Wednesday, 13 May 2015

A new year on the allotment

I'm excited about our growing year ahead on the allotment. This will be our fourth summer having our allotment here in the Midlands. When we first took it on back in August 2012 it was covered in weeds upto our waists. Every year we seem to make a bit more progress in staying on top of the weeds. We've realised how important (and helpful) it is to keep the ground covered over when plants aren't being grown. The plot looks tidier, and more importantly the weeds are suppressed. The committee on our allotment are very strict about keeping weeds under control. 

Today was the first nice day of this year for the kids and I on our allotment plot. The kids seemed to appreciate the better weather down there! To my surprise they straight away got stuck in pulling up the surface weeds growing over our geotextile ground cover. 
The rhubarb patch has gone bonkers this year already! Previous years the crowns have clearly been spending their energies establishing roots and this year it seems to have really taken off. We cut 20 stalks to bring home, which barely made a dent in it at all. I'm going to need to look up some varied rhubarb recipes that don't involve the word 'crumble'.
I found some spare strawberries from last year lurking by the shed, so moved them to the end of our asparagus raised bed. I'm really chuffed that we have our first asparagus shoot! We planted 5 crowns last autumn, I hope the others start to show signs of life soon too. 

Finally, we put our potatoes in. Two rows of Charlotte potatoes, second earlies. Luke prepared the ground for us one evening earlier this week and Asher especially loved dropping the potatoes in the holes, learning about putting the shoots facing the right way up, covering them over and watering the rows. Asher at the age of 3 is a very hands-on learner, and his engagement in activities like this really confirm this for me. 

When we got home we made a 'rhubarb crumble cake' together and enjoyed it for our pudding for tea. Well earned after our work on the allotment. I'm looking forward to many more occasions spent down there this year. As the kids get older, not only are they able to help more (and as today showed, cheerfully help), but they can also learn so much along the way. 

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