January 2013 was a new chapter in my life. After a two years of helping out a friend, and sitting on the council’s waiting list, I was offered my own plot. My own patch of land. A very over-grown, neglected patch. By taking it on, I would be taking a lot of hard work. But I saw the opportunities and a challenge I could rise to. So I said yes!
And then the hard work begun.
If you remember the Spring of 2013, it was long, cold and pretty miserable. I was spending my weekends digging through grass, nettles and bramble; trying to get the soil in a condition to start actually growing. It was a slog. I carved out small beds so I could get some seeds in the ground. There were hits and misses; some plants were devoured by the wildlife as soon as they were in the ground, some struggled with the long, cold Spring weather. But on I soldiered.
When the first flowers burst into bloom, the seedlings breaking through the earth, I felt real achievement. Four months in and the first fruits of my labours were ripe for picking. I had grown my own food, I had become self-sufficient! Well for a meal or two anyway.
Then I was hit by an unexpected problem. It was me. Or to be more specific my left hip. The extensive digging had given me trochanteric bursitis. The pain had got so bad, I’d been forced to make a rare visit to my doctors. I was given some medication and told to rest up for 4 weeks. FOUR WEEKS!
Of course by then the long, late Spring had turned into a beautiful, warm summer. I had to stop for a month, but the plot was looking good; plenty of colour and lush green vegetation. So it was time to take it easy and enjoy the scenery devour the produce.
So although my first year plans were curtailed, it was a steep learning curve. But despite all the hard work, the bad weather, the physical pain, the plants that didn’t make it, I had fallen in love with my plot. I often look out of the window on my day job, rain or shine, thinking “I’d rather be on my allotment.”
This is what I took on in January 2013. Much to do!
A lot of digging, and a bad hip, later….