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October 25, 2010

I got a call last week which I very nearly didn’t answer. I’m glad I did, because it was the man from the allotments. My number has come up and my alloted plot is waiting for me. We went to see it over the weekend and almost brimmed over with excitement. It’s not a big plot, and there’s not much happening on it – a big compost heap, a little fruit cage and a couple of bloated marrows disintegrating in the frost. But, in my mind at least, there’s acres of potential. There’s a little square where a shed might sit, a few raspberry canes and a currant bush in the cage, the last few raspberries blushing red in amongst the leaves. There’s a couple of straggly roses crying out for a prune and some horsradish growing wild behind the compost heap. Best of all, there’s space: big huge bits of good soil, waiting to be put to use. I just can’t wait.

I can’t wait to fork over the first clod, to tease bindweed from the deep black tith. I can’t wait to fork in a trailer of manure from my friend Tom’s farm. I can’t wait to cover the first garlic bulbs with soil and tuck them away for a long winter of frosts. I can’t wait to spark up the camping stove and have a little afternoon tea in the cold – a cup of early grey, a slice of sticky apple cake, radio four on the wind up radio and a little bit of quiet company with my favorite girl. I can’t wait until the first seedlings are transplanted into the soil, the first crops – the broad beans, salad leaves, the peas and garlic. It goes without saying that I’m looking forward to cooking with all this, but I’m especially looking forward to having my own growing larder, ripe with inspiration. I’m looking forward to shuffling through vegetation in bare feet and hot summer sun, picking a little here and there, digging a few tatties and making a little allotment magic in a frying pan, then falling asleep in the thick pollen fug of a July afternoon.

It’s going to be a pretty good year.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2010 22:19

    oh cool 🙂 , wheres your plot? , I recently got a plot down the alderman moor site in Bedminster, what you said in this post sounds familiar.

    Also nice to hear about someone else non-retired interested in cultivation. More young blood injected into what should be a bigger movement as we move back to basics.

    • October 28, 2010 22:27

      Hi Graeme, mine is at the Alderman Moores site too, I’ll probably see you about. I’m looking forward to befriending all the old codgers down there and learning all the local knowledge…

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