Summer fun

26 Jul

OK so my mission this week was to get some stuff done on the plot and entertain the kids at the same time. As it was a beautiful day I packed a picnic, lathered everyone up with sun cream and set off round about when the midday sun gets fiercest. On arrival I unveiled my latest pound shop purchase to keep them entertained – a pair of plastic squirty bottles and once filled they happily pottered around squirting all the plants and each other. I showed my eldest her now out of control pumpkin plant which is making a bid for fruit corner.

pumpkin out of control

No one told me pumpkins took up this much space!

I also showed them my one and only cauliflower to make it from a seed. After keeping a very close eye on the brassicas to find out exactly how a cauliflower grows I was surprised to stumble upon a fully formed one in my raised bed. Both kids instantly said yes mummy, but we don’t have to eat it do we?

cauliflower

My one cauliflower!

After a leisurely picnic we finally got around to making a much promised scarecrow which was followed by several choruses of the dingle dangle scarecrow song for good measure.

b D and scarecrow

The world’s smallest scarecrow?

I hadn’t realised it would be quite so small but they seemed delighted with it, asking if it would come alive after dark. My youngest stood amongst the ailing potato plants for ten minutes pretending to be a fellow scarecrow. So far so entertained.

herb garden going to seed

Herb garden going to seed.

I can’t say I got an awful lot done other than water, plant some more beetroot and make the dinky scarecrow but it was a nice summer holiday activity. A change from the garden or the park, coming up close to nature – they spotted bugs and birds and as the picnic was hungrily consumed I remembered this was a little slice of my imagined plot rather than the harsh reality of weeding in the midday sun. We could just be at the plot without needing to do anything much. The potato plants looked even worse and so the one time I did pick up a digging fork was to see what was going on underneath the ground. They probably weren’t the most bountiful potato plants to ever be harvested but from three plants I got half a bag’s worth of spuds. I set the kids up with one final task – washing them – as I tried to level the ground off and pulled up what weeds I could.

spuds and beetroot

Plot grown spuds and a beetroot.

On arrival home I thought about an article I read recently (http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/jul/13/no-freedom-play-outside-children) that said some kids spend as little as 4% of their time outside compared to our grannies’ generation who were free to roam a fifty mile radius. I guess the plot is my way of giving them a bit more of the outdoors, to feel connected to the food they eat even though until the tomatoes and cucumbers come to fruition, there is very little chance of getting them to actually eat any of it besides the spuds.  

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2 Responses to “Summer fun”

  1. Gill Ridgewell July 26, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Oh that sounds so lovely! Lucky tots! I like the mini scarecrow. I think he could be just as scary as a big one! Xx

    • wifi allotment July 26, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      B is convinced it will also scare of slugs too – maybe being closer to the ground it will!!

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