Full polytunnel Tour, a walk around the plots, and a harvest!


It’s been another challenging week on the allotment. Hail, sleet, light frosts and plenty of rain and wind. As a result we’ve had a bit of downy mildew rearing it’s ugly head on some of the lettuce; ironically the variety that’s meant to be most resistant! I’ve picked off the offending leaves and I’m hoping for the best!

The polytunnel has been fabulous as a work environment in this poor weather and even better as a place to process my harvest and pack it. I’ve gradually started the long process of learning what grows well and when in this new environment.

We’ve also given the new guttering and pump a good test and it’s worked really well, finally we no longer need to worry about water availability for the 6 months that the allotments are without tap water!

The plots are all generally doing well, albeit running three weeks later than last year, but I’m looking forward to getting some of the shabby beds cleared and replanted!

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 my middle 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 an update of the allotments, 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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