Friday, 14 February 2020

Recently on the plot

Cars in the near distance, a great mass of geese in the sky and many sweet song birds in the hedgerows - the noises that both accompanied our visit to the plot and soothed our minds. Sometimes, even in the damp, its a truly wonderful place to be.

I got to work with the oscillating hoe, did I tell you we got one? Haha, I feel we haven't quite gotten over the shock and joy of this new find.

During the week Andrew got us more seeds in Poundstretcher (varieties we wanted and for only 79p) and 3 bare root fruit trees in Lidl for £15! Bargains. The online bare root tree order fell through as though we'd paid the £5 delivery fee, they wanted £15 more!? £20 to deliver a £15 tree, no thank you.

2 Prunus and a Malus (more in a future blog post)
Due to Storm Ciara the ground was sodden so we couldn't plant the trees but we put them together in a big pot with lovely new compost. The pot is in a sheltered corner until a better day.

Next, posts where first driven into the ground in the back of the site. Then, we had bought wind break netting on Saturday so we screwed it up with batons and cut offs we have had around the place. Little rustic looking from the back maybe but functional!

Somehow having created a little barrier off from the rest of the field, I suddenly had the feeling of belonging. Belonging to this small plot that is ours, more so than I have in years. And with that I felt more assured that I am an allotmenteer, I belong to this wider circle of people and the feeling was lovely (if fleeting).

* We've been eating the PSB and the kale tops, this week too. Don't overlook those bolted kale flower buds, they taste wonderful!

It's really time to give the shed some loving! We have so much to get rid of out of it, a corner to repair and lots of fresh paint needs applying. We had thought of getting a new one but this one is dandy - just hard done by. As we had the tools with us, I bravely decided to take down the lovingly handcrafted 24a sign I made some years ago out of odd broken up tiles; time to move on.

Love and hugs (especially as it's St Valentines' day!)

Thursday, 6 February 2020

The fun begins!

the fun begins - - Carrie Gault 2020
Last weekend at the plot we worked hard, fitting a new water butt tap, lifting the last of the weeds and grass and mulching the heck out of everywhere; great work but a boring blog post, ahaha. However yesterday Andrew had a day off and we spent it making notes in our
new allotment planner book, going to the local nursery for netting and an oscillating hoe (the best thing EVER) and going to the plot to make further plans.
Andrew and the oscillating hoe - - Carrie Gault 2020
Andrew and the new oscillating hoe. Look at that soil, lovely
On the plot at the moment - 
the Purple sprouting broccoli is ready, the garlic is flourishing and the kale has bolted.
Purple Sprouting Broccoli - - Carrie Gault 2020

We have decided that the back of the plot is going to be home to our 2 fruit bushes, rhubarb and fruit trees. The rhubarb 'glaskins perpetual' crowns are just poking their sweet heads up through the thick mulch now and I for one am very excited. We are going to get 2 more crowns and simply fill that space up with rhubarb-y yuminess.
rhubarb poking up - - Carrie Gault 2020

The damson tree is going to get a friend in the shape of a cherry 'stella' tree, we're just waiting on it arriving. The blueberries are just going to stay the way they are and the apple trees support arch is coming out now that they have established and are happy (the timber is rotting away anyway).

The seed buying started at the weekend and more last night and more this afternoon. Little but often, getting our favourite varieties for the best price and new fun types to try alongside. It's almost the most exciting time of the whole allotment year I think - this panning and anticipation.

The potatoes are chitting away in the shed - 'Pentland Javelin' first earlies.

There shall also be changes made around the shed and compost areas but I'll leave those as a surprise. Oh and we are taking a big interest in the hedgerow line behind our shed and are going to make it a better place for all the many birds and insects that live in there. All shall be revealed in time :)

the corner of shame - - Carrie Gault 2020

the hedgerow  - - Carrie Gault 2020


Saturday, 25 January 2020

Are you local?

So there we were on Saturday morning last lambasting the weather for being so terribly cold and windy (and secretly both wishing we had nowhere to go). But work was waiting to be done for our plot and by golly we were the only ones to do it!

Hence we went to our preferred local builders/farmers supply shop but it was closed due to a bereavement. The place was humming with people obviously waiting for the hearse to pass; boy that puts your day into perspective. After a think we remembered the other local builders' yard and though it was busy we got posts and wood boards.

are you local? - - Carrie Gault 2020

On the way to the plot then we nipped into the nursery next door. Looking for bare root fruit trees and a cherry 'stella' in particular but no tree for us. However I got new gloves and they kindly gave us six used compost bags.

Dropping off the wood at the plot we realised it was time for a coffee break (with apple sponge). We drove off to Whitehead (quite local) to fulfil this need and after we had refreshed ourselves we took those 6 empty compost bags to the sea side and gathered a lot of fresh seaweed.
seaweed - - Carrie Gault 2020
lovely (not too rubbishy) seaweed

Oh it was a heck of a weight but when we got back to the plot with it all, it only covered most of one bed! Wow. Like when you cook spinach, this seaweed will wilt down to nothing much and introduce loads of good nutrients into the soil.

seaweed  on the bed - - Carrie Gault 2020
almost covered the whole bed - note broken fence in background..

And so that was Saturday, boy I look forward to the days when there is light much longer into the day.

After a good day it is very common for me to have a bad day, mentally. This is exactly what happened last Sunday (and has lasted all week, even now). Therefore I didn't get to the allotment on the second afternoon and thus there was no hammer action for me! I know you are all terribly sad about this. Take consolation in the fact that I later learnt Andrew fixed the fences, the worst raised bed edges and such with an electric screwdriver and screws - where's the danger and excitement in that?! Haha

hard work at the plot - - Carrie Gault 2020
Andrew's hard work

sunset at the plot - - Carrie Gault 2020

That's all for now friends. I haven't been to the plot today either but I have hopes that tomorrow will be a better day (I always have hope!)
Carrie x

Thursday, 16 January 2020

First visit to the plot in 2020!

header - - Carrie Gault

Hello darling friends - I live! Yes, it has been a lifetime in blogging terms but I am still here, still going strong and despite the weather I am still your stubborn optimist!

Who would believe it? - The world seems a mess with this climate emergency and so much serious, scary politics and it's only the 3rd week of the new year. It would break one's heart if one where to dwell on it all. So instead let's just focus on the macro level and think about the poor wee neglected A24a 😊 How's it doing?

It was with much trepidation we visited the plot last Sunday and though the path down to it was a boggy mess, the plot itself was surprisingly OK. Better than that in fact as all our garlic [Solent Wight] was up and (bar two which looked like they had be pecked by birds), all look great! Plus, right next to that is a lovely line of tulips coming up too, the gorgeously dark colour of the petals hinted at in the leaves.
garlic - - Carrie Gault

Another bed blessed us with utterly delicious kale [Cavolo Nero] to harvest and take home for dinner. It went into the loveliest curry, made by Andrew. Also in that bed we also have super healthy looking purple sprouting broccoli  growing well - things are looking good!

kale - - Carrie Gault

The only downside is the rotten wood all round the place that needs replaced and fast. The main fence has snapped in two at the entrance as well - this Saturday guess who's going to the timber merchant?! I can't wait to see the whole place revamped and ready to face the year and indeed years to come. We have a keen vision for 2020 (haha, 2020 vision) and we have to make a start with new bed edging and possibly even an extra tree. Watch out world - I may have a hammer in my hand this weekend! 😮

andrew's photo of the plot - - Carrie Gault
Andrew's photo of the plot and me photographing the kale - my photo below :)

lovely kale harvest - - Carrie Gault

Much love and best wishes to you all
Carrie x

Friday, 29 November 2019

Looking back on November

What a difficult month mental health-wise; it has gone by in a whorl of confusion, despair and exhaustion. I reluctantly had to accept all the help and support that was offered me just to drag myself through the days. Time moved in a odd way, feeling like it was stretched out long and never ending but somehow also slipping through my fingers, days upon days wasted. I couldn't be more thankful that today I feel a little more in control.

I haven't been out that much (obviously) and anything I have done has been very relaxed. It seems perfectly understandable that any afternoons out have been in wooded surroundings with my camera and Toby. Ecotherapy heals :)

A Stubborn Optimist - Ecotherapy blog  ~ C.Gault 2019

Blogging will hopefully be made more enjoyable and easier by this wonderful new laptop and my early Christmas present from Andrew of an incredible new lens for my camera.

I will end this first blog in a while with some of my most liked photographs I have taken for Instagram this November (for the Fat Mum Slim month of colour prompts and for myself) with said new lens!

A Stubborn Optimist - Ecotherapy blog  ~ C.Gault 2019
the last Geum of the year

A Stubborn Optimist - Ecotherapy blog  ~ C.Gault 2019
Moonrise at Nendrum

A Stubborn Optimist - Ecotherapy blog  ~ C.Gault 2019
Withered willow leaves

A Stubborn Optimist - Ecotherapy blog  ~ C.Gault 2019
Sunset at Nendrum

A Stubborn Optimist - Ecotherapy blog  ~ C.Gault 2019
A puffball in the moss

A Stubborn Optimist - Ecotherapy blog  ~ C.Gault 2019
Beautiful rust

A Stubborn Optimist - Ecotherapy blog  ~ C.Gault 2019
Gingerbread and coffee
I love Autumnal colours so it seems :)
STAY WARM my friends and best wishes for the month to come!
Love Carrie