I haven’t updated in a really long time, basically just because not much has been happening on the allotment and lots has been happening outside the allotment. But today I sort of made a start on everything. This year I’ve got a bit of a challenge because there’s always a lot to do but even less time in which to do it. Under normal circumstances I’d take snow as a sign that I’m supposed to be inside and very much not gardening, but friends, we’ve had a LOT of snow.
I was sharing these pictures as much as possible earlier in the month in an effort to gain sympathy because the snow really ruined my week. Anyway, Northumberland’s been hit slightly less badly by snow this particular weekend, but that’s not to say it’s not there:
The reason it’s getting to the point where I’ve got to either plant things or just say ‘Right, I’m not allotmenting this year’ is because in just a couple of weeks, I’m off to Connemara for the spring to a) Improve my Irish and b) Do some gardening. This is really exciting because I’m a big believer in combining hobbies. I’m yet to work in paintballing and climbing, but maybe I’ll have thought of a way by 2019. Anyway, I’m very nervous/excited about it and hope that I actually manage to use my Irish instead of wimping out and speaking English the whole time.
What this means for my allotment here in Northumberland is that I have to prioritise. The artichokes did really well last year so they’re staying where they were, and then today I put in potatoes, peas, and wildflowers. All while wondering vaguely about the symptoms of frostbite.
Potato-wise I’ve gone for four types this year: Anya, Ratte, Golden Wonder and Kestrel. I’ve grown all but Golden Wonder before, and I kind of see them as a good, solid choice. Ratte’s the best-tasting variety I’ve ever grown so I was keen to try that again.
And then the peas are our good friends the Lord Leicesters, which I’ve grown for the last three years and which always seem to do pretty well. The weird support structure I created for the peas last year actually survived the winter, so I’m growing them in the same place, which I’m hoping is fine for peas even though it very much is not fine for potatoes (working on the idea that you’ve got to rotate where you plant potatoes every 4 years, I’ll possibly have run out of places entirely by next year, although that could be a good excuse to make use of the non-cultivated bits of the allotment that I’ve been ignoring the whole time).
So that’s it for the time being, really. I’m hoping I’ll have time to plant some things by the time I return in May. It’s tricky because I’m very much an ‘all or nothing’ type of person and there’s a real temptation to try and grow EVERYTHING, but I’m just not going to have the time, so it’s about working out a way of still enjoying the process of growing my own food but at the same time, not overstretching myself so that it becomes a chore.