Today turned out to be a long day down the allotment. I walked down to the allotment to find lots of people enjoying the sunshine, busy on their own plots.On my way down to my plot, I ran into Dave the Plod who filled me in with all the happenings over the past few days. The drama on the site in the past week is unbelievable. I really don’t envy the committee having to sort it all out. On the main path I said hello to the guys in passing as I went to feed the chicks. They had managed to knock over their water and throw sawdust into their food bowl. Telling them off, I disappeared off to sort it all out. I ran into Geoff by the tap and we had a chat in the sunshine.
Whilst we were chatting, Chris appeared and asked if we had seen Cliff. Answering in the negative we pottered down to check on Cliff’s chickens. I changed their water and cleaned out the nest box and Geoff gave them some food. Two of Cliff’s chickens were sat in the nest box looking grumpy. I remembered that Cliff said he thought his old white leghorn might be going broody. From the look on her face when I looked into the nest box, she definitely is!
Next, I moved onto our main coop and collected a single egg. I told them they were freeloading slackers and left to go and check on Leia and Rey. Leia and Rey were outside sunbathing. I topped up their food and cleaned out their water feeder. There is an issue with their run door being hard to open and close. I cleared out the chippings which Leia and Rey insist on throwing at the door. The handle has come off and to open or close it is a matter of wrestling with it for several minutes. The silver lining, no marauding animals will be able to get into the run!
I ran into several people including Alan and Liz. Stopping to chat with each of them, time flew by. Before long, it was gone 2pm and I hadn’t managed to plant a single onion. As I walked up to the shed, I ran into Andy, Tracy and Cliff. We all sat and chatted for a while.
Pondering aloud my idea of changing the structure of our plot, Andy came to have a look. He is full of amazing ideas and knows how to do lots on a tiny budget. Between Andy, Tracy and myself, we measured up the width of the plot and worked out how many pallets would be needed to create a veranda in front of the shed. The main problem with our beautiful handmade bench outside the shed is the lack of space to put your feet. There is only about 3 inches of paving slab beyond the bench which doesn’t allow you to stretch out your legs. We worked out that 4 pallets would be enough to go from the edge of the plot across the front of the shed, stopping about a foot from the boundary with Mick the Greek’s plot. We went to look at Andy’s pallets he has in front of Tracy’s purple shed. These are massive 6 inch thick black pallets about 4 foot square. Andy has sunk his down to soil level in order to keep the area in front of the shed clear. It looks brilliant. Tracy has added some artificial grass and a few flowers in pots which hides the pallets whilst making a feature at the front of the shed. As we continued to chat, Andy said he might have some spare that we could use. We went up to the back of his plot where he had built an enormous compost bin with about 8 of these thick pallets. He has been thinking about making the compost area smaller to have more growing space. Ever generous, he offered to give us 4 so we could make our veranda and help us sort it out with Bradley and Tracy’s help. Before we left, I walked across their plot and looked at how they have structured it. They have a main path going the length of it, boarded by decking planks with bark between. Either side of the path are several large boxed beds. These beds aren’t raised so the usual eye watering expense for buying timber and several tons of top soil and compost doesn’t apply. They have laid out each boxed bed perfectly, utilising more decking to divide the plot up.
Really inspired after looking at Andy and Tracy’s plot, I dashed home for dinner determined to design the plot into more manageable sections. I spent the evening trying to work out how best to divide up the plot. The fruit section and chicken coop are already sorted. Andy suggested turning the old olive tree pot into a pond which I think is a fantastic idea – only issue is how to get hold of pond lining during lockdown.