Monday, 11 August 2008


Our site had its open day on Sunday. Dutifully as members we toddled down in the afternoon, just as things were winding up. A little earlier than I had expected. The site looked great lots of snazzy scarecrows had appeared on plots for the competition (if I feel inventive I will try and make a slide show of the clever creations for a future post - I'm sure ali the frog will love the scarecrows as she is mad on them).

The open day is great because even if you have a plot on the site it still means you can take a good look at your wider neighbours work without feeling like your snooping. It was good to see what everyone else grows and how they choose to do it. The snooping helps feed my ideas for next year.

As you walk across our site it feels that the best kept plots are nearer the gates and main paths. Things get a little more dodgy as you get to the end of the site that we cultivate. As we have struggled in our first proper year, it has been reassuring that our neighbours are in a similar state of uncontrolled cultivation. One of our neighbours has been growing carpet and potatoes only this season and that seems fine to me. Some of the other plots close to us, I suspect, may have recently been encouraged to take their plots in hand judging from the sudden flurry of activity on them.

We have toiled on our plot and I know that it does not look good despite this hard work, but I now want to stand in the middle of the site and shout "I do care".

What was most upsetting about our open day was this sign.

Yes our plot is beyond this sign in the area not to be seen, the area where we don't have green fingers, the area of ugly plots. Is there a hazard to the public presented by wandering down this end of the site, if so, is it something as a plot holder I should be aware of? Or is it that the public should be spared the knowledge that growing things is hard and not always beautiful.

If mum had managed to harness Owens enthusiasm (not too keen when I tried) and revamp our scarecrow and build him a friend then enter the competition it would have been a shame as it probably would have gone unseen.

I wonder if I'm going to get a letter to improve our plot.


Anne said...

Maybe you should ask the allotment secretary about the notice - or are they real dragons?

We've had a bit of gentle pressure to neaten up our admittedly scruffy plot, but as you'll know, it's not easy to keep on top of things in late spring, particularly if you have family or job commitments. I often feel it's two steps forward, one step back - but I refuse to give up, especially after one of the "good old boys" made a comment at the AGM about "ladies" who take on plots and then can't manage by themselves - grrrr!! (My husband does in fact help out, but he often works long hours so can't do as much as he'd like.)

Hang in there, girl!

VP said...

I had a letter earlier this year :( Gave me the boot up the backside I needed though.

Congrats on your site having an open day though - much better than what we've managed this year. Was it part of National Allotments Week?

Ali said...

Hi Rhiannon, Thanks for the comments and the link! Yes it would be great to see the scarecrows that your allotment colleagues entered for your open day competition, and you are right - I am still mad on them. I am thinking of making a "bob marley" one for the Jamacians soon!! It was a shame about that sign - we didn't have anywhere out of bounds to anyone. The only thing they did do is only open 1 of the 4 gates so that everyone had to use the same exit / entrance - with a 26 acre site it was a good idea. Before our open day alot of people got cultivation notices e.g. brambles etc. and it did make alot of people sit up and take notice and others to just tidy up their plots via a sign put up about a month before. It was nice that most people made an effort, however big or small.