Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas on the plot

Well, it's been an eventful year if nothing else.
It was very much like the girl with the curl, when it was bad it was very bad but when it was good, well, runner beans all round!
The experiments went well but the results were never predictable. The Three Sisters grew and were harvested but nowhere near in the way or to the extent that could have been forseen.
The melon lasted less than the time it took to prepare the soil and the donkey based manure failed to create as much interest as the Grand Pier.
On the plus side, the weather wasn't as bad as previously seen with less flooding,more sunshine and less drought. Only in this country can we experience both in a twelve month period.
Disease and pestilence were rife again, with the dreaded blight making a mark for the second year and Onion White Rot/Soft Shoulder hitting all the Allium family, including Shallots and Leeks. Those who grew potatoes found varying results, mainly depending on the variety of seed used.
There should always be a silver lining to these things and from this we can learn one thing: Choosing the correct variety can help defeat the ravages of the dreaded virus!
The future itself looks rosier with the uptake of allotment plots across the country continuing to rise and even the development of allotment associations growing. There is apparently even an association in Derby who are still looking for their first plot!
The green movement certainly helped but even those politically opposed to anything environmental will find the financial benefits of growing your own a bit difficult to ignore so expect the demand to grow even further.
It may be time to remind those still waiting that if a number of people gather and request more plots to be made available, the local authority is obliged to provide them with such plots.
The community spirit of my local site thrived this year, with the building of several sheds and compost bins with recycled wood donated by Somerset Wood Recycling. Several loads of stable manure of varying quality continue to arrive for free collection and are heartily cleared.
The two notice boards were full of interesting and relevant information although they were sadly not as often updated as they could have been but they are atleast udpated. I hasten to add this as this very blog hasn't really been as active as I would have liked either!
Meanwhile, as the sun has disappeared over the Gasometers for the last time this side of the 25th , I will take my spade back to the shed and settle down for another mince pie and a glass of homemade wine and wish you all a Happy Christmas and a successful New Year!

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