Oh sure, snigger all you like but the threat of our little lettuces being fallen upon and devoured, root and stem, by marauding bull elephants is very, very real. (Lettuces kind-of have stems don’t they?)
Thankful we should all be that within the rank-and-file of the Strandhill Allotments clan there were those fearless enough to stand firm against such a threat of a gruesome death-by-trampling, those with the grit to stand firm on-site and have it fenced off before the big fellows in the grey suits arrived. No, no… elephants, not councilors.
A serious day of heaving, lifting and shifting, unrolling and unravelling, banged thumbs and more dodging of tractors was put in. Would they get it finished before the rains set in? Understandably, the tension was high; that’s just good fencing I guess.
Make sure you keep a few smiles and quiet compliments up your sleeve for the ones who have put the hours in on-site to get the work done. In addition, a huge amount of work continues behind the scenes to maintain momentum and ensure progress is made. Some things take time… getting jobs done for the very best price requires some compromises, the weather can be unpredictable, and organising volunteers and suits alike can be like herding cats.
Of course, the prerequisite for the fencing was the final step in the preparation of our pastures, miniature as each may be; this of course was subjecting the more stubborn and insolent of the great clods to a thorough thrashing by way of the power harrow. And surely, a harrowing experience it must have been!
The result is plainly obvious up close. Where once were weeds and a thick matting of grasses is now a sublime stretch of soil; even, and an altogether different space than the boulder-field that was exposed after the initial ploughing!
The land is now fit for our furrows, lusting for lettuces, crooning for carrots, pining for potatoes, trembling for tomatoes, ripe for… for, ahh, rosemary?
Yes indeedy, the road ahead is firm. In the next few days the call will be made to rally the troops so that (yes, finally) our individual plots can be divvied out and we can finally get down and dirty at last. Watch your inbox Allotmenteers. See you on-site soon.