Up and out early this morning after making a few phone calls. The sun was out again although the temperature was distinctly cooler than yesterday morning. On site I found Derek busy clearing Plot 8. It’s in a dreadful mess after a couple of years of flooding and minimal cultivation. I joined him but didn’t manage to do more than about fifteen minutes before I injured myself. Feeling something sharp on my palm, I looked down expecting to see a small thorn, the type you get prickled by on blackberries. What I actually found was an enormous curved spike embedded in my palm. Gently I pulled it out. It was massive! Immediately it began to bleed so I pottered off to the tap to wash it and wrap it in a clean edge of my jumper. When I looked down next, I spotted another patch of blood. Somehow I had managed to cut myself on my other hand. Rolling my eyes, I went back to the shed, beaten by a plant, can you believe it?
With the shed open, the sunshade up and the stove on, I got busy clearing the end bed that I had started yesterday. By the time it was clear, and my back sore, my husband had arrived. We started the sausages and onions before serving them out onto the rolls. Noticing we had too much food, I ran to see if Cliff wanted to join us for lunch. Confessing he had forgotten to bring lunch, he happily joined us. It’s one of my favourite parts of having out stove and veranda on our plot, we can cook lunch outside and spend time with friends.
Later, Darren and Andrea swung by to say hello and we all spent a happy hour chatting about the site. As they went off to work on their plots, I wandered down mine, trying to decide what to do next. Tommy hollered which made me remember I hadn’t fed the chickens yet. Once the chickens in the main coop were fed, I went across to see how the Buff Orpington was doing. She still refused to come out of the nest box. I tried coaxing her out before pottering off to refill the water bowl. When I came back two minutes later, I found her with her head shoved through the grill with Leia and Lilja standing menacingly over her. I shooed the others away and gently tried to help the Orpington get her head out of the grill. As soon as her head was free, she ran back into the safety of the nest box.
It’s been a few days since we last treated her wounds with purple spray. Quickly, I caught her and put her up on the roof of the nest box. This time, she kept still as I sprayed her head. Hopefully, over the next couple of days, she will settle in more.
Back on the plot, I went back to attacking the weeds. It’s rather satisfying to pull out long grass roots especially when they span the entire bed! Out came the mini tiller which made quick work of the remaining weeds. Rather pleased with my progress, I carried on until I had done all but three of the beds. Cliff had lent me a builder’s bag to put all the willow cuttings from yesterday in. As I cleared the weeds, I added some of the most prickly and irritating weeds to the bag. I hauled the bag off the path onto the plot.
Before I left, I grabbed the secateurs to cut down the old sunflower heads. These I will store and use the seeds for the chickens over the winter. The remaining heads are much smaller but are still in full bloom which brings a wonderful bright splash of yellow to the plot.
So the plan for the next few days is to finish weeding the last three beds and make a start on the fruit section.
I often wish we had an allotment near where I live… the way the world is going, it could be the solution to dwindling food supplies!
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