Wednesday, 2 September 2009
Well I have a Plot - I think???
The Allotment Site if you click this link, then click the blue icon and keep clicking the zoom here button till you can see the customised coloured map of the site. Scrolling over each separate colour explains how the site has been divided.
Well what can I say, I have decided to take a plot but………………...
A little history on the plot, it’s triangular and up until five years ago it was completely overgrown following 25yrs of neglect (the yellow section has been rented out to the home owners that border onto it for quite a number of years. A couple who I believed lived in one of the house on its borders contacted the council five years ago to run and bring some of the site (the lower fatter end of the triangle) back into use.
The couple it seems shared the site with at least two other tenants and was slowly getting others interested hence the community type plot. The couple recently moved away and one of the other tenants now have their very well loved plot all to himself which is the blue section, he pays the council directly. The red section is for a father and son team whom I’m led to believe was also on the site for a long time. The community plots is the pink section and is now being split down into ‘very’ small individual plots between approx 8 people (including myself). I some how gather there might have been a bit of political battling when the couple moved out of the area although nothing was said directly.
Helen who I met today is now technically in charge of the red and pink bit, the total rent for that section is £50.00 which she pays to the council. All the potential plot holidaers of the pink and red section will give her money’s towards this cost once a year, she has not yet worked out how much every one will be paying or when. On asking I was told she was sort of volunteered for the post by everyone and is learning as she goes on how to a manage a site, there is no paper work and no committee, no policies, no guidance really except that the plot is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays 10.00am to 1.00pm, when the key holders are there. I have already said I would like a key as I would really like to put in 2 - 3hrs of work at least 3 - 5days a week over the next two months before the really cold weather sets in.
At the moment they are in the process of clearing the pink and red section of all the crops that needs harvesting so that the individual plots can be marked out properly. I’ll be joining them next Wednesday to help as the quicker I help now the quicker I could get my section and get it ready for planting next year.
There is no water on the site but one of the home owners whose boundary butts up with the site’s boundary kindly makes one of his taps available to the site when in use, so a few water butts are a definite necessity.
My possible plot size I believe maybe approx 30ft x 20ft, no where what I hoped for but should allow me to grow the things I desperately would like to grow for storage, such as spuds, carrots, beetroot, some squash and pumpkins, and a few more things. I can see right now that I would have to be very inventive on how I plan to grow there at the site and a lot of what I am already growing at home will stay at home more for convenience and to make space at the plot.
As the plot will be small I’ll dispense with raise beds but may still use pallet wood to mark out and contain the soil in the growing spots. The overall soil on the site is a yummy colour and the there is evidence that a lot of manure was ploughed into the site up until recently. The veg I saw them clearing out today were huge and quite impressive, so the soil is very fertile from what I can see. There is a plot shed for people to shelter from the elements and it already has communal tools for the site users to use.
Security is good and vandalism has not been much of an issue in the pass, when it has reared its ugly head the local community police has dealt with it swiftly and efficiently. It helps that is so over looked by home owners as they have a tendency to keep an eye out.
To be honest I was a little disappointed that I was not shown a spot and told that’s yours but the quicker I get stuck in and help them the quicker I will get my own. So that’s it really, I’m finally an Allotment Gardener.