Sunday, 31 July 2011

Introducing Our Allotment.

It began 3 weeks ago.  On returning from a hot lazy holiday my friend informed me that she had been offered a 10 rod allotment, and was in the ‘cooling off period’ (one week) but would be signing up on the Saturday.  I have always toyed with the idea of an allotment but wondered where I would find the time or the energy, as we have quite a large garden with an assortment of  Chickens and ducks to look after.  So when she mentioned that there was a 5 rod available, my immediate reaction was No No No.   The idea stayed with me though, so many questions, could  I do it ?, was there enough spare time ?. Most importantly how big is a rod ?
1 rod/pole = 5.5 yards which is meant to be the distance from the back of the plough to the nose of the oxen. Therefore a square rod in which allotments are measured is 30.25 sq yards, so a standard 10 rod plot is 302.5 sq yards = 2722.5 sq ft, 250 sq metres.
Rod question answered, 5 rods would be plenty, Son away at University and I work part time, so free time available,  and although I know virtually nothing  about growing fruit and vegetables it could be fun learning.  
So I made the phone call, arranged a meeting and viewing, and come Sunday morning me and my husband Steve found ourselves walking through the allotment site for a rendezvous with the site manager who showed us 2 plots, one never used and covered with thick rye-grass, and the other covered with a combination of weeds, grasses, poppys, broad leaved dock dandelions etc, although daunting the latter was preferable

I discussed the initial weeding and clearing of  my 5 rods with hubby who willingly said that he would help me clear everything, but the maintenance will be down to me.  Although once we had spent the morning meeting other allotment holders, and walking around the site he was immediately seduced by the allotment life.  So this is a fully joint venture as I knew it would be.

Having decided to take it on, we then had to endure the aforementioned ‘cooling off period’ which was so frustrating as we were both desperate to start weeding.  The following Saturday we signed on the dotted line eager to start,  the weather had other ideas, to say the rain was torrential is an understatement.
We started digging Sunday, worked really hard and made good progress, the idea being to clear the area as soon as possible so we can start planting.  The earth looks very good to me, as we were working friendly allotment folk told us that it is lovely loamy soil, I nod knowingly but have no idea what they are talking about.

Sunday night my arms, legs, and back are aching but it is very satisfying to see what’s been achieved.  I’m  just keen to get growing, I’ve just got to decide what !  Off to Google Loamy soil.