Apologies if you are also my friend on Facebook, because if you are then you already know what I’m about to tell you because I haven’t shut up about it since Sunday.
Jeremy and I have an allotment!!!
The American readers of this fine blog (and maybe some Canadians too) may be asking themselves, What the hay is an allotment? Well, my friends (or enemies reading this and hoping to find my life is a disaster so they may partake in some Schadenfreude*) here is Wikipedia’s definition. Basically though, an allotment is a bit of land set aside for citizens such as myself to garden on. Usually there are loads of them all together on one big piece of land, but they are shrinking as people try to build housing on every available inch of the UK.
We’ve been on a waiting list to get ours for over 3 years, which is actually a relatively short amount of time (I know someone who’s been on a lists for a decade), and our allotment isn’t really just ours. It also belongs to an elderly man named Harry who can’t take care of it after decades of tending it himself. We haven’t met him yet but have been told he only comes by twice a year. His health is poor and he has a very hard time walking at all, much less taking the 2 busses from Clapham.
Because the allotment has barely been tended over the last few years our first step in caring for it is to clear a lot of it out. There isn’t a whole lot that’s salvageable at the moment (in one spot there are all these gone to seed broccoli plants that are as tall as I am, no lie), but we are finding more as we work our way through. We’ll be keeping the artichokes, rhubarb, strawberries, blackberries, asparagus and gooseberries going as it would be silly not to. And last night we found some garlic while we were weeding. Otherwise, weeding is our main occupation right now, with trimming the grass around the edge of the allotment coming in a close second place.
We’re trying not to make too many plans until we get it all cleared out and have a better idea of what we’ll be working with and then we’ll begin planting. On Sunday while we were knee-deep in mud due to all the ran this weekend a really nice man named Allie gave us some tomato plants and advice and shared his rakes and scythe with us. We saw him again yesterday and he has apparently decided my name is Karen (‘It’s my allotment name!’ I told Jeremy after he left) and he told us how pleased he was that we hadn’t been scared off.
Hopefully by the weekend we’ll have cleared out the bulk of the allotment (minus the corner we want to use to compost) and we’ll have some idea of what we want to do with the bathtub in the middle of the space and most importantly, we’ll be able to start planting.
I can’t wait!
* Sorry if you did come here for some Schadenfreude, because I’m doing pretty okay, outside of losing my dad of course, and if that makes you happy then you’re a real jerk.
If it makes you feel better I’m probably sad about the fact that you, whoever you may be, don’t like me, but it doesn’t keep me up at night or anything. Also I stubbed my toe yesterday, and I spilled coffee on my shirt on Friday.