January Allotment Tour (Steve’s Plot)
I’m taking advantage of a few good days to do a quick tour of my plot, but more importantly I’m also working with a couple of friends to take down my old cooking apples trees and a very poor eater. This will open up a huge area on my plot, that’s perfectly positioned for a polytunnel.
The highlight of January isn’t on my plot though it’s on Jennie’s and that’s Kalettes, which have given us amazing leaves all through summer and autumn and are now providing an abundant harvest of little sprout like bunches of kale. On my plot we have lost about 10% of our leafy greens to the hard frosts, but everything else is growing strongly, especially with these lovely sunny days. After the big Christmas and New Year harvests we are giving the salads a rest until mid January, we are focusing on brassicas, but in Late January/February everything will start to pick up again.
If all goes to plan, March will see us back in surplus 🙂
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 one of 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.
On Jennie’s plot for example we focus 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.