let someone else have a go. Our time has been taken over by other things, mostly work, and now we are a four hive family of bees, we have decided we would rather dedicate our weekend good life spot to them. The bees need us more than the courgettes do.

So we are planting no more. There is still some harvesting to do - tomatoes, courgettes, beans, parsnips and carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, scorzonera and salsify. And some greens. And some winter squash. And this weekend Andy brought home some grapes and a little melon!

But over Winter we shall dismantle the fruit cage and the polytunnel and store them ready for when we get our little cottage with a massive garden. We shall dig up some fruit canes, the grape vines and the herbs and bring them back home. Home will be our little veg plot from here on in. It's on our doorstep. We might not be able to grow the quantity, but we can still manage some quality. The back garden has delivered up unto us this year lettuce, tomato, cucumber, damsons, apples, beans, herbs and celery. Yes, celery! I am a big fan of celery so I am thrilled!

We are thinking that we shall manage quite nicely, growing produce from home. After all, we always grow more at the allotment than we can eat. We're going to plant a couple of cob nut trees. Have pots here and there. It'll be okay.

We shan't have to fret in dry spells about getting to the allotment to water it. Or fret about having to miss a weekend because it's tipping it down with rain. Home gardening will be more manageable, more time efficient. We'll be there, on the spot, to deal with problems when they arise, and potter about to pick produce at its peak.

And when we come to sell our house in three or four years' time, which is the plan, we shall have a lovely established garden that will show potential buyers exactly what can be achieved in a small space.

Part of me is sad because when we are at the allotment, we love it. And part of me is relieved that the sometimes pressure to keep on top of the weeds will be gone. And part of me thinks, 'We did it. We learned how to grow our own food, we have a skill and it's a skill we'll never forget.'

And when we get our enormous garden, we shall dive in and set up and grow and enjoy the whole full on veg experience again.

But now it's time to concentrate on other things.

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