Allotment Update – Time for a new season

DaddyGeek has penned an allotment update for my readers…..

It’s now been 3 years since we took on our allotment, and a great deal has changed in that time. We’re now into our fourth growing season. When we started out, neither of us were particularly green-fingered – we simply knew we wanted to try something outdoors. Looking back at those early posts, it’s scary to see how much the children have grown in that time. Sam doesn’t venture there too often these days, but Sydney is often there with me – and occasionally with one or two dogs in tow!

Sydney in particular has really embraced ‘digging’ – she has her own set of ‘grown up’ tools (most of which cost more than mine!), and whilst she is something of a ‘fair weather’ gardener, she has definitely developed a ‘knack’ for growing – courgettes and pumpkins in particular are her favourite to grow, strawberries and sweetcorn her favourite to eat (last season we grew hundreds of strawberries – but very few ever made it home!). Whilst she still enjoys having a picnic there, these days she far keener to get involved in sowing, planting & harvesting – and the rate at which she’s soaking up the knowledge is impressive. She no longer calls a sunflower a sunflower, instead preferring to use its botanical name – Helianthus annuus.

On a personal level, the allotment has proved to be a saviour to me too – it’s somewhere I can relax, without actually ‘relaxing’ (I’m not especially good at doing ‘nothing’!). The last few years have been tough both mentally and physically, with a variety of health issues which are seemingly added to every time I visit my GP. But the allotment has proved to be the ultimate cure to all my ills – a day at the plot recharges me mentally, and that in turn seems to relieve many of my other health issues.

I feel I’m now paying the price for having spent most of my life behind a computer screen – and with schools now pushing more and more technology towards children, this concerns me greatly. The allotment has made me realise that, for the good of my health, I need to spend more time outdoors. As a result, I recently started studying the RHS Level 2 Certificate in Horticulture, and also launched ForkMojo – my way of merging what has become a passion for horticulture, with my years of technical knowledge. It also means I can spend more time at the allotment and call it ‘work’ 😉

This season we’re hoping to grow both the familiar favourites – Rhubarb, Courgettes, Pumpkins etc, but also some new & interesting vegetables. Earlier this year I joined the Heritage Seed Library, and as a result we’ll be trying vegetables such as Achocha – which is (apparently) a bit like a ‘mini cucumber’. I’m also part of a trial for edible Lupins – which Sydney is especially interested in.

Wherever the journey takes us, I’ll be encouraging Sydney to get as involved as possible – and more importantly, making sure she enjoys doing so. With education being so ‘tech focused’ now, horticulture may well become as prized an occupation as computing was when I was her age.

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