There is something therapeutic about digging soil. I get a sense of achievement from seeing a barren well trodden, firm piece of scrubland suddenly become alive, look fertile and ready to receive crops.
A huge part of my allotment is yet to be cultivated and it's going to be a good two or three years before I'm finally on top of it. It's a massive task and quite daunting. The plot is 25m x 10m and it's huge. But seeing the progress made already is inspiring me to continue. Having my friend Michaela to help is fantastic. She's an avidly keen gardener and has always wanted her own allotment, but the waiting list for her area is 2-3 years. So what better arrangement than for her to have the spare key to my plot, share working the land I rent and share the harvest? We get to spend time together and spend hours just plodding away, stopping for a chat and a diet coke, then getting down to some hard graft again. We've laughed together while we've dug, we've moaned together while we've dug and we've planned days out while we've dug. It's a good place to sort your life out. When we're not together I'll go down alone and at times she'll be there by herself and it's the perfect time to spend time to yourself or praying or just pondering life itself.
I specifically like the fact that the time we spend together there costs us next to nothing. It's good fresh air, exercise and company. But, don't get me wrong. I do also like to get dressed up, whack on some 4" stilettos, bung some slap on my face and hit the town, but my love is for the more earthly things in life. I just desire more time to do them.
So last night, after Michaela had been chugging away for a couple of hours I met up with her and we managed to work some more of the ground. The area for the runner beans is ready now and I just need to dig the trench, work in the organic matter and make the supports. The tomatoes are planted and caned and the fruit bushes are flourishing, although my five donated plants are looking a bit sorry and may not survive their transplantation.
A pathway has been built in front of the compost bins using old paving slabs and the boundary fence to the entrance side is about to be constructed.
Love it, love it, love it.