Wednesday, March 21, 2012

All from nothing... (part 6)

Our efforts to transform an unused piece of land into a productive vegetable garden.   

St. Patricks day came and went under a blanket of rain, which was a bit of a drag as it was my weekend off, and I really wanted to get stuck into work on the allotment. 

The weekend wasn't a complete wash out, however, as Sunday dawned without a cloud in the sky. So with my garden fork in hand, off I trotted. One benefit of yesterdays rain was that the fruit trees I planted on the allotment got some much needed water. Another was that I discovered that the allotment seems to be very well drained soil, as there was little evidence of the previous day's deluge. 

Work on a sunny day was a pleasure, and as I wasn't under any pressure to get anything else done that day (for example, collecting birch sap), I was able to take my time. This was probably just as well, as I was removing roots and "scutch" grass as I worked. When I removed these, I'd throw them on top of one of the piles of sod, which eventually resembled something like a wig. As a consequence of this laid back approach to the work, it didn't seem like long until I had the entire plot completely "forked". 

The plot, fully "forked"

The following day (yesterday) was a bank holiday, and because of this our local hardware shop was closed - hence I was unable to hire out a rotovator. I instead spent the day away from the allotment. A little time away is no bad thing, to rest one's body and enjoy time with one's family. 

Today  (Tuesday), I woke up in the late afternoon (I'm currently working a night shift, so late afternoon was actually quite early for me!). I called the local hardware shop, but the cost of the rotavator for the few hours I wanted it was far to prohibitive, so I decided to get some other work done instead. There were two things I wanted to do in particular. The first of these was to clear the allotment of any big stones. The second was to cut back the hedge.

As matters stood, the allotment has a large hedge that had overgrown the fence that borders the allotment, and took up a lot of space within it. 

The hedge and the sod pile!

I asked the "landlord" permission to cut it back and reclaim the land it had spread over. (It's a funny thing about land - when you have it, it seems to mean little, and when you don't, every millimeter is precious). Permission was duly given, so with a clippers and pruning scissors, I began the process of trimming the hedge back. I quickly realised how naive I had been with my choice of tools - they were wholly inadequate for the job. I fell back to relying on my penknife (as I have so many times before). The saw on it, while not ideal for the job, still managed to slice through the thicker branches of the hedge without too much bother. 

By the time I had finished, I had reclaimed around four or five square yards of land. One more job ticked off the list! 

The hedge's new look haircut...

Things are really starting to come together now - once we remove the sod piles we'll have wrung all the space we can from the piece of land we've been allowed to use. There are still a good many jobs to do to have the allotment set up to the standard we'd like, but I know now that we'll get there. 

The next jobs are:
  • Fertilise and rotovate the soil,
  • Build and paint the compost bin,
  • Build a small gate into the allotment,
  • and fence off the allotment using chicken wire.
Once the above jobs are complete, it'll just be a matter of making drills and planting out our vegetables. The day can't come to soon!

The allotment as it looked this evening.

1 comment:

mum said...

really enjoy following your toil and labour and seeing end results, or maybe tasting end results. time will tell!! ;)