Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

End of Year Reports!

It really doesn’t seem like anything like a year since we took on plot 16a at the Hill – but our first anniversary is upon us - so this is a time for reflection on this year as well as planning for the next.

With due credit to John Seymour’s Self Sufficiency, our 20’ by 55’ half allotment has been split into 4 plots & the reports for each of the four beds follow.

Our overall conclusions – in no particular order – must be:
  • This has been the most tremendous fun – any hobby which involves eating delicious things has to be good, & add to that exercise-that-you-don’t-realise-you’re-getting & lots of fresh air. It’s challenging & extremely rewarding.
  • Most prolific crop: runner beans – remember to grow a few less next year
    Most disappointing crop 1: carrots – I think we’ve been very fortunate with our lack of serious pests this year, but the carrot fly has definitely won here
    Most disappointing crop 2: tomatoes – I was so looking forward to these, but we were not alone in have terrible problems with blight – we were lucky not to lose the whole plants, really
    Most delicious crop: tricky, this one – perhaps it was the very first broad beans, or the cauliflower, or possibly the taste of roast parsnip.

  • We need to turn our attention to the more ‘permanent’ features – the compost bin is in (though I’d like to build a second one) & there’s a few strawberries planted. Next in line is to move the raspberry suckers, & put a structure in place, then perhaps another go at asparagus as I suspect that our two plants from earlier this year have not prevailed.

  • I don’t think that a greenhouse is practical for the Hill – the plot’s not big enough, & I think it needs to have a better eye kept on the plants in it, so that’s an aim for me here at home.
  • Although we’ve made a start at devoting the front of the plot to flowers – with bulbs & bedding – I think we need to aim for bee attracting flowering plants next year.
  • I would love to expand my ‘preserving’ horizons next year – perhaps wine making, too?
This has been a marvellous year – I’ve had so much fun! I’ve met lots of new people (& made some very good friends) both at the Hill, & on the GYO grapevine – in particular Shelley from the Forest of Dean & her chap Paulie, & latterly, Clare who lives in the beautiful French countryside & husband Keith.

I wouldn’t change a minute of this year, & can’t wait for next season! Here’s to veg growers all round the world – may your fingers be forever green!

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