The end of the first week of our new allotment project and the only word I can use to describe it is KNACKERED. The combination of the hard work, the team work and the (relatively) fresh North London air will single handedly keep Radox* in business for the foreseeable future.
The very nice ladies at the allotment advised us early on to do lots of stretching before coming up for a stint. There isn't enough stretching in the world to prepare me for several hours on all fours in the mud. It's not quite how I imagined spending my leisure time but inching slowly forward towards a fully operational allotment does give me an incredible and surprising sense of achievement.
We've now cleared four of our six beds of a year's worth of nasty weeds and various dead things. All our seeds have arrived together with a selection of very exciting asparagus plants. Learning as I go, unfortunately we won't reap the benefits of either the asparagus or rhubarb for at least a year which is a pity but they'll be well worth the wait.
We've also been clearing out vast piles of old man detritus from the allotment shed. Bags and bags of old mugs, brown flowery deck chairs, broken glass and assorted rusty crud. I did find an old horseshoe on the floor which will be kept for good luck. I think we need it. I must admit that trudging through the streets of East FInchley in old jeans, mac, gardening gloves and knee pads carrying Waitrose bags full of rubbish is not my idea of a good time. Needs must though.
Doing some basic research on our allotments has been very interesting. The site itself was once part of Finchley Common and has operated as allotments since the end of the Great War. The local council's lease began officially in 1930 so there is a lot of local history tied up in the site. I love the idea that our patch could have been used as part of the Dig For Victory campaign on The Home Front during the Second World War.
One cautionary word of advice. Be careful what you buy on the internet! So far I've broken a hoe after only three days of delicate hoeing, while two boxes of new terracotta pots arrived completely smashed. Nevermind, onwards and upwards. Hopefully next week we can start planting!
*other bath products are available
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