More digging

Tim Young - 28 March 2011

The sunshine in the last couple of weeks has been fantastic in Bristol, so much so that we took the previous weekend off digging because we were too busy sunning ourselves. Whoops. To make up I took Friday morning off, and me, my wife and my youngest Theo spent the morning working on more dandelions. We got another chunk clear, but I estimate we're still going to need another ten hours digging and path building before we've cleared the space for our six bed rotation. . . and with the first of our broad beans hardening off and our potatoes chitting merrily, we're going to have to get a move on. Hopefully with the clock's going forward at the weekend we can sneak off in a couple of evenings to catch up a bit. 

Still, Friday morning was wonderfully peaceful, and we think we've discovered the secret of combining small children and an allotment; only ever take one at a time. That way you can give them harmless jobs to do, and they don't get distracted competing with one another over a particular spade/wheelbarrow/weed/garden glove (delete as applicable).

I also learnt (again) to respect the wisdom of my elders. As I worked up a sweat at 10 AM on a March morning it seemed a good idea to take my t-shirt off for half an hour, which prompted the two lovely gents a couple of plots over to suggest that sun cream would be a good thing. Sun cream? In March? For half an hour's exposure? Of course, I'm pretty fair skinned, and of course they were right - no major damange was done, but I've been itching my back ever since. You live and learn I suppose (or in my case when it comes to the sun you live and suffer. . .)

Tim is editor of the Soil Association's Living Earth magazine, and has written on food, health and consumer issues for the last ten years. When not at work Tim is normally being run ragged by his two young sons. In 2009 Tim started trying to grow vegetables, and last year he took on an allotment. Two years later he is still trying to grow vegetables, and is very hopeful that one day soon he will have some success.


the Young family, Essex
03 April 2011 15:41

Tim, is this really your allotment? Are you quite sure its ok to make dear little theo do digging? And exactly how merry is potato chitting down bristol way? Its quite a bit more dull here. The news from here by the way is that the 4 bed system in redbridge is underway with broad beans already planted out and quite a lot more in the greenhouse. We have beans and tomatoes seeding merrily in highbury and pops is considering a sugar free jam this summer. Happy gardening!

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