Last week, we were given permission to begin working on the new allotment and start moving our old allotment things over to it. (Luckily it it almost opposite the current plot so moving isn’t too bad!) Mr C is on his big chunk of days off work, and the children and I are on half term so we have had two full days at the allotment trying to tame the new plot and move as much as possible. The whole thing was really overgrown after a year of neglect due to the ill health of the previous tenant.
One of the first tasks was to clear the parking area at the front, where an old trailer had been left. We knew it had been given to another plot holder so we moved it over for him and then began tackling weeds. The children pulled up huge clumps of sticky weed and, with the help of a hoe and a strimmer, we revealed quite a large space for parking and for storing our trailer.
We also needed to move over a second shed, which all got rather complicated when another shed was thrown into the mix and we didn’t know what we were moving or where to! As the new plot is really established (despite being in a jungle-like state), space for a shed was limited. Some kind of structure had been next to the existing shed, perhaps a small greenhouse? Anyway, there was some wood and a tonne of compost, with bonus weeds. We decided to clear this area, make a new compost heap and then put the shed there as allotment rules dictate sheds must go at the ends of plots. That took a lot of today by the time we had moved wood etc to the new shed. Because of the lovely little gate to get onto the plot, we couldn’t transport shed contents in bulk in a trailer, so they had to be carried individually or in the wheelbarrow. I was relieved when we decided to scrap some of the items rather than move them! All of this work was observed by curious cows peeking through the hedge from the field beyond, which was a new experience.
There is also the small matter of the chickens, who are currently inhabiting two separate coops. We haven’t got a suitable place for the tall shed/coop so that will stay on the old plot. We were given a small coop with the adopted chickens, so our old girl is going to have that temporarily in the fruit cage. (It is full to bursting with weeds and fruit, so I doubt she alone will do too much damage in the short term!) I am then going to fix her old coop, move it-with help-and put the 4 new chickens in there. There are a lot of planting areas on the allotment which are covered in weeds, and the plan is to put the coop on one of those as we do not need all that space for growing, particularly not this year as we are so late into the growing season already.
Whilst doing these jobs, we have been exploring the plot and sheds, and each time we have moved weeds we have found hidden treasures. There are so many fruit trees and bushes we have lost count, with plentiful berries, apples, plums and cherries. I predict there will be some gluts of fruit, with preserving and much giving away of produce!
We are beginning to get to know the new plot, and even if we don’t get much planted this season, we have some time to tame it and bring it back under control. The man who had it before us was meticulous and very proud of how neat it looked, and it would be lovely to tidy it all up and carry that on for him as it was clear he made such a lot of effort. We have taken it on at the right time of year, as there is the most beautiful rose in full bloom over the entrance to the shed. (My 5 year old is delighted with the scented rose petals and has collected them to use in potions!)
I think we will be very busy, the weed heap is already taking over one of the large beds! (I didn’t take a photo-it wasn’t very pretty!) It is quite exciting though, just a little daunting with the prospect of so much work to bring it back to it’s former glory.