Saturday, 31 October 2015

Welcome To Our Allotment...

Welcome to our allotment.... I have been taking lots of photos over the past few months with the  intention of blogging about my allotment plot. So I thought it's about time I share them with you.

This is my baby boy when he was about 18 months old, he's now 4 and half. Love having a big boy but still I miss this little man watering his sunflower plants. 
And of course Little Lady giving the orders. She is very good at overseeing all the goings on at the allotment.

Four years ago when Little Man was only a baby we decided to take on a small allotment plot at our local field. The main reason, other than to grow veg, was to create an outdoor space for my children to play. This was my idea of a perfect place to learn about the world. I wanted more than our back garden for my little boy. I wanted for him what I had when I was growing up, freedom to explore on his own without a care in the world. The great outdoors where you could create memories spending hours on end playing. This is a relatively safe space where my children can get muddy, do real digging with real little person tools, plant their own seeds and watch things grow. This is where they can build dens, play games with the other children on the site and explore with all their imagination.

We are really lucky that our site has lots of other families with children about the same age. We often get together and like to share ideas, plants, seed, veg. It really is a wonderful community to be part of. Everyone looks out for each other and helps a little where they can. Our site is also full of animals. We don't have our own chickens or goats or anything like that but do enjoy visiting the resident animals at our allotment site. They are always very keen to eat our leftovers too.

Since we first arrived we have expanded our plot quite a bit taking on two other plots next to ours and now we have a rather large space. Our plot is a constant work in progress and it isn't posh, please excuse the weeds. It changes each year depending on the latest project ideas and for of crop rotation. Our original plot is home to all our fruit bushes; raspberries, gooseberries, currants bushes among some. We also have a huge globe artichoke plant, rhubarb, strawberries plants and recently planted asparagus. We make lots of jam and freeze fruit for puddings and cakes to enjoy during the winter months. 

The other two plots are where we grow the real veg. This year we have grown all the usual things you would expect to see on an allotment but have added in some extras for their beauty, colour and interest. I have tried Kohlrabi, Borlotti beans, climbing purple french beans this year. We have also attempted and failed at growing sweet potatoes and baby corn. The baby corn was really easy to grow and would have been a great success but we didn't harvest it early enough unfortunately. You can't win them all. This is something you have to accept when you have a big allotment, or any veg patch in fact, sometimes things fail miserably. Last year we had no onion at all. They all failed. All because I planted the set too deep and we watered too much. This year I simply sat them in the soil, just enough that they didn't fall over, we didn't water them and they grew, every last one of them. We have onions coming out of our ears! Instead potatoes weren't great this year.

We are now about to start packing up the plot for the year. Everything but some kale and a few brussel sprouts growing over winter will need clearing ready for next year. We are already planning what we will do in the spring.  I am hoping to improve the play equipment we have for the children and would like to add a playhouse for Little Lady. This will involve finding one for free as we try not to spend money on the allotment but hopefully Freecycle will come up trumps for us. We also want to build a bug hotel and a mud kitchen. Planting plans will be the same as always with the hope we might tone down our aspirations and be a bit more sensible but I doubt it. 

Thank you for taking the tour. 

xx Sarah xx