Organically Wombling On!

Plot 17 – The Earthly Comforts Garden

Season Two – Planning Plot 17 January – April 2023

The Allotment Plotters Directory
Organically Wombling On!

Part Two
If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.

Lucille Ball

This morning’s task was to sort through the paling in preparation for taking it down to the plot in Mike’s car and also rifling through the heap to get to the round timber stakes for use on Sunday.

Twice this week, l have been referred to as Womble Bulgaria, named after Uncle Bulgaria from the Wombles.

For those of you unfamiliar with Wombles – they are/were fictional characters created by Elisabeth Beresford in a series of books from 1968 to 1976. They always reminded me of badgers; they live in burrows, and their role was to tidy up the environment by collecting and recycling discarded rubbish and waste in the most imaginative ways possible.

Their appearance is different to badgers, and according to the author, they were to be perceived as more like clawed teddy bears the size of a medium-sized human in the books, although in the TV series, they were about knee high to a human. The films again portrayed them differently and marked their height at around four feet.

They were mushroom-eating herbivores that loved many food products found on and within the forest floor that humans could never stomach.

I first became aware of Wombles when l returned to England in 1977, and they were on television. Whilst Wombles were worldwide, the series concentrated exclusively on those that resided in Wimbledon Common in London. They are also known to be long-lived.

The Womble’s motto is simple – “Make Good Use of Bad Rubbish”. They came about due to the ever-increasing awareness movements concerning environmental waste, a rising concern in the 1970s.

Two other allotment plotters have now referred to me as Womble Bulgaria, which is a compliment. As a teenager, I was a massive fan of the Wombles, so to be nicknamed after the main Womble – Uncle Bulgaria – is an honour!

It has come about due to my love and desire to have other plotter’s rubbish because l will make another product from it. Wherever possible, l am grabbing waste materials for the many projects Plot 17 has.

Currently, one of the big projects is fencing.

Last Monday, one of the plotters allowed me to have almost a ton of her green waste – it saved her a trip to the municipal rubbish facility. I can use it quickly enough to make compost or use the materials for the forty-foot refugia l am planning to build or because Suze wanted to develop and craft a natural fence.

The other plotter’s waste was filled with both, so ‘it ain’t rocket science, is it?’ l figured – take her rubbish and use it differently.

I have been collecting second-hand waste products and materials for months, and slowly, they have made their way down to the plot. Not all are free. Some items l have to buy, especially if they are new but l shop around and look for the best prices.

But a lot of the unwanted materials are being thrown out, or in the case of Gazen Salts, l can make a small donation, and it’s mine.

Mike helped me shift the oak paling fencing that had been taken out from the undergrowth in the reserve itself down to the plot. We have an area measuring roughly a hundred feet of space that needs fencing. It cost me £10 for everything you can see in the images above, and afterwards and once Mike had gone home, l went back to the reserve and pulled out all the to-be-discarded round tree stakes, which were about six feet in length but were broken or otherwise damaged and Mike had said if l wanted them, l could have them.

So l sawed them down to about four and a half feet, made them suitable, worked on some extra wooden planks, and walked them back to the house. All in all, and including Mike driving down to the allotment, the sawing up and general tidying through the pile of discarded wood three hours of my time gave me materials that brand new would have cost me around £600 for a tenner.

You can’t complain about that.

You may also recall another episode – Who Can Get From A to B to C to D? on 18th January, where l had Suze’s car filled with around ninety pieces of wood that were to be used for a fencing project. These were half-round garden stakes – buying brand new would cost nearly six quid each.

Yesterday l worked on ‘my wall’ in the composting utility area. I wanted to craft a staking fence line around 18″ height and divide the working area from the blueberry orchard area. It isn’t pretty, but then l wasn’t aiming for cute; l was aiming for distressed, and it is most assuredly that – some might even say it looks terrified!

Everything going on work-wise on the plot for February to April is preparatory work for the primary growing seasons which will begin in earnest around May and continue to roughly November. We have plans for winter crops, but the seeds and slips will be sown from September to November, pending the crop.

There is never a spare moment in the first year of working with a new plot, which is why you are awarded the year of grace from the council. This means you don’t have to have all of your growing areas growing, but you do have to have 30% active. Suze and l will have more than that, but it’s good that you have some freedom.

Yesterday was filled with many smaller tasks and the main fencing job. I managed to bark chip some of the utility area, as well as turn the green waste pallet bin into a storage area; l tidied up the surplus wood storage and created an excellent bug hotel in the process, snipped off around eight feet of hedge line in preparation for the paling fence work on Sunday or Monday. I tidied up Suze’s piles and heaps of willow and raspberry branch.

You are always busy, and never is there a time when you need something to do, even like yesterday when it was grey, overcast, and drizzly. I was there from 9 am and left at 3 pm, and despite being there for six hours and only stopping for a ten-minute lunch break, l was active all the time.

Everything is about preparation for this organic Womble!

Yesterday the bulk of the work was in the Utility Working Space – the compost bins, storage area, green waste bins, wheelbarrows and bins and so on. Once the whole area is completely bark chipped it’ll look a darn site more attractive. The other task was putting in my Stake Wall.

Each stake measured 30″ – it has to be handballed in with a mallet and then driven in to a depth of 12″ with a sledgehammer, so only 18″ is above ground. I wanted a very distressed look, mixed heights and off angle. Sledging into wet ground is hard work and the wall took 42 of these half stakes to complete and three hours.

But once everything is done, one side will be working and the other will be blueberry and other berry bushes so it’ll look a lot better than it does now on a wet drizzly day.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time. Till then, have yourselves a terrific day!

The Autistic Composter

Earthly Comfort Designs available on my Redbubble Store.

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Published by The Autistic Composter

Earthly Comforts is a wildlife journaling scrapbook focusing on the countryside, wildlife biodiversity and environmental conservation, flora and fauna volunteering projects, gardening, composting and vermiculture, inspiration, poetry and photography.

15 thoughts on “Organically Wombling On!

      1. Yes, that’s my philosophy, if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it and as long as it functions, then that’s fine by me 🙂

        Suze would like everything perfect at times, and that just isn’t possible. When the polytunnel’s build begins, that has to be perfect, so l have said l will obey her every command as the building grunt 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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