I’ve not been posting lately, because, well, I lost the plot more literally than usual. I moved to Cornwall, to start studying Horticulture seriously. Which is great, I’m really enjoying it, but I went from having a full allotment to only having one usable windowsill, and maybe a space for a few pots in a totally shaded out ‘patio’, if none of the residents of the other flats objected.
Studying plants is all well and good, but it’s just not the same as getting your hands dirty planting your own vegetables.
I asked about a bit about local allotments, but odds are, I’ll only be in the area for 2 or 3 years, and they all said they were full, and there really wasn’t a chance until next year, so I’d pretty much forgotten about it.
Then I got an email on Thursday saying a half plot is available just a few miles away, and do I want it right now?
I pretty much jumped at the chance, so now I’ve just taken on this little plot:
It’s the square of dead grass, including the compost bin. I think it’s about 1/6th the size of my old plot, but that’s great; I don’t want so much of a challenge as the last plot was, as I really do want to spend a lot of time on studies, but growing vegetables is basically cheap therapy. It’s more social than my old site as well, probably because it’s quite new, not huge, it’s flat, and the plots are far smaller. You can’t just hide out in a corner invisibly. Plus they do barbecues and stuff in summer. It all seems pretty well perfect for me, as I don’t know many people down here yet.
A neighbour had strimmed it, which is great, and sprayed with glyphosate, which is… less great, to be honest, as I do prefer not to use the stuff. But anyway, it’s really not going to take a lot of work to get into shape, and it’s got far better light, shelter and soil (rich, deep and clay-ey) than the old place. I missed their annual manure delivery, but I think I should be able to find it here quite easily.
I found it quite funny looking round, as the site manager kept apologising for what a bad condition it was in. My last half plot, by comparison, looked like this:
I can’t have my own shed there, but there are two communal ones, one of which is right by my plot, so no worries there, really. It’ll help me cut down the junk hoarding. I can get a little storage box for pots and netting and things.
The bees are not going to be moving there; no livestock is allowed. Instead, they’re staying on a nearby smallholding (yeah, they went to live on a farm) with a very nice local beekeeper, and his hives. The trip down with them was a bit of a nightmare, if I’m honest. I wound up a bit behind schedule, so it was a bit darker than planned. I was bringing down the last full car load of stuff, and my torch was somewhere in the mess. So I couldn’t get the stupid hive shut up in the dark for ages, by which time they were thoroughly awake, and not happy. There were bees under the roof, on top of the travel screen, which I’d fitted earlier in the day, thinking that would make it easier. Got stung twice getting it into the car.
I didn’t really have any problems once I’d got them in, no escapees while driving, though I still wore the suit the whole way up (with the hood pushed back, so I could put it on in a hurry) but I still didn’t make it to the new apiary site ’til nearly 2am, 2 hours later than planned. They seem to have settled in OK in the new place, and I’m just crossing fingers they overwinter.
So, on the new plot, clearing out the weeds has already begun, I’ll be getting some garlic in soon, and I’m happily planning away for the spring! Glad I kept most of my tools and seeds now!