I've been blogging away through winter - talking about growing things and planning to grow things and marshalling my arguments about the unfair rent rises and also snapping things around about that cheer me up. I'm really please with my new parterre, although it took a while to build. It's been fun.
Right now I am a wondering why the blog has the word 'allotment' in the title. So this weekend I got in my first three hours work of the new season on site.
I planted half a dozen jerusalem artechoke
sowed my first row of parsnips
buried some broad beans
and even planted a row of spuds (Swift + Red Duke of York) A tinsy bit optimistic perhaps.
There - That feels better. At least when I'm clearing the rest of the site, and building those fences I never got round to I have something growing!
Then I dug two trenches where my runner beans are going to go and filled them with the leftovers from the brassica patch and compost and filled them in
For those far flung readers I hope you don't mind being dragged into the minutiae of grubby Edinburgh politics for another post. This information has to be disseminated as quickly as possible locally and this is the only affordable medium I have to hand.
Our Council has decided that Edinburgh Allotment holders, traditionally including some of the poorest citizens, are ripe for harvesting. To put matters in perspective, City of Edinburgh Council recently allocated £30,000 to commisioning portraits of the last two provosts ("mayors"), they have also allocated millions to a tram project that after 5 years has still to deliver one fare(!), yet they view it as unthinkable that they pay £2,000 towards the upkeep of allotments (community gardens) in this city. In fact they will be milking £100,000 from their greenest and most hard working citizens by 2015 !!!
It's been a rotten weekend for working on the allotment. Snow on Saturday pretty horrible today. But it brightened up enough today for me to plant out the asparagus I bought (on impulse) last weekend. Here's what it's all about:
To start with you need good drainage:
Then you need plenty of fertility:
These may have been the inspiration for the Alien movies.
Woke up this morning to a sprinkling of snow - Perhaps I am not so far behind the changing season after all!
I'm delighted to have found a name for the collective bed arrangement. Together they are a 'parterre'. In the tradition of Versaille (but on a smaller scale). ;>)
Now that they are built I've had to narrow down what I'm going to give growing space:
1. Asparagus 2. Herbs
3. Salads 4. Plot Nursery Bed
The asparagus is a complete leap in the dark, but one of these beds seems ideally suited to providing the drainage and the fertility I understand asparagus needs. Of course I want shoots to eat (in a couple of years time) but visually I also love their 'ferns'.
Herbs and salads might overlap a bit as Mediterranean herbs like lots of drainage and even improve in flavour with 'poor' soil whereas parsley coriander fenugreek like the same conditions as lettuce etc.
My last bed is being used for the original purpose I intended (before I got asparagus aspirations). Seedlings need closer attention than weekend to weekend so they are best kept at home. Lettuces growing 3 miles away are not much help when you decide to rustle up a salad late in the week. I do keep them in bowls of water on the widowsill but you can't beat the crispiness of freshly cut salad leaves. I'm looking forward to a reliable supply and a long season.
Back to the snow:
I just have to share this work of art I came across this morning: