Collecting Freebies

This morning the weather was so lovely, I got down to the allotment early. I had found a couple of people who were selling breeze blocks and whilst I waited to see whether I could collect them later, I got busy with the blocks we already had. After a brief chat with Cliff and consulting a technical diagram he had drawn, I started on the corners of the base. The theory goes that this will stabilise the frame and allow the blocks to be put along the sides and back once the ground was level. Then the large slabs Phil helped remove from the greenhouse would be used to stabilise the front of the frame, simultaneously providing a path and a fox proof front to the run.

The first corner took ages to do. The two free blocks we had picked up in Sandbach last Tuesday were enormously deep. The hole the first one went into probably would have done well as a shallow grave. Any deeper and I would have glimpsed bedrock. The second corner was easier now I knew how deep I had to go. By the time the second one was completed, it was time for lunch so I pottered home.

As I was walking home, I browsed local for sale websites in the hope of finding some more breeze blocks. I hit the jackpot – someone in Winsford had loads and were giving them away. I burst through the front door and bundled my hungry husband into the car to go and pick some up. Between us, we loaded fourteen blocks into the car. Anymore and we might have caused permanent damage to the suspension! The guy had loads left and was happy for us to return if we needed more. I immediately planned to pop back for another carload in a few days time.

Back on site, I opened up the shed and worked out where the blocks could go. Sarah was down and we had a chat. Several minutes later, my heroic husband appeared with all the blocks on a borrowed trolley. It was a spectacular sight and it must have weighed an absolute ton! Between the three of us, we stacked the blocks ready for use tomorrow. The final job was to feed the chickens – Leia and Lilja increasingly impatient to move into a larger space. We collected eggs, fed the chickens and made sure their nest boxes were clean. Afterwards, we ambled home to scoff a late but we’ll deserved lunch.

Later, I walked back to the allotment determined to do one more corner. Over lunch, I had found someone giving away bags of top soil. I had arranged for us to collect them at 6pm. An hour should be enough to do a corner. Who knows, maybe two? In the end, it took most of the hour to get the tricky third corner in. The plot slants towards the Community Garden and trying to level out the run is difficult. The third corner done and only a few minutes left before we headed off to get the top soil, I tried to get in the first of the blocks on the back of the run. Lining up the block was the trickiest part but I think I have worked out how to do it efficiently so it will be faster tomorrow.

Back into the car and once more we loaded it up. Again borrowing a trolley, we pulled eight bags of soil to our greenhouse. Choosing the smaller bags which were just about light enough for me to carry, I tipped the contents into the raised bed in the greenhouse. The additional soil has helped stabilise the wooden front of the bed although it does still need some stakes to give it more durability. As I added the top soil, my husband had a chat with Phil who had popped down to do a few jobs. As they continued talking, I topped up the ponds, watered the bog garden and tidied up my tools on Liz and Sarah’s plot.

So tomorrow is a big day – the base of the run needs to be completed ready for the moving of the nest box on Tuesday. Will has worked out a way of moving it but it still requires four very strong people to move it as it weighs a ton. I will also need to work out where Leia and Lilja should go when we move the nest box. And should I have any spare time, or energy, the it needs hoeing and the old compost on the bottom section of the plot needs moving.


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