Nature Diary

Gazen Salts Nature Reserve – Central Moat

Juggling the Busy Mind

Gazen Salts Nature Reserve – Front Entrance

Gazen Salts Nature Reserve – Central Moat

Music Score – The Future Is Yours

Gazen Salts Nature Reserve – Back Moat

It’s been a while since Suze and l last walked around the reserve casually with a camera. Looking at my journal as l write now, l can see that today was our first ‘proper walk’ this week. The last time we went for a small stroll was last Tuesday, which lasted roughly twenty minutes around the Ramparts, and l didn’t bother to take the camera with me.

The last time we went for a proper or long walk was last Sunday morning. Our country walks together fall primarily on that day.

And whilst l enjoyed this morning’s walk, all l could think of, and all we talked about, was the allotment, the Butchery Garden project and the reserve itself, the three main projects that occupy our weeks of late. Suze is working, of course, occupying roughly fifteen hours of her working week. She’s looking for more hours but this all eats into time.

I am still trying to sit down and find the time needed to work on the administration to start a business, but time is short because we have to work on so many deadlines and such a tight schedule.

Someone asked the other day why we were so behind, which l think is a matter of opinion because it is not so much a case of being behind, but simply that, sadly, so many things are falling at the same time with a purpose to land on almost the same spot.

But let’s remember the heavy rainfall of November through to December of last year. The wet autumn season delayed many plotters. Yes, it slowed us, too, by roughly five weeks. We have caught up well, considering.

Mike and l were discussing a book [The Half Hour Allotment] recently that tells the time stretched new to gardening reader that allotment gardening can be maintained and worked in half an hour, and he was baffled by this method. I said that l would be looking at it more deeply this year regarding my backyard farming’ concept in the mini-raised beds and see if l could introduce it to the systems l adopt.

He said that a few younger generation gardeners had read the book and arrived on the allotments with enormous ideas of huge crops with very little work based on the 30-minute strategy and were shocked to discover that running and maintaining an allotment plot did indeed take much more time that the book supposedly implies.

I think it’s more a case of perhaps readers not reading the content correctly or not realising that many a time allotment plots that new gardeners take on board are overgrown, have inadequate drainage and soils and need a lot of work to bring back around, and not forgetting can be swamped in weeds that will return if allowed to.

In the time that Suze and l have been involved with allotment plots, including when we first started viewing available plots in July of last year, we have seen at least a dozen new plotters come and go. Some of you may recall that Mike introduced us to Plot 15, the one next to his plot, which Suze and l both loved last year, and we wanted it, but the very day we viewed it was the same day it was leased to someone else.

We then saw Plot 44, which we most assuredly didn’t want because of the neighbour. That was a minimal allotment space, whilst 15 was medium-sized considering our current Plot 17, which is significant.

But Plot 15 doesn’t fare so well with plotters staying. When we initially viewed it back in July, it had been dormant since December 2021. It was leased out in July 2022 to a chap who was there twice in the two months he had it before he let it go because it was too much hard work to take on a smaller plot nearer the front gate [Plot 31]. The latter probably featured more in his decision-making.

Plots 15, 16, and 17 are the furthest from the main gate, trust me, Suze and l can confirm that, especially given how many materials we have to drag from there to our allotment every week before we can start work.

The next lady that took Plot 15 took it on board in November after it had been again dormant for two months, if not longer, on account of the last chap not being there, and she was only there for two months before taking it on board Plot 41 a similar sized space to Plot 15.

Mike says that even experienced allotment gardeners can sometimes underestimate the time needed for allotment farming and that, many a time, they chop and change their plots – always looking for an easier time. So new to allotment gardening, newbies and novices reading 30-minute farming strategies are falsely led to believe it is easy gardening when it most assuredly is not. Not at first. Not for the first year.

You have to look at it from a broad viewfinder perspective and look at the long game for sure, but NOT to underthink the present stages of today. The easier times can only be attained once you have a couple of seasons with your plot under your belt and, of course, not forgetting preparation because that is the key to your future success.

But that philosophy can be applied to many topics, from relationships to marriages to work-related and career issues. It is not just gardening. Yet we see so many people these days all too eager to throw in the towel because life is sometimes too hard in their eyes.

Again l have strayed, but that is where my mind is these days; l am having to multitask and juggle many different concepts, projects and thought patterns at the same time ranging from Gazen Salts decision-making to starting a new gardening business to managing to sustain a large and busy workable plot of land to provide food for the table as well as looking at the possibility of finding a part-time job, running my blog, introducing a side business marketing element on social media, learning via gardening courses more about where l want my/our career to take us and then not trying to worry about the ever-rising cost of living or if my two knees are going to collapse.

Never mind the side hustles of mushroom and worm farming, composting, and creating content and perhaps working courses for two of those three.

Or, just trying to grab some free time when l can casually walk around the reserve and think, ‘Wow, this place is untidier than it used to be, and it needs shit loads of bark chipping! Why is this not being done? Oh yeah, they don’t have a warden!”

But this morning, Suze and l did spend about thirty minutes just strolling through the pathways, and l took a few photographs, and l hope you enjoy them.

Gazen Salts Nature Reserve – Front Moat

Mallard Hybrid Running Ducks
Mallard Hybrid Duck Hen

Earthly Comfort Designs available on my Redbubble Store.

Collections – Earthen Wurmin, Inspired By Nature and The Autistic Composter

Please Pop Along and Check Them Out.

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.

7 thoughts on “Nature Diary

      1. I think that the fact that we are mostly overstretched but things that we make incumbent upon us that we really can’t give important things their due diligence.

        Liked by 1 person

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