As many of you know from my last post we have been fortunate enough to take over the remaining half of our allotment plot. This means that we will have a full plot between us and hopefully we will be well on our way to becoming self sufficient with regards to fruit and veg. The initial clearing of our our existing side was pretty tough, disgusting work and we naively thought the new side would be easier! The front of the plot housed a huge hill of nettles on top of what used to be a compost heap and the majority of the plot was chest high in grasses and brambles. A rotten shed stood in the back left hand corner and a wooden structure by its side that I presume was once used as a greenhouse.
We all spent the whole day there yesterday and have made some amazing progress. I'm not sure that the photos really convey the sheer amount of rubbish and general 'stuff' that needed clearing. Every time we chopped back grasses we discovered piles of wood and tiles, endless plastic bags and old tarpaulins alongside rusty broken old tools, broken chairs, hose pipes and pesticide sprayers! We (the boys) knocked down and removed the old shed and started dismantling the adjacent structure.
By the end of the day we had a huge pile of rubbish that hopefully the council will clear for us in the next week or so. We had also uncovered an apple tree, a beautiful budlia and a second pond with a resident frog : ) The site is now pretty clear ready for strimming and after a little more work we can hopefully get it rotavated. The plan is to continue clearing and remove the rest of the wooden structure then sit back and make a detailed plan of the plot and its layout. Ideally we want to incorporate a large covered seating area specially suitable for the kids, a fire pit and maybe a DIY mud kitchen. Even with this space set aside we will still have almost doubled our growing area and we can look forward to a vastly increased number of crops next year.
The kids were all amazing yesterday and pretty much entertained themselves. They made homes for slow worms, dug holes, picked and ate blackberries from the bushes and found ways to appear like they were flying!
We are very lucky to have great friends that we can embark on this project with and despite the scratches, scrapes and nettle stings I think we all went home yesterday with big smiles and a real sense of achievement.
As always if you have any thoughts or comments I would love to hear from you.