The first bit of the challenge was to actually get an allotment. When we moved here there were no allotments. The closest ones were in Bristol, and those were all full. Luckily for me, a little known law could help: if the council believes there is demand for allotments, they have a statutory duty to provide them. So I found eight friends who wanted one too, then I wrote a letter which we all signed, and our lovely parish councillors welcomed the idea. They asked around to see if anyone had a piece of land to rent out. And in a weird yet very fortunate quirk of fate, some friends who live opposite had a spare bit of field. So, not only did I end up with an allotment, but I can see it from my study window.
Now there are plants, and chickens, and children, and neighbours. We meet and we chat and our children play together, because the allotments are there. I’m way behind, because we’ve been out of the UK so much recently. But I’m fired up with enthusiasm about the project, and probably the best way to make myself get on with it and actually do it, is to write about it. So I’m going to take a break from blogging about education for a bit, and blog about building an allotment instead. Because plants are a very special love of mine; and learning doesn’t only happen in school. 😉
7th March 2015 – To Do: Dig, Plan
Couch grass is annoying, but there’s something meditative about pulling long strands of it out of the soil. As I dig I try to get a feel for how I want to lay out the space. ‘Not a clue’ sums up my progress. My only thought is to put a circle in the middle. The kids arrive to help: we will buy chickens next weekend, but first we have to fox proof the run. There’s something incredibly satisfying about pushing a spade into the soil, turning it over and sifting through it for weeds. It reminds me a lot of writing. Seamus Heaney wrote the poem Digging about about this: the pen as spade. Here we go then. “I’ll dig with it.”
Woman versus Weeds has begun.