First week in March, and there is a break in the recent weather. An opportunity to visit the allotment and see the fruits of my previous labour has started the beginnings of a pond… Not quite Redmire, but it’s frustrating as I try to battle on and get the ground ready to plant the potatoes at the end of the month.
It wasn’t long before the pickaxe was cutting up chunks of ground and once the wall between where I’d previously dug and my new endeavor was brought down, it created quite the rush of water. I’m realising that patience is a virtue that spends most of it’s time waiting to be exercised at the allotment. Well certainly mine.
I do enjoy my moments there. My little piece of stolen time. Where I soon ache after wielding the pickaxe, spade and hoe and my age becomes all to apparent and i’m aware of how out of shape I am. Then the much deserved, (and far too frequent) relax. A coffee and an opportunity to put my feet up and survey my little world.
The signs of spring are here, the blackbirds are darting around building their early nests, and I saw the first ladybird this year. A sign that the months are changing. So I started to dig up another patch, just to beak the surface of the soil so I can start to prepare a raised bed. Using some pallet wood and stakes, I built the first sides, ready for the garlic cloves I’m sowing later in the month.
Later in April, we hit the first official days of spring, I manage to get myself over to the allotment, following an email stating that a contractor is going on Monday to dig over and loosen all the soil. So me and my daughter spent an hour filling in the hole I painstaking dug over the last few visits. As frustrating as this is, It is going to save me so much more, and means I can finally get round to planting my potatoes that are chitting nicely on the window ledge.
Of course, at this time we are now in the middle of a global pandemic and superstore shelves are sparse of food. Thankfully I should be more self sufficient in a few months as this panic continues to take hold.
Then within a week, a digger had completely turned over the soil on all the plots and finally, after three months, I was finally able to get out there and start digging a trench. So for our social distancing exercise allowance, me and my daughter were able to plant the potatoes that had been chitting for a few weeks.
So far we have also planted red onions, pasnips and garlic. It’s exciting to finally start planting things. It’s starting to look like an allotment. I imagine i’m going to be spending alot of time there now that i’m working from home and have more accessibility. The weather has been a blessing and the clocks going forward on Sunday mean lighter nights.
As we find ourselves in isolation, the need to get outside and improve mental health during this trying time is more important than ever. When i’m there I can lose myself and lose time. A welcome distraction from the revolving Covid – 19 news cycle and the ensuing fear. The worry that we become more and more physically disconnected as we connect more remotely is a concern.
As a well practiced isolationist, I still require regular dosages of outside.
A Thirsk Counsellor