Excavation

I ambled down to the allotment this morning, not really sure what I planned to do. For good measure, I brought down one of the trays of potatoes to plant and of course, the chickens needed cleaning and feeding. The sun was out and although there were some dark clouds, there was enough blue to feel like spring was well on its way.

With the shed open, I grabbed some gloves and the weed bucket. The willow arch is wonderful but it’s tricky to weed around the base especially when it’s growing. Unfortunately, grass thrives under it so I spent a good hour clearing grass out from one side of the willow. I also managed to clear out quite a bit from the stumpery. The stumpery needs some more logs and ferns to make it better. Luckily, we have a friend who is a gardener so we may be able to get some from him over the next few weeks.

As I weeded towards the bench, I realised how overgrown the crazy paving was. It was one of the first anti-flooding strategies I used to try and stop loosing our crops. I used broken bits of broken slabs to make it and whilst it’s flood limiting ability was questionable, it made a lovely sitting area halfway down the plot. The addition of the bench and the arch, makes it one of my favourite places to sit and watch the world go by. In previous years, I have struggled to weed between the slabs and satisfied myself with just clearing the top rather than digging out the roots. Armed with my scraper, I removed the soil build up, weeds and general dirt to reveal the entire paving. The larger middle pieces have raised up so those will need relaying another day.

As I worked, I was joined by the friendly robin who enjoyed rummaging through the upturned soil for grubs. By the time I had cleared the paving in front of the bench, time had ticked on. Promising the chickens I would be back later to give them their treats, I dashed into town.

Late afternoon, I pottered back down to the plot to plant the potatoes and collect eggs. Over on our friend’s plot, I had previously weeded and prepared the raised beds for planting. Using my trusty WolfGarten trowel, I dug two shallow trenches in the largest bed. Again, I was joined by the robin who was so eager for grubs and worms that he came within just a few inches of me as I planted the potatoes. With the potatoes planted, I went back to my plot. I was contemplating what to do next when a voice called my name. Turning around, I spotted Josie. We had a lovely chat – it’s always so exciting to have new people join our site and it’s so important to make them feel welcome. We have a new person on the bottom half of Plot 35 and Derek has arranged to have someone view the other vacant plot.

After we finished chatting, I headed home. There are still more potatoes to be planted and the seed trays in the greenhouse need watering tomorrow. We will probably need to get some main crop seed potatoes as I seem to have forgotten to buy some!

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