A is for …

August 2, 2011 at 9:12 pm 16 comments

… allotment holder.  No surprises there then!
This is our 7th summer growing our own veg and it’s taken that long to make peace with the weeds on our plot (we reclaimed some extra ground at the edge of the field and we wage a constant battle with nettles, brambles, thistles and bind weed).

Back in March our ‘extra‘ patch looked like this.

Yesterday it looked like this.

In September 2004 when Pat and Robin first invited us to share the top end of their plot it was looking like this.
What on earth were we thinking? (G doesn’t look too impressed does he)
It seemed like a moment of madness at the time.  A few people told us as much.
There is no denying it’s hard work having an allotment.  But it’s proved to be one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

Entry filed under: A-Z challenge, home life.

the alphabet in August B is for …

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mal  |  August 2, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Didn’t you do well! One years seed, seven years weeds – now expired.

  • 2. papaG  |  August 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    ARTISAN (a handicraftsman particularly in manual art! ) Papa G xx

  • 3. Janet/Plantaliscious  |  August 3, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Impressive reclamation job!

  • 4. Ruth  |  August 3, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Wow, it looks amazing Nic, you have done such a great job. Good to hear from you again x

  • 5. Choclette  |  August 3, 2011 at 6:38 am

    If you can get a good space, it’s a wonderful thing to do, despite the hard work. We love it where we are now but didn’t have a good experience on our old allotment. Your plot is looking lovely and I wish we’d had the forethought to take pictures of how ours looked before we started.

  • 6. Alison  |  August 3, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Wow!! what a difference you have made. I’m sure it was hard work but extremely satisfying at the same time. There is something about destroying those weeds that makes you smile (in a weird kind of way).

  • 7. Ann  |  August 3, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Well done for sticking with it when things looked daunting.

    My A is for the ‘aches’ that you get after a good day digging and bending.

  • 8. Robin  |  August 3, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I remember that look on George’s face…

  • 9. Julie  |  August 3, 2011 at 11:33 am

    You’ve done a great job – must have been a lot of hard work, but hopefully now you’re enjoying the rewards.

  • 10. fiona mayhem  |  August 3, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Hello again!

    I had to join in ths one, because I am deliriously excited about my A.

    This year, A is for asparagus. I have planted 4 plants, which I have to grow in (big) containers. Unfortunately, I left them a long time out of the ground, and planted them really late, so I wasn’t hopeful. 2 weeks ago saw the last of the 4 plants also produces a spear. I should be able to get a crop in 2 years…

  • 11. peggy  |  August 3, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Great to have the before photos to compare with the present! Looking back on ours I cannot believe we took on such a task either, but working a little at a time we have made it all productive.
    Your plot is looking great and great credit to the parents for helping out, we all have times when we need help to keep things going.

  • 12. Joanna  |  August 3, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I am going to try and join in too, though I don’t know if I will manage a post a day. Great pictures, it doesn’t say you can grow flowers on that noticeboard of yours. Is that really the case? The one I’m visiting this week has flowers growing all over the place.

  • 13. Nip it in the bud  |  August 3, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Mal – do weeds ever expire? if only. I watched an interesting programme about weeds on Iplayer a few weeks ago which suggested we should all be a bit more free about leaving them be (apparently some are genetically programmed to release lots of seeds in order to reproduce the instant you pull them up)

    PapaG – i’ll say! awesome would have been my word for you in view of your latest artisan creation

    Ruth – thanks mate. Those pictures from 2004 were taken by Dan. What a difference the years have made. Look forward to next summer when your back to join us for a bbq down there

    Choclette – it’s so worth it and I love the randomness of what succeeds or fails each year. Onion rot has been a problem for many people this year but mine are fine. Sadly my Gloucester Black Kidney spuds didn’t thrive. In fact when I dug them up there was not a single scrap there – not even the seed potato that went in!

    Alison – hello there, lovely to see a new name :o) You’re so right it just a shame the satisfaction is so short live. The weeds always have the last laugh don’t they.

    Ann – oh that’s a good one, you certainly know you’ve done a good days work when that happens. Achievement. Appreciate. Away to soak in the bath!

    Robin – it lasted a long time!

    Julie – absolutely, there’s nothing like staggering home with armfuls of home grown veg – makes you feel alive to eat it so soon after it’s been picked.

    Fiona – that’s so fab. The time will fly and a well looked after crop will see you right for years and years. I kept saying I’d save seed from my neighbours amazing bed – if I’d done that when I thought of it I would have been enjoying asparagus for the last several years. The things that require greater patience in the garden are often the most satisfying.

    Peggy – we do and I think it took until events this year to hold my hands up and say it’s too much for little old me rather than be overwhelmed by it. It’s been lovely spending a different quality of time with allotment helpers and terrific for them too when they get to share in the harvest.

    Joanne – so glad you’re joining in. You’re right there’s no mention of flowers but more importantly they’re missing from the second page of that document which is a list of ‘what you must not do on your allotment’!

  • 14. Everlovin' Dad  |  August 3, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    We the Everlovin’s usually contribute a weeding day thereby helping the veg and the other goodies have more space to grow. After all there aren’t many weeds you would eat.
    But then you have to persevere if you want to produce your own. As long as you still have the enthusiasm to continue, the fruits of your labours will blossom.

  • 15. Nic's Husband  |  August 7, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    I will ALWAYS love you

  • 16. Nip it in the bud  |  August 7, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Dad – hmm, edible weeds? Now let me think – nettle, dandelion for starters. Lucky me that when my enthusiasm and energy wain you and mum have been helping to vanquish said weeds.

    G – {sssshh, whispers in ear} don’t tell anyone, I shouldn’t have favourites but your A is mine.


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Welcome to my once-about-gardening-and-cooking blog that is now mostly about our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

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6 years ago today I took my last waddle to the allotment to pick green veg for a vitamin packed last supper.  I knew baby was on his way but had a feeling he wasn't going to be quick about it.  It's his birthday in 2 days time and I'm so excited for him, my darling Whopper (he was 10lb 2oz and my bump in this picture is 48"!)
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