Sunday, 16 October 2016

Tidying Up The Vegetable Plots And An Allotment Tale..

Anybody want a bad back?  Here's a photograph of one of my vegetable plots.  It's been dug over trenched and had many dollops (wheelbarrows) of home made compost distributed and deposited on the plot.  A tidy plot makes the gardener happy and the Robins like the worms.

I miss my allotments that I use to rent back in Blighty.  There was always somebody to have a laugh and joke with and tell you how you weren't doing your plot right.  I remember one man in particular who use to give all the new allotment holders his "perfect allotment"  advice.  

Then one day the penny dropped in my head.  I decided to go and have a butcher's at allotment guru's plot.  It was all over grown apart from a couple of slug laced cabbages, supermarket trolley's (onion dryer), council 'men at work' signs and a mighty home made shed with an old front door (22 Acacia Avenue - Iron Maiden song!) attached to it with six hinge (inch) nails in the hinges.  The allotment castle was obviously somewhere to escape from the missus and sup your cans of cheap German supermarket beer.  It's sounds like Heaven doesn't it?  Well apart from the cheap beer.

Who is that red and grey striped creature with the Azada?  Why it is me of course.  These pictures were taken last week.  Today it's throwing it down, for a change.   

Do you think smallholding life can be very isolated?  Perhaps I could make some of the land into allotments instead of fields?  It really annoys me that you get people in towns and cities on allotment waiting lists and the countryside is just full of mono-culture - grass!  What do you think?


  1. There are quite a few farmers and smallholders renting out their fields as allotments in areas of high demand. Depends whether you have anyone sufficiently local who wants an allotment. My experience of trying to share bits of countryside is that locals aren't interested, it's folks from far away and they can't come regularly.

  2. Thanks Sarah. The rural Ireland I remember visiting when I was a child in the 1960's and seventies is far different from living here now. Every farm grew a field of vegetables for their family and Mangels and cow cabbages for their horse and cattle. In my experience most of the locals don't seem interested and it's usually the people from other countries who move here and tend vegetable plots. I think it would be good if more people were allowed to live in the countryside.

    People like HFW and the National Trust have done some incredible work in the UK with the Land-share scheme. It saddens me that there are waiting lists for allotments in the UK and there is so much of the countryside under grass or even idle. Thanks for your thoughts Sarah.

  3. I love the idea of turning fields into allotments, there is a scheme called Planet One it helps people set up off grid homes on land and work the land, I have only given it a glance.
    I dont mind the isolation, :-)

    1. Hi Dawn, The amount of empty and derelict farmsteads we see in Ireland is startling I think it would be great if governments allowed landowners to rent or sell off bits of land or derelict properties and bring life back to the countryside. Planet One sounds wonderful.

      We drove through a village the other day and the grocers was up for sale and the pub had closed down. Rural life needs a shot in the arm. Thanks!

  4. We had an allotment in the UK, but it only lasted for a month or so because Lester felt crowded in by everyone. He was not long in the UK after having lived in South Africa for most of his life, so it was not easy for him to be closely surrounded by the other folk as they worked on their allotments.
    We are not isolated here, but it is very quiet and tranquil, which we both enjoy. We can go for days without speaking to anyone else, and hardly anyone comes visiting which is alright by us!

    1. Hi Vera. I think it's a lot easier to live in the countryside if you are born or grown up there. Where I live we have houses near us and most people just keep to their selves apart from an occasioanl talk or wave when they drive past.

      Eco villages appeal to me and would bring a lot of life back to the countryside which seems so empty in the day time. Most people seem to drive miles to work in the towns and cities. I think there is a camaraderie on allotments that I miss living on a smallholding. Thanks!

  5. Looks kike back-breaking work, but the satisfaction of seeing it finished is immense.

    Some new allotments being created here after the closure of the old well-established site a couple of years ago. The size is about half the old norm of 30' x 100', probably on the grounds that a smaller size is more likely to be fully worked.

  6. Hi Cumbrian, It is back breaking work but worth it when it's done.

    I think they use to measure them in rods and poles? You are right a smaller allotment is easier worked and easier to maintain. My dad use to say it only takes 3 months for a plot to go wild. I have seen some allotments with their own shop to buy seed and compost.., and they had work parties to keep everywhere tidy.

    Like the idea of new allotments. A lot of old allotments are full of rubbish, club root and the like. Well they were when I lived in Blighty over fifteen years a go. There weren't waiting lists like there are now. A lot of allotments were overgrown too. All credit to the younger generations and the interest in people growing their own again.

  7. HFW has done a huge amount for the country via his River Cottage programmes. More people are into where their food comes from and having a go at growing it for themselves.

    We are at a crossroads right now. Throw it all in and try and get land. Or buy a small house mortgage free near the sea. We really dont know what ot do with ourselves. It is now or never. Although with Brexit, maybe the house with no mortgage is the best option.

  8. HFW is the John Seymour of this century Sol. River Cottage must have inspired lots of people to get their own smallholding or rent an allotment.

    Brexit is a big worry on both sides of the Irish sea. Cattle are back fifty Euros an head because the weak Pound means less imports to the UK.

    You can buy seaside properties on the Continent but will they let us live there if we don't have freedom of movement and to be able to live there. I am going to apply for an Irish passport to prove my Irish citizenship. It's about time the UK government told us what is happening with Brexit. Thanks!


A Bucket Full Of Dandelions.

 No not yet another name for a Prog Rock group or even a concept album title. Remember that tv drama 'A Bouquet Of Barbed Wire'?  I ...