Well, lets start at the beginning, when a number of months ago, I contacted Dublin county councils to take on an allotment after my balcony turned into a jungle and the strawberry plants that dotted it last summer provided lovely strawberries but alas only about 8 of them!!! I was kindly told by the county council man, 'oh yes, we have 4 or 5 allotment sites in south dublin county council, you can go on the waiting list as number 187!!' At that stage I decided the hunt was on for a private allotment.
Serving my addiction to internet forums, I found one that was in the process of being set up in Roundwood Co. Wicklow through the garden plans ireland website. A quick text to a load of friends looking for someone to go in on it with me found that most were more than happy to just pilfer the excess produce but thanks to a drunken rant a number of weeks before about how people should grow their own, Jemma came to the rescue and wanted in!! And so it began!!
We took a trip down to the site and found the most idyllic location, in a valley in wicklow, flanked by a beautiful river and surrounded by birch trees typical of the wicklow landscape. I could already see lazy summer days, tending the vegetables, fishing by the river and throwing some nice fresh caught trout on the BBQ to go with some freshly picked greens!!!
So come last weekend Me (sharon), Jemma, Cillian and Eoin went down to sign the lease and officially take residence of plot 103. Fencing is still to be finished but the ground is rotorvated and the next few weekends will be dedicated to the back breaking job of laying out the beds, raking and manuring, and racing to get our onions in before we run out of time. So far, we have decided on what to grow and how its going to be layed out. Onions, garlic, leeks, spring onions, lettuce, spinach, rocket, chard, cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, parsnips, beans and peas, sweetcorn, courgettes, rasberries, rhubarb, strawberries, and we're trying a purple pumpkin for halloween.
Now I know the above is extremely ambitious for first time allotment holders but hey, Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it. Plan far more than you can do, then do it. Hitch your wagon to a star, keep your seat and there you are! or so an old school teacher used to tell me. We'll give it a go for our first year and consider it a learning experience!!
Jemma, Cillian and Eoin by the river at the back of plot 103.
Me and Jemma, standing in plot 103. It will improve, I promise!!