Two Sundays ago I went to the allotment (see my blog post Folkestone Cantiaci Volunteers) with the volunteers from the Folkestone Cantiaci group for the first time in two months. I wrongly assumed that wintertime there was nothing to do there. I mean, weeds don’t grow so there’s no need to pull them out. And there’s nothing to be sown before spring comes.
However, since December my friends have been shaping up the new area by organising the place to accommodate things kindly donated by people in our community: containers to collect the raining water, others for the compost, a new metal table (so we can have our tea when we take a break), and have assembled the frame of the greenhouse.
As two Sundays ago we had washed and dried all the glass panes of the greenhouse, last Sunday we mounted them in the frame. Unfortunately, some had been broken during the transport to the allotment and couldn’t be used. We’ll have to replace them with plastic ones and we’re looking into how to do it in cost-effective way.
As the pond has collected lots of water, a small area had to be dug to allow the water to overflow without flooding the nearby patches. Last Sunday we had the material needed to stabilise its bottom but the water of the pond was frozen for about 2 cm on the surface so that’s something for next Sunday.
Lastly, we planted two fruit trees, one apple and one plum. Yummy!
After years of wondering what I could do to put organic fruit and veg on the table, grown with my own hands in a way that wouldn’t take too much of my time and energy, and that wouldn’t affect my health negatively, I've finally found the solution.
At the screening of the uplifting and inspiring film/documentary Tomorrow (Demain) by Mélanie Laurent and Cyril Dion here in Folkestone two weeks ago, I met a few members of the group Folkestone Cantiaci Volunteers, which is part of the Transition Town movement. They invited me to join themon Sunday morning to work on their allotments in Newigton, a ten-minute drive from where I live. So last Sunday I spent the morning with Nick, Rebecca, Frank, Doug and Kath. They showed me around the patches and their enthusiasm was contagious.
So, apart from walking around and taking pics, did you do any work? you wonder. Yes, I did. I helped plough a patch in which we will grow rosemary. It’s been hard work in a hot, summery weather, but very satisfying.
On the top right-hand side of the photos you can see the pond that Rebecca is creating. It will attract animals, like hedgehogs, that will eat slugs and other pests. No need for pesticides in our allotments! The pond will host frogs too. I must confess that I'm not keen on being in close proximity to them, but they will eat up the mosquitoes that will hover around the pond so it will be a good trade-off.
Now you know what I'll be doing every Sunday morning from now on :-). And you, have you ever thought of growing you own food?