Hello. I’m Urvashi and I have an allotment in Enfield. I waited a while for it and had almost given up hope when the phone rang and the ever so lovely membership chap said I had three plots to choose from.
I went for the one with the tree and the caravan. I knew my girls would love both.
It’s a pretty big plot. Here’s the other end when we first got it. There were some raspberry canes left growing but pretty much everything else was covered in grass and weeds.
That first day, we sat and took it all in. Granddad came over with his soil kit and helped us test the soil and clay. Well it didn’t really need the soil kit to tell us that as the allotments are called Clay Hill Allotments! But he gave us a little advice on what to plant to break up the soil and how to sort the raspberry canes out.
Of course we just wanted to clear and dig and after pretty much the whole day doing just, that this is where we left it.
A little tidier for sure. We sat back and set ourselves a couple of principles to work by:
– We would try to do it all by hand – no machines – where would they plug in anyway?
– We would not use any chemicals or pesticides or artificial growing aids – all natural on our plot.
And then the decisions of what to plant! That’s when we discovered the Thompson & Morgan site among other blogs and reference sources to try and be as informed as possible. We settled on beetroot, potatoes, broad beans, dahlias, strawberries from Granddad and courgettes (for the flowers). We added to this list of the “ordinary” some unusual , some would say quirky items – tomatillos, quinoa (!) and gojiberries.
We left that day so inspired and elated but worried about the birds, deer and all manner of little creatures that would invade our plot while we were away. It was agreed that some guardians would need to be put in place and Mr and Mrs S Crow came to the rescue.
Since that first day, we’ve been visiting as regularly as we’ve been able to. In the summer months I got rather obsessed with watering every evening and then got sucked in to the peace and clam of the allotment doing a little bit of pottering until the sun went down.
I’ve photographed the journey and been blogging about my planting, the produce and the things I’ve cooked with our wonderful allotment bounty.
I look forward to sharing them here too.
About Urvashi Roe
Urvashi and her family are on a journey of discovery with their allotment in Clay Hill in Enfield. Urvashi put her name down on the waiting list hoping to give the keys as an unusual present for her husband’s 40th birthday. He got his present a few years later and the family are now obsessed with growing the traditional and the unusual. Urvashi blogs at www.thebotanicalbaker.wordpress.com and tweets at @BotanicalBaker