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...........

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Skip Painting & Parsnip Harvest

It was a lovely Spring-like day on Saturday, so I composed my List Of Things To Do, packed the car - including my overalls - & got myself to the Hill.

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...


  1. that's an impressive days work Hazel. The sunflowers are so cheery :o)

  2. The sunflowers are even more impressive close up, girls - I am really, really glad that Chris got to the paints before I did, I do not have an artistic bent!


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