Park Road Allotment site is now listed by the council as an ‘Asset of Community Value’. It won’t stop the estate but it will help to get the community behind our campaign.
Although the estate have only given us a contract until the end of March 2016, I’ve decided to carry on regardless. If the plots are left uncultivated because the plotters feel discouraged and demotivated, it is simply more fuel for the estate to argue that the site is not well used.
We are not a tidy site, we will never win prizes and that’s OK because we dig and grow, not just for the produce but for mental peace and tranquility. It is our bit of paradise.
Today I cleared the raspberry bed, cleared one of the large rotation beds which had been home to pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and the sunflower hedge. I also got around to repairing and weeding the two 6×4 beds. Just two thirds of the plot left to spruce up…
That took a couple of hours. Mindfulness is a trend just now. I’d suggest that clearing and tidying a raspberry bed is an act of mindfulness. Focused on the task, in the present moment. Noticing the difference in colour and appearance to select the correct canes to prune out. Taking pieces of string to tie in the new canes. The sense of satisfaction that order has been restored – even if just for a few short months.
Then I turned my attention for the rest of the area. I’d cleared the large rotation bed in November but weeds were sprouting, so a quick whizz over with the hoe. I was impressed that the soil would let me hoe it; just shows the value of compost, the soil has improved immensely in the last 10 years – it’s almost friable.
One last job before the light faded. The scaffold board on one of my raised bed had rotted away, but it had given 7 years loyal service. The soil needed shifting to the middle of the bed so that I could get the new plank in place. Note the absence of 90 degree angles (I expect the estate will issue us with set square!) A bit of a weed and good for another 7 years.