If A Job’s Worth Doing …

Plot 17 – The Earthly Comforts Garden

Season Three – Plot 17 Growing Season April – September 2023

The Allotment Plotters Directory
If a job’s worth doing it’s worth doing well
“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.”

Doug Larson

Plot 17 – 6th May 2023

The last time l wrote in this series was a few weeks back in mid-April, and at that point, it was all Go! Well, it’s still the same. It’s still all Go. It’s nothing but Go!

We were fortunate for the last two weeks to have workable weather, but we have both been busy with all sorts of projects and not just the allotment, although the latter is leading the way and more so when the sun is shining, and the rain isn’t falling.

We are both tired and worn out. Suze said last night that she doesn’t think l could have done everything l am doing physically these days on my old diet, and l think she is right. It was a good move to drop all meats and most fish from my diet. I am predominantly a vegetarian by around 95% and only a 5% pescetarian. This diet works way better than any previous ones, and using the word diet needs to be corrected.

I am not on a diet, l have just changed my eating habits, and l feel better and reap the benefits of that move and lifestyle change.

I am oft surprised at just how much output physically l can achieve. I have lost weight and look good for it, l have never been heavy or overweight, and many years ago, l was underweight because l was ill; l am, however, of a balanced weight now and have way more energy than ever before, which is just as well considering everything l am pushing my body through at present and the expectations l have of it too.

The allotment is hard work, and there is no denying that fact. It is. It is physically demanding, and the hours Suze and l put into the soils there are gruelling. But it is gratifying and fun and rewarding too. I remember very clearly when l first saw this plot way back at the end of August last year and equally as well as when we first started to work on it on September 9th.

It has come along in leaps and bounds, and now everything is under one roof. The compost, the worm farms, the vegetable growing and of course, in many respects, the gardening aspect as well, plus all of the other side projects that Suze and l wanted to introduce. Finally, the Willow Transition period is around 97% complete. All that remains to be done is the tidy-up. Then the garden here can resume a much calmer lifestyle than it was previously accustomed to.

The anchor plates for the polytunnel went in yesterday. That was hard work. Each plate is two feet long and needs to be screwed down to a depth of eighteen inches. Sounds easy, except our soils here are the clay, and when you attempt to anchor six plates, your upper body starts to feel the strain. But with these now in, we can begin erecting the exoskeleton, and the tunnel will be up by the end of May. It is much needed now.

The last time l wrote, l showed some of the seedlings we had sown at the beginning of April. Well, five weeks later, we have some 300-plus seedlings in various stages of growth. Many grow-on seedlings have been planted directly to beds already.

I will write about it all, but there are many photos to accompany the writings to support the series and the progression, so l need to condense to create updates and smaller posts, which takes time that l don’t have.

This afternoon, Suze and l are consulting for a new client’s garden in Dover, and we have the potential of another new client maybe later this week and continuing to work on our first client’s garden. I also have the marketing campaign to plan for Gazen Salts. The new Jubilee Garden Project is starting to commence, so that will be somewhere in the next ten days, plus all the work for Plot 17.

We had our first rains of the month last night, which disrupted our work today, and l think we will be back at the allotment on Thursday when l am working on the rainwater harvest station. This week the weather is all over the place, so l desperately need to finalise the harvesting station.

We need to get any rains we can capture as a valuable resource, so the longer the station is incomplete, the more rainwater we are missing out on. We can use tap water. However, we must let any pulled-off water settle for two days to allow the chlorine to dissipate. Rainwater is always better for plants.

There will come a time next month when Suze and l can take a breather. It’ll not be long, but it will be enough to write catch-up content. I love writing as much as l love worm farming, composting, allotmenteering, gardening, and photography, but currently, farm to fork and plot to plate is the leading task.

I can create the Monday to Sunday morning basics for my blog because overall, they don’t take as long as a researched piece or formatting the images which can take a very long time, but l do miss writing, so l am keen to get back to it. But l am currently working a hundred hours a week across many projects.

By the time you have finished for the day and had something to eat, showered and applied the various creams to an aching body to cater to all the aches and pains, you are exhausted. Sure, in a good way, but still, bloody tired.

Our plot is a large plot and it is the furthest away from the main gate [860 steps] and if we are unable to drive in to the grounds it is a lot of walking, never mind if you are collecting bark chippings or horse manure by the barrowload [also at the main gate] and doing round trips by the half dozen.

First seasons on any new allotments, especially when you take them on from previous gardeners who lost their passions, are always much more complex projects. The previous allotmenteer to Plot 17 lost interest about nine months before we got the space. A lot of damage was done at that point. He had never fed or amended his soils, so these had to be repaired, and whilst we have achieved that to a degree, it will take a few seasons to get them to the precise position nutrient-wise and depths we need them to be highly productive.

I have changed the layout and introduced many new systems to support a much more efficient Eco-organic environment that feeds all grown crops. This takes time and many hours, and neither Suze nor l are untidy farmers or gardeners, so we need the allotment area to have a particular presentation to it. It is not a form of pedantic behaviour but more along the lines of ensuring everything we do, introduce, build, and add to the plot is functional and not wasting resources. Everything is an investment in our well-being.

As they say, If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well, and Suze and l live by that philosophy.

Below is the current working layout of Plot 17. This is now the concrete plan we are working on and with for Summer 2023 – it displays the main crop – but in all we are aiming to grow somewhere in the region of forty different crop varieties.. I will write more in-depth shorter posts to add to this series as soon as l can.

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

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

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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.

14 thoughts on “If A Job’s Worth Doing …

  1. You are definitely doing something right because that’s an astonishing job you’ve done there! My son has gone 90% glutton free and that has improved HIS life more than he imagined possible. I just eat very little — heavy on fish. I wish I could eat more vegetables, but my system doesn’t approve. Sometimes, you have to do what you body tells you to do.

    That’s amazing work you’ve done, are doing, will do. Just remarkable.

    Tonight will be, they assure us, our last frost and we can now actually put out flowers. Finally! Even though it’s supposed to rain for the next week. Again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How amazing is that you both have accomplished so much on the allotment and are also doing work for your clients. Well done Suze and Rory.
    I’m glad a shift in eating routine has improved your health my friend. As they say we are what we eat. 💟💟💟

    Liked by 1 person

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