The Nuthurst Community Allotment on the old Architectural Plants site opposite the church

Angus White, Cooks Farm, November 2020

What needs doing first?

We have about 1000 sq metres available outside and about 300 sq metres available under unheated glass. There could be more of both but this sounds enough to start.

To get it ready for growing fruit and veg we need to make it deer and rabbit proof. This could cost more than a pound. Well actually, it’d cost quite a lot more than a pound but it’s undoubtedly the most important and the most expensive part of the enterprise as hungry deer and bunnies are plentiful in Nuthurst.

Needless to say, emotional blackmail will be turned up to screaming pitch in attempting to persuade various local fencers to do their civic duty and do it for nothing. However, we must brace ourselves to face disappointment in this area. Maybe they’ll do it for abitlessthantheynormallywould or we can raise money by subscription and pay them. Anyway, not to worry. It will be done because it must be done. Somehow or other.

The greenhouse was our old propagation area and the ground is covered in 2 ft of crushed sandstone. To remove this would expose the original sloping soil and the general consensus is NOT to do that as it would be a fantastic amount of work to little effect. If we acquire some nice topsoil and some nice spent mushroom compost, we can make raised beds on the existing surface that’s level and well drained. We have the use of a small tractor with a front-end loader for getting the stuff in the greenhouse. We then need workers to hand rake the soil/compost into useable piles or ‘raised beds’ as we like to call them. We could then do exactly the same outside. 

Please note the use of the words ‘acquire’ and ‘workers’ in the previous paragraph. Words which are thick with innuendo and slightly sinister intent. i.e. it might appear that we’re looking for something for nothing.

Nothing? Nothing? Certainly not. The reward is getting involved with a worthwhile community adventure. A way to make friends, enjoy yourself and enjoy your very own home-grown fruit and veg.

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