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Allotment Life

In October 2005 I became a proud allotment user.  Since Charlie arrived it's been the idea of both Alison and myself to provide healthier food for the three of us.  So, for £15 a year I get a large plot in Malton.  At about five miles from home it could be closer, but my neighbouring allotment holders seem to be a friendly bunch and have been willing to share and exchange plants, seeds and advise.

Last year was pretty hectic, and getting things done on the allotment often came low on the list of priorities, but we did manage to get a fair bit of veg and fruit.  Here's a small sample of our produce.

Fresh produce from the allotment, 2006.

2007 has started quite well, weather wise, and I've been able to get on with many jobs.  Garlic and onions are in and growing well.  As are the Jerusalem artichokes which I'm growing for the first time this year.  The cabbages, brussels and swedes are at an end now, though my leeks have only just started to come in.  Leaves are coming out on the raspberries and gooseberries, so I'm looking forward to an even better crop from them this year.  I'll be planting the first early potatoes soon, but the big hope this year is that I've been trying to get the plot next to mine too.  I should find out soon if it will be available, and this should help stretch out the crop rotation further and help in other respects as well.

I've divided the allotment into six sub-plots.  It should make the rotation thing easier to keep up with.  Plot 1 is the soft fruit, with Raspberries, Blackcurrents, Whitecurrents, Redcurrents, Gooseberries and Strawberies.  I'm hoping this year to get a couple, at least, of Blueberries growing too.  I need to get to grips with my acid based compost heap first though.  This will need more time gathering braken from the moors, provided I can find a friendly farmer to give permission.

Plot 2 will be potatoes with a few leeks toward the end of the year.

Plot 3 will be the legume family.  Peas and Beans to most of us.  Later in the year this plot will hold the brassica family.

Plot 4 is the miscellaneous bed.  Artichoke, Spinnach, Sweetcorn, Peppers, Cucumbers, Pumpkins, Courgettes and so on.

Plot 5 has the root break in, Parsnip, Beetroot, Salsify, Carrot and including Onions and Garlic too.

Plot 6 being a seed bed and holding area primarily for the Brassica family.

This system seemed to work quite well last year, and with one or two tweaks should be usable for 07 too.  Though, if I'm successful getting the second plot then this will obviously change.