Slow allotment gardening in the life of a busy family
Monday, 5 September 2011
Shades of green
Some things are flourishing this year. The 56 leeks, minus 2 or 3, are looking more leek-like by the week. Grass seems to be our best crop, helped along by a stream of busy weekends and darker evenings. Even the emerging green manure, to the left of the lush central path, can't compete.
Grass apart, however, this has been a mean summer. Of my first sowing of lettuce, chard and beetroot, only a few seedlings emerged. The second sowing made a couple of weeks ago is marked by the faint lines of sawdust in the shot below. There are some healthy weeds, but not much else.
The close-up below reveals what might be some carrots pushing through. 'Grudging' is the best description I can come up with for this season. In my more fanciful moments I imagine that the plot knows that our attention has been elsewhere.
We have to face the fact that we are likely to be just as busy through the next year, and so we've been making plans for an ongoing regime of green manure that will take us through this winter, then next spring and summer. We'll keep smaller areas under cultivation but we won't try to be productive on a scale that we can't maintain. In the end the soil will benefit, and we'll arrive at this point next year with both children away at university and the plot serving as therapy for the empty nest syndrome that we can see looming.