We were kindly invited to take over a beautifully kept starter bed during one of the allotment open days. On such a sunny day with flowers in full bloom and fruit ripe for the picking it felt like an easy decision, how hard could it be? Fast forward to taking on responsibility for the bed one wet day in October we felt a little less confident, neither of us had much experience growing produce and although we had a good idea about the fruit and vegetables we would love to grow (or rather eat!) we weren't entirely sure how to go about it. Naturally we turned to Gardener Google asking questions such as 'What can you plant in October?' 'When is the best time to plant...?' etc but really the best part about the starter plot was borrowing the expertise of the wonderful 'allotmenteers' around us. There was no shortage of top tips thrown our way as the friendly folk down at the hub took us under their wing. March of course brought unexpected challenges as suddenly due to social distancing we had to make do without such words of wisdom. Mistakes were made and many of our veggies looked rather sorry for themselves and lots were lost to any army of slugs! However, despite not seeing anyone around we still felt hugely supported with our starter plot venture and getting to see the little hub community in action was one of the biggest pleasures of lockdown. From a sharing basket of seeds, a helpful 'fairy' who rescued our strawberries by putting down netting for us (we still don't know who this was!) to a lively WhatsApp group ready to alert members to the latest manure delivery. It was so lovely to have a place to visit, we loved our watering days on the shared rota and taking home the veggies that we did succeed with! There are lots of things we plan to do differently this time around but imagine that that is ongoing the nature of having an allotment. The starter plot has been perfect in helping us find our feet with growing and we've really appreciated the opportunities it has brought.
22:00, 26 Jan 2021 by The President