I spent a few hours down at the site on Thursday morning but only got barely an hour's work done as I spent most of the time chatting to fellow plotters.
Just inside the gate I came across our chairman, John Bachelor, working with John Lack and Mark Merritt on the raised beds of the Special Needs plot. John Lack's carpentry skills, with labouring support from his helpers, mean we will soon have the aging walls to the outer raised beds replaced.
The timber and other materials were kindly donated by Travis Perkins who have continued to support our Special Needs plot since providing much of the materials for its establishment in 2002. They are also prepared to offer members a hefty discount on production of your membership card and, with the news that 60 branches are scheduled to close, I feel we owe it to them to give them as much custom as we can.
Then leaving them to it (too many cooks) I drove round towards my plot but bumped into, first an old friend with whom I share an interest in sailing - but this year mainly from the armchair, and then a brand new Plotter who was just surveying what to do with his plot which, I am pleased to say, had been left in quite a good state. The beds had been dug over and covered with plastic and there wet even a few tools in the shed! Lucky him - unfortunately not all plots are left so tidy.
Finally I got to my own plot vowing to be less garrulous. After emptying the bags of compost materials and leaves into the appropriate bins, I cleared out the trailer and towed it round to the long horse litter bin and filled it with the best, most decomposed litter I could find. I then returned to the plot and dumped the seven or so barrow-loads of material on one of next year's brassicas plots where it will act as a mulch through to next Autumn when I hope to scrape it off (what's left of it) and add it to my compost bin. Any manure in it will benefit the brassicas and the woodchip will keep the weeds down and the moisture in.
Then today I went down with instructions, from her indoors, to return home early for lunch before our visitors arrive. I started by helping to fix a fence by plot xxx and then a fence by plot 40, the Special Needs plot. Having done that, and having had my regular Sunday morning coffee and some lovely moist cake, I got on to my own plot.
The kitchen waste in the compost bin, I checked the cauliflowers. I picked both the remaining ' All Year Round' that I sowed myself back in April and one of the two heads from plants I bought from the Trading Hut as young plants. You can see the difference in the photo.
My own plants are only good for mixing with the autumn calabrese I also harvested whereas the other is in itself a very good cauliflower. This is the sort of result I had last winter season.