Thursday, 16 February 2017
My attempt at free range parenting! Signed up for an allotment
I have fond memories of pottering around the garden as a child, digging up worms and planting seeds. Most of my childhood was spent in some garden or other, not glued to screens, as is unfortunately, so often the case today.
Hence my desire to try and get my children to experience the same. So I applied and got allocated an allotment! This was a few years ago when the twins were babies. Excitedly I hurried to meet the allotment head (I'm sure there's a better name), with my cheque book.
It was a dark, cold, rainy evening and the site was completely deserted. A man sized shape, completely covered in brown, muddy waterproofs, bravely battled through the wind towards me. I was then shown my "plot".
In my mind my plot would at least be flat with maybe a few weeds scattered around and possibly a bit of rubble to be removed, but no. My plot had never been cultivated before, was thigh high with every sort of weed imaginable, as well as grass so thick and matted the roots were at least 6 inches deep. Tractor tyre tracks were the only places that showed bare earth and huge holes filled with water could have almost warranted the title of pond!
Not to be put off, I shakily signed up to a years lease and went home feeling a little dazed. It just so happens that I have a father in law who is a veteran allotmenteer and he managed to get the plot into a wonderful fertile state so that I could start planting. Although when first viewing the plot, he did go a little pale!
So, we had a few years of enjoying the allotment until sadly the weeds became too much of a battle and my father in laws health started to fail. Eventually we kind of got "kicked off!" the allotment and my free range dream ended. To be honest as the children grew they showed less interest in it and life kind of got in the way. Still we have some lovely photo's and memories, especially of eating raspberries straight off the canes (see pics). The girls have dug for worms until their hearts were content and have learnt how food grows. We had great fun growing a runner bean tepee, which I may blog about in the future as I try and recreate it in the back garden. In fact my next project is to get our back garden sorted and grow vegetables there. Roll on spring.