A day of decisions.

So much has changed since I first took on the plot. Not just with the land itself, but also within me.

Over the weekend, I've finished knocking the plot into shape and now more than 3/4s is all ready for growing. I'd have done the last bit but, with the whole plot laid down to beds and a 3 season rotation plan (as I'm not growing "normal" potatoes), I want to do something different with the last 1/4, putting in some raised beds and mixing it up with some flowers and a bit of space for nature.

The plot's improved massively but, at the same time, so have I. I've spent the last few years attending a succession of hospital appointments and tests to try and work out what's wrong with my metabolism. I've got "postprandial reactive hypoglycaemia", poor glucose tolerance, and have suffered with extreme fatigue and just a general feeling that something wasn't right with my body. To all intents and purposes, my metabolism shows every sign of being well on the way to diabetes - but it's been going on for about 10 years now, and I can still pass diabetes glucose tolerance tests.

Since taking on the plot, I've done a huge amount of work, found ways of keeping my body going and, despite not having an ounce of fat on me before I started, I'm in much better shape. My chest muscles in particular have grown loads and my legs feel like they're getting stronger too. I still don't feel right. After a hard day on the plot, I sometimes suffer quite bad vertigo and the fatigue has sent me off to bed at 9 in the evening a couple of times, which is unheard of for me. But I feel better. I can feel the exercise doing me good.

I've also changed my mindset significantly since I started out. I've gone from ignoring the fact that green issues were something I needed to consider, to having the cost of my existence to the planet at the forefront of my mind.

It's been something I've increasingly thought for a while now, but it's now a determination that I start growing and eating all my own fruit and veg in the near future. I quite like the idea of shooting local free range rabbit to reduce my meat buying as well, but I've yet to find somewhere approachable to ask if I can take my airgun out to bag a few.

It's clear though that, whilst it's big, my plot isn't fully big enough to get all my dietary needs from.

Our plots are pretty big. Mine must measure somewhere around 8 x 25 metres. Which is great for growing veg, but starts to become a problem when you try and apply the theory all year round. I really need a big, ie. 10 x 8ft or similar shed, for dry storing root veg. I've got a couple of blackcurrant bushes on the plot, but they're never going to produce any substantial amount of crop. I really need a decent sized area where I can plant apple trees, plus a variety of other fruit. Yet, even on my largish plot, these things are never going to fit without compromising my veg growing.

On site, there's a track down the centre for vehicle access. On my side of the track, there are 3 plots deep. Originally, this full 90m run was one plot. Some people have got the full length. Some others have even got multiple plots, right up to the odd few measured in acres.

As I left the site this evening, I looked around at a few other plots. Pondered, wandered about a bit. Looked at my plot. Wandered around a bit more. Looked at the vacant plot which adjoins the end of mine. Looked at the one which adjoins that beside the track, which is currently waist high in weeds and covered in junk. Stood and looked at the full length run.

Then came home, fired up the laptop and penned a letter to the allotment secretary requesting that they consider giving me the two plots between mine and the lane. And that, if this isn't possible, they consider me for a full size plot elsewhere as soon as one comes up.

If the plan comes to fruition, it would mean I could erect a big shed, devote more space to polytunnel(s), plant a decent amount of fruit trees, get manure and other materials delivered in bulk and stand a real chance of being self supporting. If that happened, I'd also be keen to look at getting some sort of energy source in place to provide heat to the polytunnel space to extend the growing season. I've developed a desire and determination to get some land and set up a smallholding. Taking on the bigger plot would also be a good test to confirm it's the way ahead without investing huge sums of money.

Just need to cross everything now and hope it works out!


April 5, 2010 В· admin В· No Comments
Tags:  В· Posted in: General, Shed, Vegetables

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