Having inherited the plot during Winter, the group of growers has focussed themselves on planning, conditioning the soil and building up really good beds ready for planting in Spring.
In a piece of serendipitous timing, the group has teamed up with local Permaculture student Bob (aka Beardy Bob") to use the allotment as a case-study. Bob is doing his permaculture Diploma and the group has welcomed his input. Perfect!
In another lovely piece of symbiosis, the allotment is now receiving the bulk of the waste from the TTW Chicken Co-op project! Chicken-droppings are highly nutritious, in soil terms, and the droppings - combined with their hemp/flax bedding material - makes an excellent addition to the allotment compost heap as a 'compost activator', containing heaps of enzymes and the 'magical NPK' mix. Completing the Circle of Life theme, the chickens will also be eating much of the vegetable stalks, scraps and leftover bits from the allotment crops in Summer. Nice!
The group met recently to brainstorm their planting plan (see the picture below for bright post-it planning!) and to decide how best to use the space. They were fortunate to inherit some wonderful plants from the previous 'owner' of the plot, including asparagus, strawberries, raspberries and a Gojiberry bush! One of those trendy new 'super-foods'. Thank you, if that was you.
In addition, the group is adding some onions, garlic, spinach, chard, cabbage, kale, beans, carrots and herbs. Plus some Marigolds and Nasturtiums as companion plants for aiding natural pest-control. In accordance with permaculture ideas, they are leaving two beds fallow; planting them with a rich soil-enhancing mix of Clover.
Below a pic of the initial brainstorm-planting-plan. More pics to follow in future posts!
For more info on Permaculture see here