Sunday, 26 April 2009

Haircut No. 11

One of those days when I think, 'why am I not out at the shopping malls like some other girls shopping with their friends, looking at pretty floral dresses for their holidays, looking at bags and shoes'. No, today here I was ready to put in another day of hard labour, this time on Ds plot. I like it really!
All that grass needs cutting, all that comfrey, that nettle, and weeds
Err where do I start? No not my hair, it's the grass that needs cutting!
We have a manual grass cutter. No electricity or petrol required, but physical labour. It's not the best, but it has served us well for four years. It was originally bought for the home garden, but has moved onto bigger pastures - Plot 11. While D got on with the manual grass cutting, I got on with the shearing. Down on my knees, cutting where the grass cutter could not: around the beds, around the pond and around the borders. One of my other jobs was also to collect the comfrey leaves as D wanted to make some liquid feed. Comfrey is really a weed, but for vegetable growers like myself it has many benefits. It provides veg growers with free liquid feed for plants, as it contains high levels of basic NPK nutrients. It is also a great compost activator.
Ds plot is covered with comfrey. I managed to collect loads, i couldn't tell you how much exactly, but it was a lot, but once compressed down into two small tubs by some bricks and my feet, it didn't look like much.
D then topped the crushed comfrey with some water and put a lid on it. Now it will ferment for a month or so, before it can be used on plants as food.
What a difference a haircut can make? Whilst clearing parts of Ds plot, especially a corner masked by nettle. As I chopped and pulled away the overgrown nettle, wearing thick gloves of course, I came across a good pile of natural compost - compost not made by D and me, but by nature. This was a corner, where D and me were throwing branches, twigs, dead wood, weeds and the such. It was never designed to create compost, just a dumping corner. But once again, nature has rewarded us well. This time with compost, that would have probably cost us about £10.00. We had to use a soil sifter, also known as a 'riddle' to remove some small stones and glass shards. Otherwise it was really good stuff. I shovelled it into two wheelbarrows, both without wheels that I have transformed into planters.
As we both left Plot 45, we smiled - we did good.


  1. I think your hair looks cute! Nice and wavy.

    Are the allotments provided by the government? We don't have anything like that here.

  2. Thanks Michele,
    I don't normally wear my hair down at the allotment - honest!
    The allotments started off as a government initiative during World War 2 as part of the Dig for Victory campaign, but then it diminished with people wanting to grow flowers in place of vegetables.

    Allotments are owned either by the local council (which I think is much better as they are better managed and maintained) or are privately owned. The one where I am, are privately owned by the plotholders association. Anyone can get an allotment plot, but because there has been a revival in growing your own veg, a trend that is not halting, there tends to be long waiting lists, in some parts of the country it could be up to 6 years. The cost varys too starting from £25 to £70.00. Mine cost £30.00.

    I read somewhere that in the USA the alternative was something known as CSA, which I think stands for Community Scheme Associations which are community gardens I think, maybe that is something you could investigate further.

    Best wishes

  3. Michele,
    Thinking abou my reply it occured to me that you may not be aware what a council is. Councils are our local government organisation.

    And the amount I stated esrlier for allotment fees is per year.

  4. Thanks for the explanation! There are CSAs around, especially in the San Francisco area. I haven't found one near us though. We live in the middle of an agricultural area, so fortunately we can get lots of local produce-more and more of it is organic.

  5. My plot needs a haircut desperately. So do I! Great before and after piccies, mangocheeks.

  6. Thanks FlowerPowerGirl.
    You must show us a before and after of your Plot too, optional if you want to show off your haircut too!


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