Friday, June 30, 2006

What is an allotment?

In these days of easy international communication it is sometimes easy to forget that some terms in English that we take for granted are not understood by everybody around the world. This post is the result of one of the readers of my blog who lives in Singapore contacting me and asking me what an allotment is. Below is my reply to his question.

Allotments are plots of land that can be owned by the local town or village council, the church, a farmer, or even by a company. The owner then allows portions or "allotments" of land to be rented by local individuals for the purpose of raising vegetables and fruit. There are fairly strict rules about what can and can not be done on an allotment and they vary from one allotment site to another. In some areas allotment holders are allowed to keep livestock like chickens and pigeons whilst in others it is strictly forbidden.

The allotment that my wife Ann and I rent is administered by the York City Council and we pay them an annual rent. The site was owned by a business man in the area and when he died he left it to the Parish of Heworth, the area where we live, to be used for the enjoyment of those residing in the parish. During and after the second world war the whole site was covered in allotments but there has a been a great decline in interest in the area and much of the site has become overgrown with long grass and thorny brambles. This in turn discourages new allotment holders from taking on plots. Recently though there has been some interest and plots are begining to be taken up again.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Beans Onions 28 Jun 06

Beans Onions 28 Jun 06
Originally uploaded by jollygreenp.
Just after the longest day and you can see the base of the onions beginning to swell and fill out. Apart from watering and planting out some squash plants very little interesting activity at the moment.

The runner beans are starting to flower and you can see the globe artichoke flowers staring on the artichoke plant. Behind the runner beans the cabbages and sprouts are growing on well. The sweet corn is coming on fairly well and the lettuce and cabbages are starting to heart up. We have a few feeds off the radish and rocket.

I make a sort of pesto with the rocket using Wensyldale chees, pine nuts, rocket and olive oil. It makes a nice spread to have on crackers or digestive biscuits.
Runner Beans 28 Jun 06

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A few warm days

Allotment 4 June 2006
Originally uploaded by jollygreenp.

Photo taken a couple of days ago. I am only posting it now as my broadband modem decided to stop working and I had a small problem with the login ID for the new modem configuration. As you can see everything is continuing to flourish with the beans getting taller and the onions fattening up. It's amazing the difference a few warm days will make to the growth.

The patch that was left clear by removing the white sprouting broccoli has now been half filled with leek plants. Holes were dibbed, plants dropped in and then watered by watering can with a rose on to wash loose moist soil into the hole. Then they have been watered every day to get them established and stop them drying out in this warm spell.

Just for comparison here is the bean and onion photo taken 18 May just to show the progress in just a couple of weeks