This is clearly a case of copywriting cutbacks. Two weeks of blogging being rolled into one. Or is just a case of extreme tardiness? Whatever the excuse, this is the tale of the past 2 weeks on the allotment Chezjoie and David!
Now this carrot … please don’t get excited … it’s only A carrot. Just the one! And it’s finally popped its head up after all those weeks of waiting. On the downside, this isn’t one of the ‘Good Life’ carrots, but one of the conventionally sown seeds. But it has given me fresh hope that perhaps soon, we might have a few more to boast about. By the way, I hasten to add this picture is a close up and these are not huge great clods of soil!
The Bank Holiday weekend gave us extra time to enjoy the allotment and the opportunity to get some much needed planting done. Our first job was to strip last season’s Perpetual Spinach of its final offering and empty the beds ready for this year’s crop. In our rotation system, roots follow brassica so these beds were destined for a good digging over.
The warm dry weather has meant the ground has become quite hard and even getting the fork in was challenging. Digging in solid earth is difficult at the best of times, but since having some minor toe surgery 2 weeks ago, I’m confined to flip flops or open-toed sandals … not the best footwear for wielding a fork!
The weekend was tinged with sadness when I found, while digging out the spinach, a dead mole just sitting in the top of the soil. I will admit to coming over all ‘girlie’ and upset, because I was sure I had caused his demise and stabbed him with the fork. David kindly came to my rescue and removed him (or her). He showed no signs of having been stabbed, much to my relief (the mole that is … not David!), but we did hear the ‘Rat Man’ had been putting down poison on the plots, so wonder if perhaps he was an unintended victim. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mole before … in real life anyway and he was really quite beautiful. I know they’re pests and not the gardener’s best friend, but I couldn’t help but feel sad to think he’d spent his last hours hiding under the spinach.
A week on and we were back at the plot. There is still no advance on A carrot in the original beds and I am close to admitting defeat. On the other hand, the carrots sown conventionally a few weeks later seem to understand the rules of engagement and are sprouting nicely, thank you.
We’ve reached quite a heady stage with the allotment now. It is (or was a few days ago) almost weed-free, all seeds sown, all plantlets happily growing in their new beds … and we don’t have anything to do! The spring greens (or early summer ones) are being harvested as we need them … the contents of the totebag compost bin has been transferred, and packed up nice and tight in one of the wooden bays, ready to mature until the autumn.
Well OK, the Cosse Violette French beans are scheduled for next weekend’s planting along with 2 more courgettes! But what to do with the spare time? Gluttons for punishment that we are, our thoughts are now turning to applying for Allotment Number 2! Unlike most places, there is no waiting list for the William Fowler Allotments in Chipping Norton, so we wouldn’t be depriving anyone else.
But of course, if I can only find time to blog every two weeks, do we have time to recover another wilderness? Will our hearts rule our heads or will reason and logic prevail?