With no firm plans about how to lay out the allotment, let alone what to plant, I nonetheless felt I had to do something positive. My excitement over the past few days was getting on the entire family’s nerves, and I was itching to get going.
But what? I decided that despite my complete lack of allotment knowledge, there was one thing I could do – dig. Surely I couldn’t go wrong with that. It’s a given that every allotment owner spends most of their time sinking a spade into the ground, and turning over soil.
So I set off with three of the kids – Kurt, Janek and Anya – and an assortment of spades and rakes. Everyone (not just me) seemed enthusiastic, and all were keen to do a spot of hard graft.
I decided (wrongly, as I would discover later) that we would dig two long strip-like beds to plant potatoes. Each would run the entire width of the plot (about five metres).
Kurt and Janek eagerly grabbed a spade each, and started turning over the soil according to my master plan, while Anya busied herself pulling up weeds wherever she could find them. As for me? Well, I would occasionally commandeer a spade to hurry the process along, but apart from that, I was basically the “gaffer”. Brilliant! It was almost as if I planned it that way.
Within an hour, the work was done, and we stood back to admire our handiwork. The beds were dug, but they were so crooked, I felt slightly ashamed. What would my fellow, infinitely-more-experienced allotment-growers say when they saw our efforts?
“Ach, what-the-heck, if they don’t like it, that’s their problem,” I said to myself by way of reassurance. At least the soil’s turned over ready for some spuds.