Our new patch

After more than three years of waiting we’ve finally got ourselves an allotment! Matthew is in seventh heaven when he got ‘the call’ with the good news. According to my husband this is one of the best things that has ever happened to him. After meeting me and having the boys, he was quick to add!

Like barbeques, I think allotments definitely tap into a basic instinct in men – tending their own strip of land, pottering in a shed and growing crops to bring home to the table – being self-sufficient. Grrrrrrrr!

For me it conjurs sunlight dappled memories of helping my dad out at his allotment. We’d stick our wellies on and drive down there in his Talbot Horizon to see how our vegetables were coming on. My brother and I were allowed our own row each to grow whatever we wanted. I grew dwarf beans – I probably liked the sound of the name is the only reason I can fathom that decision!

And now we have the chance to recreate the same healthy outdoor fun with our own young family.

Sam and Arlo are delighted with their ‘new garden’ – even if they are a bit puzzled as to why it’s not outside our back door!

We love where we live, but the thing we had to compromise on when we bought our house was outdoor space. We have a little patio – just big enough for a table and chairs, some pot plants and the obligatory plastic toys but not a lot more. Luckily we live very near a big leafy park so our dog gets to stretch her legs over there.

We’ve only ever had room for herbs, tomatoes and strawberries all in pots, but now we can go LARGE and get all manner of things on the grow. Potatoes, carrots, peas, garlic, onions, parsnips, purple sprouting, all kinds of berries and maybe even flowers like sweet peas!

There’s a lot of toiling to be done as the plot is pretty overgrown, but Matthew is super superkeen and is spending every available minute down there clearing it up and turning over the soil.

It’s got a greenhouse complete with little patio and chairs! There’s a plum tree which I’m so chuffed about coz it means I can make loads of yummy jam next year.

There’s even a tiny little pond! Matthew found a dead mouse in it – not the best water feature but I’m sure we can improve on this!

If anyone’s got any good tips for great fruit and veg varieties do let me know! I’ll keep you updated on how it’s going, and hopefully next year I’ll be using our own produce in my cooking – how satisfying will that be?!

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About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog www.feedingboys.co.uk is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!
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7 Responses to Our new patch

  1. I’m really pleased for you! It looks great and you’ll be able to do loads with it, though I am slightly jealous of the plum tree 😀 Looking forward to seeing how you all get on with it!

  2. Wow, 3 years is a long wait, I bet you thought you’d never get one. I guess people are loathe to give them up once they have them. I know loads of people round here who have them but we are too lazy to cope with our garden never mind a bigger space.

    Here’s to lots of wonderful veggies next year!

  3. Rosemary Hamilton says:

    What excitement! I’m glad Matthew put you and the children in his order of best things. I’m looking forward to seeing the patch when I visit next week.

  4. Nice plot. And a greenhouse and a plum tree! I’m sure it will be hard work but well worth it. And the boys will enjoy cooking and eating the friuts of their own labours. Just imagine all the tasty fresh salad stuff in the summer and lots of tasty root veg through the autumn. Can’t wait for the recipes.

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