I parked my car at the top end & said hello & waved to to plenty of people as I walked down to my plot to find returning-allotmenteer-Chris from 2a by the manure skip, busy readying equipment for the main event for the day - skip painting.
At the AGM in November, when a list of jobs was circulated that need doing for the upkeep of the site, we ticked the manure-skip painting job as being - frankly - not overly arduous, & now the better weather is with us, we had no excuse not to get on with it.
So, on with the overalls (and woolly hat - it wasn't that warm), we rubbed the loose paint off with some vigour, then got the paint brushes out.
It looked a lot smarter when we'd finished. Mind you, I didn't look smarter when we'd finished - I looked like someone with green paint on their hat. And here we do look a bit as though we've escaped from somewhere, but it does show us doing a Job of Work.
We chatted as we painted - not least to about three quarters of the Hill plotholders who passed by, every one a comic - & we agreed that some painted flowers on the side of the skip would look good.
Well - blow me down - Chris has been on the case and demonstrated an excellent artistic talent - just look at those sunflowers! I'm tickled pink - it looks fantastic!
With skip painting finished, I put the overalls back in the car, & on the way by spotted Teacher Barry's son, three plots up from mine. I was glad to see him, as the last time that I saw his father before he sadly passed away last Spring, he gave me some parsnips for making wine, & I promised him a bottle when it was ready to drink.
I'm glad that Mike has carried on with his father's plot, & very happy that I've managed to keep my promise - maybe he'll drink a toast to Barry. I know that I will when I open the first bottle in a couple of weeks.
I got busy with the fork & dug up all the remaining parsnips - I'll need this bed for the potatoes, & I wanted to get it cleared & add some manure. There is rather a mountain of them, actually, even after I discarded any ropey ones.
I put them to one side, then made holes to plant the POTATOES (red duke of york & pentland javelin) in, heaved 3 tubs of manure from the skip, then sowed a row of CARROTS (early nantes 5) in yet another misguided gesture of hope over experience, I suspect.
That was my list all ticked off, so all I had to do was work out what to do with a couple of hundred weight of perfect parsnips.
So I filled the big bucket & walked down to the bottom & back up again foisting them off on anyone who would have them, including JB; his gardening buddy Catherine; Chris; woodchippings Paul (who produced a jar of damson jam in exchange to my utter delight); neighbour Jody's mate Shaun & young family who are helping Jody out; Carl & Wendy and potager Chrissie.
I still bought this lot back home - enough to feed me, the neighbours, mum AND to make a couple of batches of wine. And soup. And to blanch and freeze...