• John Hart

Grow Yourself a Happy Life

A little over a year ago Andrew said to me: 'wouldn't it be great if we could have an allotment, where we could grow our own food'. I laughed it off at the time as another idea that would never materialise. But, as with most things in life that are meant to happen, we quite by accident stumbled across a plot for rent in our local community garden. Needless to say, the place we were renting at the time had little more than a passageway of outside space, so we jumped at the idea of being able to stretch a little from the confines of our apartment.

We signed on the dotted line and a week or so later were given the codes to the gated access, a water butt and compost bin - the rest was up to us. Let me just say at this point, it was not as easy as just planting some seeds, adding water and hey presto! Our own produce.

This is what we were given:

Yes, those weeds at the back are 6ft tall.

With a little perseverance we cleared a small section and set about teaching ourselves the way of Tom and Barbara Good - now, for those who don't know the show 'The Good Life' from the BBC, that reference won't mean much. Still, I highly recommend watching a few episodes, its a great laugh! I watched it religiously when I was about eight years old, but never did I think I would actually end up doing it myself!

Andrew and I didn't exactly set about with any kind of order to our plot, but instead put in some pumpkins we were given from my sister, courgette plants I got from work, and a few aubergines, red pepper and tomato plants from the local supermarket - and we were off!

I note that we didn't start our allotment journey in earnest until May of last year, which meant we were limited on growing time and also did not have the luxury of late winter planting. However, we pressed on and ended up with a fairly decent crop of produce. Though, in the end, we got a feel for how much work was involved and vowed to come back fighting this year.

So, here we are almost up to date on the journey so far. We spent the start of this year clearing out the rest of the plot and cultivating the soil so that we could take a structured approach to growing.

Andrew grew seedlings in the kitchen - pumpkins, courgettes, squash, fennel and garlic. He also planted out on the plot; potatoes, onions, asparagus, beetroot, carrots, parsnips, kale, rhubarb and green peas!

Around half of the plot is currently planted and we have plans to finish the rest in the next few weeks by planting the squash, pumpkins, courgettes and some leeks.

There are also a few plumb trees at the back of the plot which we have yet to taste the fruit from, but I can already smell the fruit pies cooking!

Thanks for reading!

#allotment #growyourown #Green #Food #Happy

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