Tag Archives: plot

a frosty trip to the plot

30 Dec

Often described as a dead-week, the week between Christmas and New Year is actually perhaps the closest many of us get to an extended period of real genuine non-doing. A time to disconnect from work and just be with your nearest and dearest. This of course can come with its own challenges but as the week is nearly over it’s also worth reflecting how precious a week of non-doing is these days.

If my kids read this they would perhaps laugh at the idea of me ever having a non-doing week as there have been chilly picnics at nearby Audley End and several frosty walks through a nearby forest. Yesterday they were promised a lazy day and both declared they would not leave the house, even to venture into the garden.

They kept their word but by today my youngest, a spirited seven year old boy, was asking when that promised trip to the allotment would be. For want of better plan I said how about now and left the hubby in charge of lunch. We walked down to the plot in the fog and enjoyed getting some fresh air whilst aware we were the only people out and about bar a couple of dog walkers. I often make the comparison that having young kids is akin to having a dog, they really do need to get out at least once a day which makes non-doing a challenge to navigate.

Once at the allotment we planted out garlic, dug up some frozen onions and weeded a frosty patch of earth where we then planted out broad beans. No idea if this is the right time to do it, we found the broad bean seeds and went for it. My son enjoyed moving worms out of harms way and breaking a frozen pond in an abandoned plot next door. His hands got soaked and frozen and he shivered all they way home but we both enjoyed a brief bit of purpose amidst the non-doing along with a well-earned flask.

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Now I have been out of the house I feel settled enough to enjoy non-doing for the rest of the day! I predict by tomorrow my feet will start itching for action and adventure once more though and I might think of another excuse to escape to the plot.

The unrelenting march of nature

21 Feb

Life gets so busy at times that it’s easy to neglect a wee plot. I have also been feeling ever so slightly smug. When I think back to this time last year and how much digging there was to be done I feel relieved that there isn’t as much to do this year. But this has led to a bit of plot lethargy and as I discovered today I can feel as smug as I want, it won’t keep nature and all her weeds at bay.

I had a rare thing during half term – a day without the kids. My one day of ‘holiday’ was spent mainly in front of my computer lesson planning, catching up with paperwork and also covering my hair with green gloop which smells not dissimilar to some natural matter I might use on the plot. Henna is a real bind to apply, it shows a certain dogged level of commitment to all things organic, when even your hair dye is soil association approved.

At one point during the day I looked at the blue sky and the bright winter sun and reflected on how often I have had to be outside in the rain this week. The one day I have without the kids and it is sunny. Then I realised that doesn’t have to mean I am housebound too. So I indulged myself to a fresh air stroll to the plot.

shed still there

Happily the shed is still standing (again, I know but I have lost count of the windy nights we’ve had since my last visit).

shed still there 2

And the purple sprouting broccoli is coming into it’s own. I picked a small bag’s worth today. The plot has been ticking along on it’s own this last month but I realised as I surveyed my little corner I need to shake off my complacency and do the following tasks very soon:

  1. Get weeding before they take over everything. Oh yes the battle of the weeds commences here!
  2. Buy some cheap fruit tress before it’s too late to plant them. I fancy a plum and an apple tree this year.
  3. Plant out more broad beans, garlic and onions before winter finishes so I have two rounds of crops.
  4. Shake off my winter induced plot denial, it’s nearly March for goodness sake!
  5. Plant some more grass paths in the never ending bid to introduce some order to our unruly plot!

Not a huge to-do-list, I don’t want to overload myself before I have even re-started but one that will keep me busy for now and help me take back control of our plot!