Past my allotted time...

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by rich p, 20 Aug 2012.

  1. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    ...I have given up our allotment after 5 years of effort and battling the elements. The constant fight against weeds and the weather has taken its toll.
    Somebody said somewhere that having an allotment means giving up a life and there's an element of truth in that. The terrible weather earlier in the year meant preparation, planting and weeding was difficult and the last straw was getting back after a 3 week holiday and finding the weeds almost waist high. Coupled with the failure of several crops it all seemed a bit pointless: too much effort for too little reward. I'm a broken man!
    To do justice to an allotment that size you need to be retired and have little else to do. I'll have more time do the crossword now, iron my undies, polish the cutlery and all manner of new hobbies.
     
  2. biggs682

    biggs682 Smile a mile bike provider

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    rich p my parents had a huge allotment directly behind a house they lived in once , and after doing that for 3 years , they struggled to keep on top of it all , so gave it in , eventually they moved and the new owners battled in vain for a while .

    we made 2 raised beds last year and so far this year we have harvested about a dozen french beens , 1 lettuce whilst the birds have had all the strawberries and blueberries
     
  3. asterix

    asterix Comrade Member

    Location:
    Limoges or York
    Never mind, there's always the supermarket.
     
  4. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Location:
    Meanwood, Leeds
    I was eying up some allotments a mile or so from where I live. They seem to have gone through a full cycle from being abandoned allotments to being tended by guerilla allotmenteers, then to official council supported allotment and now what appears to be abandoned allotments again.

    Looks like I'll be able pick raspberries, blackberries and gooseberries unchallenged next year.

    Whenever I get the urge to take on a plot I remind myself how a half plot proved to be too much to handle twenty five years ago when I seemed to have an unlimited supply of free time.

    Perhaps I should lower my ambitions to cultivating a window box.
     
    summerdays likes this.
  5. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    more time in the saddle available ;)
     
  6. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    Location:
    Bristol
    My Dad is giving his up this year (once the few crops they have in, have been harvested). It's getting a bit too much for him, and he does have a large garden as well.

    We are new to the allotment way of life - and so I've no idea how long we will keep it for, but for a small allotment I have already seen a number of plots change hands already (20% perhaps). The one next to us was worked near the beginning of the year, but has been waist high in weeds since about May.
     
  7. FTFY :thumbsup:

    My Sister is at the opposite end of he allotment spectrum to you Rich. She acquired one last year, well she got herself a plot of land that Mother Nature had run riot with for several years :wacko:

    TBH she's worked wonders with it, and just won a couple of prizes at this years allotment open day for her vegetables. This past weekend she'd have been found painting their new shed. I suggested one of fifty shades of grey, but she's done it green.

    Will her enthusiasm continue over the coming years, only time will tell.

    You're definitely right about giving up a life though, she'll be up there most evenings, and almost all weekend, every weekend, (she also works full time!).

    She first got into it through Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's land share scheme. A farm not far from us gave over a corner of a field and she got in there. However, internal politics with the farmer eventually drove everyone away sadly, then after a short break she managed to stumble across this new allotment venture, she was lucky really as the waiting lists around here are pretty mental.

    It's not my thing TBH, my fingers are definitely more atuned to grease and oil than peat and fertilizer.

    Anyhoo, good luck with ironing your undies, just remember, take them off first to avoid embarrassment at A&E ^_^
     
  8. tadpole

    tadpole Senior Member

    Location:
    St George
    After two or more years of waiting, I got an organic mini plot January (140squ foot) I've dug tended nursed, weeded, planted watered, tended it for a couple of hours every week since then and apart from a couple of KG of onions and potatoes, all I've harvested is one courgette. The slugs ate everything else; even now I look at the plot and shake my head. :cry:
    But I've spent more time outdoors in the last year than in the last 20 years, doing stuff and had the enjoyment of working on the soil, so I still feel ahead of the game. Sometimes it's not just about what you grow; it can be about the quality of your life as you tend the soil.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    I (we) were enthusiastic for a few years but it definitely became more of a chore and duty than a pleasure. In truth, our plot was too big and was in constant need of weeding especially as the other plots around and about were regularly abandoned and rapidly turned into the Serengeti and fine examplesof wind-assisted propagation.
     
  10. Archie_tect

    Archie_tect De Skieven Architek... aka Penfold

    Location:
    Northumberland
    This thread is a revelation... I'd always felt I wasn't complete as I don't enjoy gardening, but now my conscience is salved. Thank you rich!
     
    postman likes this.
  11. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    Location:
    Bristol
    ONE courgette - my family are suffering courgette overload - every time we have gone to the allotment we come back with 3-5 courgettes - all large ones. We have been eating courgette bread, and cake and lots of other recipes daily. Luckily they seem to be slowing down in production now.

    We have also succeeded with spinach, some potatoes, patti pan squashes, turks head squashes, peas, mange tout and beetroot. Main disappointments have been beans that never managed to make it more than an inch or so before being eaten, and several of the fruit bushes we put in died.
     
  12. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    I lost control of my garden the year I discovered cycle touring and have learned to live with the sight of the garden gradually returning to nature.:smile:
     
  13. Sandra6

    Sandra6 Veteran

    Location:
    Cumbria
    I hope you don't regret giving it up. I really miss my allotment.
    In fairness it was too big and too much work and it always looked scruffy and unkempt, but as a family we had a lot of fun there and it taught the children a lot.
    We were threatened a few times with having it taken off us. Apparently putting a lawn in the middle was against the rules, but I fought the law and won!:gun: Then a couple of months later we decided to move house so it had to be handed back anyway.
    I miss fresh eggs and salad which we always had a-plenty.
    We're growing peas and parsley in pots outside now but it's not the same.
     
  14. yello

    yello Legendary Member

    Veg plots are a lot of work, it's true. We've scaled back on what we grow after our initial enthusiasm of the first couple of years. Not because of the amount of work per se, as we've plenty of free time, but mainly because we ended up with gluts (or failures!). All lettuces at the same time (so most bolt), that sort of thing. And, of course, if you've got it then so have the markets. It is, quite frankly, easier and probably cheaper to buy fresh local veg from the market, even if less rewarding.

    This year, I planted 6 rows of beetroot (I love the stuff and it keeps), only 2 plants have grown... so I have a 2m x 3m plot with only 2 forlorn looking beetroot in it! You do wonder why you bother sometimes.
     
  15. Andrew_Culture

    Andrew_Culture Internet Marketing bod

    We have a double plot http://naturallylaws.blogspot.co.uk/ My wife is a qualified (apprenticeship served) gardener and specialises in growing vegetables but since spawing we're probably going to give up half the plot. This year has sucked - the hosepipe ban we had meant we planted a lot less than usual, so our yield will be crap this year.

    We see a lot of people at our local allotments take on a plot with tons of enthusiasm, dig over the entire plot then lose heart when it gets covered in weeds. It's far smarter to let grass grow on the bits you're not yet cultivating and then mow that grass.

    fire.jpg
     
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