Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Allotments Grand Opening

Last weekend saw the grand opening ceremony of our allotments. This included the unveiling of commemorative plaques, cutting of a ribbon and the planting of two apple trees by a representative of the trustees who donated the land. Part of the funding for the allotments came from the New Forest National Park, under their Sustainable Development Fund and Lottery funding. I worked on my plot for the rest of the day, finishing off the rest of the permanent beds, which just leaves the fruit strips left to do. I transferred some strawberry plants from home, which had a lot of runners, which I’ve also planted, to make the full quota of plants required. They looked a little stressed yesterday when I was there, but hopefully the overnight rain will have perked them up.
Some farmyard manure was added to the permanent beds, and I plan to transfer some artichoke plants from home this week.

I sent for some mail-order plants last week - Onion Senshyu Yellow, Onion Sets Radar, Shallot Griselle, Garlic Vayo (hardneck type), Radish Mantanghong F1 Seeds, Broad Bean Luz De Otono Seeds, Broad Beans (Vicia faba), Asparagus Gijnlim, Asparagus Dariana F1, Goji Berry, Apple Redlove Sirena, Apple Paradis Lummerland, Apple Paradis Idylla. That’s when I began to realise that setting up an allotment isn’t exactly a cheap option – but eating your own produce in years to come must be more satisfying than buying commercial stuff from the supermarket.

We ate our first crops at the weekend – the thinning from the salad beds, which were delicious, and a couple of aubergines, from the plant that we’d bought, and brought on. Next year I hope I’ll raise all my own plants.

Having started a compost bin off, I made a lid for it, using part of an old tarpaulin, stapling it to the back of the bin, and securing it at the front with cup hooks, through the tarp’s eyelets. Manufacturers of cup hooks note: I’ve found a new outlet for your product, having used them all round my timber frames for securing netting.

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