December Allotment Tour (Steve’s Plot)

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This is the first tour of winter and almost everything continues to grow well, somethings too well. The green salaonvas are suffering a bit, but the miner’s lettuce is growing faster than we can eat it and we eat a lot. We had a few very early frosts and these seem to have stopped the spinach beds from growing, although they should be fine come spring. Almost all of the beds are fully planted, but I’m actively clearing some of them ready for planting in February and the hot beds will be planted in January – which is always exciting.

Finally all of my wooden hot composting bins are full, one is very hot at 70C, one at 40C and the other at 30C, which will soon be ready to move to a plastic bin – where it will sit for a few months more. My plastic storage bins are all full, but I empty them whenever I get an opportunity, to make space for new compost coming ready (once it’s cooled) from my wooden bins.

If you are new to my allotment videos you might find a bit of context useful. We have three allotments in my family, mine (Steve), my wife’s (Debbie) and our daughter’s (Jennie). We also have a small kitchen garden at home. They are all managed in an integrated fashion, so don’t expect to see the usual mix of veg on each plot. Jennie’s plot for example focuses on potatoes, squash, alliums and brassicas. This video provides an overview https://youtu.be/q1k-2vIoSQ8. I do a monthly tour of each allotment, roughly one a week, you can find the tours here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFhKoRR-NiCJn5Y6rZf0RCCqycu3xvofX.

Our approach to allotment life is to: grow as much as we possibly can, to be self sufficient in veg all year round and in fruit in summer, to give away our huge surplus to friends and family and to have as much fun as possible.

My wife and I spend about 4 hours a day, 4 days a week on the plots (on average) and we keep nudging that down as we eliminate non-productive work, like grass cutting, weeding and watering as much as practical. We are both newbie gardeners, only starting the allotments in 2016.

I’m a bit obsessive about the nutrient density of the veg that we grow and making the plots easy to work because it’s through this allotment lifestyle and food that I’ve overcome a debilitating auto-immune disease. I’m always aware though that it might not last so I make sure that I don’t work too hard, eat the most organic fruit and veg I can and design the plots so that I can still work them if I flare up again.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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