*Ad-Gifted. Plants and seeds mentioned in this post are gifted. All opinions my own.
I have some very distinct memories from my young childhood which I think I have mentioned before. My grandpa, who sadly died when I was 6 years old, was the most amazing gardener. He and my Nanny had a really long garden and so he converted one side and the bottom into an at home allotment. There was a giant cherry tree, apples and pears, blackcurrants, raspberries, runner beans and so much more that I cannot even remember. I am pretty sure I remember carrots, potatoes and onions in there too. I’d be out there in my little wellies, doing all I could to help, especially around picking time when my knees would be covered in mud and my fingers (and mouth) stained with delicious fruit juices. When he died, I didn’t really do much in the way of actual gardening until I was much older and even then, the extent of what I did was either weeding, or following instructions from my mum who definitely inherited the green fingers. If I am honest, I didn’t have much appreciation for it; I liked the way gardens looked and crops tasted when you worked at them, but I just saw it all as hard graft. The last year though, a kind of switch has come about and things have changed and now I love being outside, doing what I can, especially with Alyssa and watching things grow. So, what next? Well, I now have an allotment!
I know… I can hardly believe it myself. I have an allotment. That still seems really strange. So how did I go from weeding and taking instructions to diving in head first and bagging myself a plot?! Last year, I was fortunate enough to spend quite a bit of time at an allotment, less time in the early stages but more and more throughout the year. Alyssa and I both did and to my utter shock and surprise, it was relaxing. Don’t get me wrong, the graft got you in the muscles you didn’t know you had, but actually both physically and mentally it made me feel better than I had in a long time.
Not only that, but Alyssa adored being up there and watching things grow. She’d sit in the little directors chair, with her drink and snack, surveying the area. She’d nip behind the runner beans for a quick toilet break if needed. She would help to pick the crops and dig and carry things we were given home. She loved it. Not only that though, but she started eating. Thanks to her battles up until May last year with her adenoids and tonsils, I had a VERY fussy eater who was limited to about 6 foods pretty much. However, being down there and helping and watching things grow and picking them and then helping to cook them has made a world of difference. She has gone from a beige food eater to eating Potatoes (not just as chips) carrots, peas, sweetcorn, parsnip, sweet potato, cucumber, tomatoes (sometimes) onion, garlic, peppers, beans, green beans and so much more. I even got her to try brussel sprouts but they were a no as was cauliflower which is fair enough because you cannot like everything.
All of these things combined made me think that both Alyssa and I would really like a little patch to have a go at, plus it would be really useful for an exciting new project I have launching very soon (but more on that later.) The call came in the other day and now… I have an allotment. How do I feel?
Could not be more terrified.
You’re probably thinking why? It is just a piece of garden. Well, it is because I am worried that maybe I don’t have the green fingers others do. That I am going to spend a load of money and just kill it all. It is a little daunting… especially when you look at it it it’s current state – eek! However, I have bought a couple of really good books, am watching some no dig videos on Youtube recommended to me and of course I can always ask for advice.
I am delighted to say that I will be teaming up with the amazing Thompson and Morgan who have kindly gifted me A LOT of plants and seeds – from the desired strawberries to kale and elephant garlic to a kiwi plant and more. I am so excited to get started and get growing…first step, clear the land. Wish me luck on my new allotment adventure.