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Archive for June, 2007

Wilko’s has an excellent sale on seeds, 75% off!

We went yesterday, it must be a popular place with allotment folk.  We saw 3 other plot holders hanging about in wilkos whilst we were there.

They also have 75% off of seed trays.  One of the other plot holders said soon they knock all the gardening stuff down to 75% off.

We bought :  Sweet Pea Blue Velvet  44p was 1.79

                        Sweetcorn miracle  37p was 1.49

                        Exhibition onions  81p was 3.25

                        Echinecea 54p was 2.19

                        Calendula   39p was 1.59

                        Courgette   62p was 2.49

We are off up  there again today as we didnt know until we got to the till that there was 75% off.       

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Following on from our recent blogs, we had a ‘bored’ meeting today to pat ourselves on the back and review our progress between dec 06 and june 07.

 Here is a visual vegetable stew … for you ….

 Click on a picture to take a closer look….

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I just read keeners post Magic beans…..

Thats correct they are magical beans, they must be to have survived the sudden invasion of dreaded blackfly we have encountered.  Although im now pleased to say ladybirds are out in force on our plot feeding away doing there job. The thing is it seems, as the ladybirds are munching the blackfly the ants are just bringing back more and loading the plants back up with them quicker than those little ladies can eat them.

Mother nature is a wonderful thing. I find it amazing sat watching the broad and runner beans alive with various insects all feasting on each other, using or helping each other out in some way.

Anyways im drifting a bit…..Back to keeners post.

Is our allotment rubbish? No it blinking isnt!

Its easy to get caught up in the competative crap that I have learned that can go on in allotmenteering.  I wont go on about this in detail, as I really do like all of my fellow plot holders.  But It can be a little off putting when you got someone constantly compairing your plot with theres. Who has the nicest soil, who has the longest beens, oh god I could go on but as I said I like the other plot holders at our allotment, dont want to go pointing fingers and offending people.  Sometimes you just wanna get up the allotment and chill out, have a little walk around, look at your insect city on your beans maybe do a bit of weeding and just relax.  Its hard to relax sometimes though when you feel like your being watched and judged by  fellow plot holders.

What I try to remember when I look our allotment is we have only had it 6 months, in that time we have transformed a massive 110ft of brambles and solid compacted clay into a workable plot, roughly 3/4 full now.  We still have so much to do but its slowly taking shape. It is a big plot we have, having it 3/4 full with lovely veg 6 months after getting it keener is pretty damn good going if you ask me.

Yes we have delicious broads beans, but your forgetting the lovely ripe white currants we both eagerly scoffed, the blackcurrants, the strawberries from the greenhouse, the spinach and not forgetting all the lovely herbs ready for the picking including sage, purple sage, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, chives, lemon balm, spearamint, peppermint, orange mint and the wonderful (but small) chamomile lawn.

As for the veg we have growing, we have brocoli, cabbage, runners, broads, peas, mange tout, swiss chard, rocket, lettuce, courgette, pumpkin, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, parsnip, potatoes, asparagus, carrotts, melons, raspberries, gooseberries, blueberries, cranberries, and an apple.

Now that to me does not sound like a rubbish allotment keener!

Besides all the veg we have 2 lovely mixed borders contaning herbacious plants, bulbs, and bedding. We are also trying companion planting using marigolds, nastursiams garlic dotted amongst the veg. 

So keener for 2 people in 6 months I reckon its safe to say NO our allotment is not  rubbish.

Im going to stick some photo’s on here tuesday for you all to see, so hopefully you too can reassure keener our allotment is not rubbish.

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I love this research study, published in the ‘International Society for Horticultural Science‘.

It is entitled Horticulture, well-being, and mental health: from intuitions to evidence.

From a review of the literature this article shows that many of society’s ills could be reduced by more people picking up a shovel.

Kuo writes:

“Can horticulture contribute significantly to human well-being and mental health? Increasing evidence suggests it can. This review presents findings from scientific studies with diverse populations, including residents of poor inner city neighborhoods, ecological restoration volunteers, and children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Moreover, the findings come from studies of diverse outcomes, including lower rates of violent and property crime, lower incidence of aggression, greater ability to cope with poverty, better life functioning, greater life satisfaction, reduced attention deficit symptoms, greater strength of community, and others.”

Fair enough!

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Hello!!

Its been a while. For various reasons… not least of which the glorious sunshine that we’ve been having…

I went through a phase where I thought the allotment was rubbish – ill thought out, poorly designed, inadequately managed and with low levels of staff skill (whoops sorry beener – me not you lol)!

Perhaps I was projecting my feelings about the mental health system onto our paradise.

I was starting to think that we had missed the boat and our plot would not possibly be decent this year. Next year will be better and so on….

All in all, a rather good text book example of depressive ‘logic’.

So of course – this blip of despondency was just asking to be smashed down!!

I have to big up beener here – her humour and determination helped me to see the folly of my ways. I terminated the employment contract of the committee of judges in my head (what a bunch of moaning whingers!) – for goodness sake we’ve achieved so much – in December 06 all we had was brambles and clay and now we have workable land, a greenhouse, a half finished shed and a half finished fruit cage. But most importantly little green things have emerged out of the ‘durt’ and we have helped them to live and now we get to eat ’em!

So in the vein of being proud and happy with all steps forward in life – I share a major triumph with the world! On Tuesday we sat down to our first allotment meal. We had curly fries, processed chicken and BROAD BEANS. We all cooed and celebrated our feast. Without prompting or any type of kick under the table – beener’s youngest told me that he doesn’t like broad beans from shops but that these are amazing!! So we rejoiced and celebrated as humankind has done at harvest time throughout the ages…

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Later on we went to yoga and I am definitely sure that I could feel the effects of the beans – the most effortless yoga session I’ve ever had – magic beans indeed.

So the moral of the story is – if you must keep on insisting having allotment fantasies then make sure they’re not about catastrophes, but about the wonderful, magical potential that allotmenteering offers….

keener

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