Last year, I wanted to see if I could grow flowers and veg plants that other people wanted to buy and so London Plot was born (the insurance company wanted a name!)

This is strictly fair weather market trading and all very local and ad-hoc.  When people ask if I’ll be there every week, I explain that once a month is about right for the plants to grow to a decent size.  It turns out that people are prepared to wait; today the oregano was finally big enough to make an appearance and a woman who twice now has come to the stall but left disappointed today walked away clutching a tin of her favourite herb.

It’s been interesting to note the stage at which people consider a plant ready to buy – the cosmos sells well at all stages but the last three are refusing to branch out and as a result look sad and spindly, whereas today the celosia was at its most curious looking and they practically leapt off the table.

I have a source of tin cans; the obvious source comes from Billy the Labrador’s daily dinner which are perfect for herb pots.  Now I have a source for catering size baked bean tins – the company gets through 10 a day and are happy for me to take even a tiny proportion (and we blame cows for rising methane levels!)  I spray paint the tins in various colours, which gives them shabby chic status and so much nicer than plastic pots.

This Sunday I expanded the range to produce from the plot; sweet and sour cucumber pickle and pea and mint houmous, as well as rhubarb and almond muffins.

I measure market trading success in how much is loaded back in the car at 2pm – today only two crates went back; everything else was empty.

I really enjoy having a stall, there’s no pressure to sell although I do love making a sale.  There are a number of allotmenteers from other sites who drop by to buy their tomato plants and have a chat, bloggers that I get to meet in person (Nic Dempsey) and the ooh’s and aah’s when people sniff the flowers and I can tell them which variety and what time they were cut.

It’ll be PSB and basil next week and then a few weeks off to regroup and maybe one or two more in August before we close down for the year.

Allotment Life: digging, harvesting and other stuff