Well here’s our first allotment update.
We’ve already had more interest than we have allotments but I guess the reality may not match the dream for some so if you haven’t already put your name on the list but would like to, please feel free!
For those of you who haven’t looked at the site for a while, the allotments occupy the old hay meadow to the left hand side of the drive. We’ve created three reasonably flat terraces with a selection of apples, plumbs, pears, greengages and quinces planted on the banks between each terrace. The whole area has been surrounded by deer proof fencing and, just inside, there’s a stone track circling the allotments for easy vehicular access. We’ve tried to give the soil a head start by spreading the original topsoil, rotavating it twice and fertilising it each time with cow muck. Unfortunately we are seeing an amount of cooch grass and dock coming through and whilst we will keep rotavating, it will keep coming back. Perhaps ideally we should cover it (recycled cardboard and bark) for a few months but that would obviously hold things up quite a bit. If anyone has any thoughts be sure to let us know through the comments section after this post.
As soon as the weather allows us, we will be putting 3 large water troughs (one in the middle of each terrace) filled from the runoff water from the buildings which is stored in a vast underground tank.
We’ve had some questions regarding sheds, greenhouses, raised beds and prices (£30 pa). Whilst we haven’t written a rule book yet because we would like to do that in consultation with the allotmenteers, we do want to make sure that the allotments look good because of their prominence. Raised beds definitely won’t be a problem, but in terms of buildings, we are going to offer the option of a small wooden tool shed which we can supply. For us, the most important rules will be around ensuring the allotments aren’t neglected and we would also really love to see some of the produce find its way through the shop or into the cafe (at a fair price of course). Use the comments section if you have any thoughts.
Anyway that’s it for now other than to say please tell any ambitious chefs or restaurant managers you happen to know, who would like to play a big creative role in our project, to get in contact with us!