I took the day off work today, sent Ariel packing to nursery and pitched in to get the new city farm allotment started. Digging is hard work!

I completely forgot to take any pictures of how the plot looked before we started, but this picture of the part we haven’t started yet will give you a clue. The whole plot was like this – grass and weeds with a few wonderful patches of bare earth. The ground has clearly been cultivated at some point in the not too distant past but I would guess that it has been left wild for a while – maybe just months, but maybe a year or two.

So we lay down some old carpet offcuts to start marking out the beds. There will be six beds, three on each side of a central path. Four will be for rotation, one for asparagus and another for fruit canes. Each of them is around 2m wide and 3m long.

Today we managed to clear, dig and manure the first bed and we’ve started clearing the second. Hard going…many of the weeds are deep-rooted, and the soil is a bit clayey (although I’ve definitely seen worse, in my own garden for starters). So anyway, here it is: it looks great – to me anyway! – although not yet what you might call a fine tilth. We will dig it over in a week or so to work in the manure and then plant potatoes.

Here is another view, taken from the far end of the allotment so you can get a better idea of scale (the foreshortening in the above picture makes it look like we have done far more than we actually have!)

It looks like the next door plot was cultivated pretty well last year but they don’t seem to have done a lot since. There is one plot at the far end that is being actively looked after at the moment, we’re not too sure about the ones in between but hopefully they will get taken care of or we will be fighting the weeds back all the time…

So yes – I am completely shattered. I feel a bit cleaner and more human now, because if there’s anything nicer than a hot bath that you really need, want and deserve, it’s a hot bath that you really need, want and deserve by yourself! Now to fix up a snack with the spring onions I found growing semi-wild 🙂