Grow
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Not my Plot

I’m up North for the Christmas break, and like most areas of England it’s been a wet and windy Christmas.  After spending nearly a week either sat at a dining table or in front of the TV, I was ready to leave the house.

We took advantage of the sunny but frosty morning and headed up to Dad’s allotment on the edge of the village.  It’s a world away from my suburban plot surrounded by housing and a busy railway line.

Plot 9A is a half plot measuring around 30 m  by 7.5 m, and costs £12 a year to rent – so cheap!  The sandy soil is so fine it felt like cotton wool compared to my heavy clay.  The plot is divided into 4 large beds: fruit, brassicas, roots, and beans and onions, each plot is separated by a path and sometimes a herby hedge.  Any spare space will be filled with squash and pumpkin.

Dad’s also allotmentised the bottom of his garden.  Beyond a trellis are 2 greenhouses, 3 large raised beds, an asparagus plot, oh not forgetting a shed, and more water-butts and compost bins you can shake a hat at!

This morning I was set the task of weeding between the onions and brassicas.  It was made much easier with this nifty hoe thingy –  it skimmed the weeds off and made the job much easier.  I’ll have to invest in some better tools – I guess it’s too late to ask santa!

Before heading home I collected some young nettles.  Nettles are a wonderful source of iron and can be used as a spring tonic in tea, soups or stews.  I opted for a tea.  I took a handful of nettle tops and stuffed them in a strainer and covered with just boiled water.  This cute cup had a cover so I left it to brew for 10 minutes.

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