Digging began today after we’d strimmed the allotment and given away some Marigolds and a Scabious to new allotment holder friends in neighbouring plots. We discovered early on that much like the local gardening group on Facebook, allotment holders are an incredibly friendly and supportive group of people and are happy to offer plants, seeds and advice to novices like us.
We had set up a WhatsApp group to keep in touch with anyone who was interested and we published the link to the group online so that people could add themselves into the community if they wished. We even had interest from a local journalist but we’ve asked them to check back with us in a few months when we’ve got some veg in the ground!
The plan was to have a “digging day” to break the back of the work so that people could then visit at their convenience and do whatever work they felt able to help with. We used hazard tape and pegs to mark out mini plots so that people could dig at a safe distance which had an unexpected side effect of people feeling keen to complete “their” square. My goodness we’ve got hard grafters in CK!
If you organise a digging party I recommend having a mini first aid kit on site just in case. Sara discovered a wasps nest whilst painting the shed and I discovered that nettles are still not on my list of favourite plants!
Meeting new friends over the course of that Sunday was wonderful. Some of us had “met” over Messenger whilst organising seed and plant swapping earlier in the summer (with plants and seeds left on doorsteps for safe collection). Some of us had chatted over WhatsApp during the community support work during lock-down. Some of us had never met or spoken before the allotment project.
I think of us can see the benefit of a shared green space where produce is grown, expertise is shared and memories are made.