|Doin’ The Dirt was a gardening series that ran in my first blog, ‘ A Guy Called Bloke, from 2018 to 2022, when the blog closed. Willow Garden is a series exclusive to the Earthly Comforts blog only.|
|The worm farms currently are sited in the middle of the garden, they will be resited in August to the back of the garden in the new wormeries that are to be built next month. This ‘mid garden’ will then become reclaimed garden.|
|Preparing for the Allotment|
I have been busy with the Willow garden in full steam mode since the middle of June with one thing or another, with gardening, composting or worming. It has appeared to be non-stop, whatever my health, be this bright as a button, bushy-tailed or under the weather. In the last week alone, l have to concede to saying l have been in a lot of discomforts – but things don’t get done if you are not doing them.
So l have gotten on, and whilst yes, l am the first to admit, like now l don’t feel 100%, my positive energy levels are OK even if my body wants to stop and hibernate for a year or two!
There have been quite a few distinct changes in the last three weeks.
Suze and l are after an allotment in Sandwich, and we were told to pester the council to show how keen and interested we are. So once a week, we have been going to the Town Hall to speak to the lady in charge.
Although four to five plots are available and running barren and the ground going to waste, they are rented by gardeners which means they have to be asked if they want to keep it or not, and more blah blah. Hence, a whole administrative procedure must be followed before the vacant plots can be offered to us, so the minimum wait time is two months. At least l am the only one waiting on the list!
No idea as to the size of the plot yet, but Suze and l have been making plans. We know we will be running and maintaining at least 8 – 10 chickens, managing perhaps 4 raised beds and sewing between us, maybe 20 assorted crops. If we are lucky, the plot might have a shed and a greenhouse on board, which will be a financial saving.
Again, it all depends upon plot size. If we are lucky, we might be attending to an allotment space somewhere in October, and if we do, we can start to plan what and where our crops will be going.
I also plan to have an additional two worm farms present if possible, but it all comes down to the size of the plot. In addition to those, there will also be the chicken coup and run and the composting operation. So in terms of structures, quite a lot, especially if the plot comes with a shed or something. Everything is workable as long as you know how to manage small spaces, and l am pretty good at that.
It’ll be fun creating ingenious ways to capture rainfall, and whilst water is supplied on site, using natural rainfall is still way more preferable than using tap water. Also l know from experience that there are times when water is needed on your plot but the pipes might be frozen in winter and the colder months and therefore not available so having your own resources proves to be invaluable.
So hopefully, the plot we acquire will have something in the way of shed space, a greenhouse, or even a polytunnel, but if all else fails, we will have to gutter the sides of the chicken run’s roof.
We are also looking at growing cucumber, sweet potatoes, potatoes, comfrey, borage, nasturtium, blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, courgettes, sweet pepper, and various herbs and flowers, spinach, purple sprouting broccoli, horseradish, mushrooms, green beans, sweet pea, peas, tomatoes and garlic.
To get all of this ready for the allotment, certain things have to change in the Willow garden, not massive substantial changes but recognising what we will take from this garden at home and resite into the plot and then return this garden here to more of the original layout when l first arrived in June 2020 and making it more of a social and relaxing garden.
Those plans alone have kept Suze and l busy this last month because it’s not just a simple case of performing a, b and c, and the job is done. But additionally a matter of exploring all the variables as to what stays and what travels to new grounds with us without impacting Willow too much. It shouldn’t be that difficult, but we have to make the garden here sustainable and easily managed, considering that Willow will now remain an ornamental garden only and not requiring to have too much done to it.
That’s not too far from where she currently sits. However, Willow will soon have more workable space again in the middle of the garden. Quite significantly, it means we can return those middle grounds to the bench again and maybe even have a working table and perhaps …. have flowers running up that trail again.
Other aspects of the garden clear-up l will explore in more detail in the Vermicomposting Journal and a different series another time – which are more in line with the changes in the composting operation and the worm farms themselves.
The back of the garden had to change considerably, which has now happened, and it took Suze and l a period of two weeks solid with one thing or another to achieve.
Still, it was another step toward the necessary moves for the allotment planning. The garden part to the changes is done, now it’s just carrying out normal gardening stuff like summer trims and weeding …
|One of the biggest moves was to deconstruct the tonne box [first image] of harvested and sifted composts and transfer the new and now finely sieved content to a smaller box. I have to offload half a tonne of sieved content so as to make room for the new worm soils arriving early next month which will then be mixed in with sieved compost to make the worm beddings.|