We have news and I am just going to jump straight into it – we have just got our first allotment!
I’ve been a passionate balcony gardener for five summers now, each year trying more and more in our little balcony garden. We live in a small home, by choice, and have absolutely intention of moving. There are a number of reasons for this but most lean towards finances, not wanting to push ourselves beyond our comfort level and actually have money left at the end of the month for savings and to live the life we desire, not constantly reaching for the next bigger and better thing.
We have a beautiful balcony garden that is absolutely thriving and the perfect space for our little ones to play and grow. As well as our little balcony paradise we are surrounded by open countryside and plenty of ways to spend our time outdoors. With all this, and on the back of a wonderful growing season on our balcony, we are so excited to start work on our allotment. We have had a wonderful growing season every year we have lived here, each year bigger and better than the one before, however even though there are many things we can grow on a balcony having this space will really help us grow more and work on being a little more self-sufficient.
Just one year from application to allotment
We first applied for our allotment just over a year ago, and we’ve been incredibly lucky that spaces at our chosen allotment have come up very quickly. We have a lot of allotments around us, so maybe that is why, but it took little over a year between applying for our allotment to getting the key for our own little space. I know this isn’t the case for everyone and I have heard of some councils having waiting lists of up to 10 years. Feeling very grateful that this wasn’t the case for us.
We had two options in our allotment when it came to picking our patch. One was a square plot which hadn’t really been tended to much and was full of fruit bushes that would have needed to have been pulled up or moved to create any kind of growing space close to what we desired. The other plot, and the one we ultimately went for, was a long narrow plot which had always had a fair amount of growing on there.
Although the chosen plot still needs a lot of TLC this plot was definitely in a better position for being able to create the plot we wanted and being able to achieve some of our little plot goals quite quickly. We were viewing both at the same time as they are at the same allotment and it was difficult to immediately visualise which one was the better option and with more potential. Thankfully, after choosing I can really see that the longer plot was the right decision for us.
We’ve had the plot for a couple of weeks now and have been able to start some work and it’s clear that it has so much potential. There is so much we want to do with it and I can’t wait to document it all as we go.
Less processed, more home grown food
It’s been fun, since we got the allotment, checked it out in greater detail I can see just how much potential it has. A lot of the plans we have will involve the children and their home education, but we’re also passionate about growing our own food and moving away from mass consumed food where we can. We’ve had the plot for a couple of weeks now and it has so much potential. There is so much that we want to do with in and I will of course be documenting it all here, to some extent on my Instagram account, but I have also started an Instagram account that will be solely dedicated to the allotment.
A lot of my plans involve the children, their home education but also being passionate about growing our own food as much as we can, and participating in natural food sources and stepping away as much as possible from the horrendously processed food industry.
First up…getting the fence up!
Our first task has been to install a small fence, having two children under the age of 3 means that working on the allotment is a bit more difficult, especially as we’re trying to keep our children on our little patch. Of course when they are a little older they will understand that they can’t just run off to roam in other peoples patches but for now I want to keep them where they need to be. We’re currently halfway through installing a small, low fence that is just right for keeping them where they need to be without looking too obtrusive.
We decided that the best option was some PVC coated wire fencing. This is an edging fencing so only just over 2ft high, but perfect for keep toddlers where they need to be without being too obtrusive for the plot. We plan to secure it with some chicken wire poles, some garden pins and some cable ties, and hopefully this will keep it secure for a while to come.
All the plans
Next on the agenda is to clear the area at one end of the patch which really lends itself to having a shed, maybe a small decked area, a mud kitchen for the little ones, some cold frames and a small raised bed for the children to grow in too.
I really plan for a lot of our home education to take place at the plot, especially in these early years where being outside, nature and play is of utmost importance to us. The area that I’m looking at putting the shed is very overgrown and empty, and so like I said it really lends itself to be used for this. It might seem like a funny place to start, but actually with the winter ahead of us it gives us a great opportunity to get some of these things in place and sort out some of the beds ahead of the growing season next year.
Once we have cleared the area, put the shed base down and put the shed in I’m happy to see how everything pans out from there, and move my focus onto the beds and what we plan to grow ahead of next spring rolling round. We have a really long plot and currently the opposite end from where we plan to put the shed we have inherited an abundance of rhubarb and a fruit tree. The aim is to plant a few more fruit trees up there, possibly a gooseberry bush.
Next along we have space to have plenty of rows of product (and some paths) and right in the middle of the plot we have a compost heap and a patch that is currently a pumpkin and squash patch, all of which we intend to leave for the next growing season, as this enables us to tackle other, more in need parts of the patch.
On the other side of the pumpkin patch heading towards what will be the shed area is several rows where we can plant produce, create paths and also some canes to grow runner beans. I intend to leave the canes in situ and continue to grow runner beans next year.
Follow along with us
If you would like to follow so our allotment journey I will be documenting it here. I think it would be fantastic to see where it started and where we get with it particularly across the next growing season but also it’s going to be great to see it overall as time goes and how it progresses. We’re not pro gardeners by any stretch of the imagination but a lot of the fun is in learning as we go and I’m really excited about that.
If you would like to follow the allotment journey on Instagram you can follow us @lifeonplot44 or and you can also follow my main account @the.little.simple.life. The allotment only account will be a real deep dive into what we doing on the allotment and how it’s progressing how things are changing before and afters etc where is my main account is everything about our little life. Can’t wait to see you there!