Saturday was the start of the burning season on the Allotment. This Saturday, and every Tuesday hereafter, it’s permitted to have fires on allotment plots providing that certain conditions are met. Even better, her Jessicaness drove down for a flying visit to see me and the new kitten whilst Significant Other was away.
After a round of bacon sandwiches, we headed over to the allotment in time to pick up some onion and garlic sets for the patch of bare ground I mentioned last week. Then we headed over to my plot armed with newspaper and lighters. At exactly 12pm (the moment fires were allowed) the paper was lit and the fire was started.
Once the fire was well under way, we threw every piece of burnable material I had on it, singing our hair in the process. The it was a case of sitting down and watching, occasionally forking material from the edges onto the main body of the fire.
Bored, I started forking over the bare patch of ground, pausing every now and then to pick out the bindweed roots. Her Jessicaness came over to help and while she forked up the dirt, I borrowed a spade from 100 and used it to further break up the clods of earth. We tossed the bindweed roots on the fire 🙂
Remembering that there was a bunch of twigs and branches in the would-be compost bin I’d uncovered, I started tossing them into the fire. It paid off when I finally discovered rich black compost under the thick layer of wood.
As the fire started to die down, so did our energy levels. The patch was dug and I didn’t even have the energy to plant the onion sets. After almost five hours on site, we doused what remained of the fire and headed home for food and a bath.
Her Jessicaness was called home due to an emergency that night, leaving me home alone with just the Tigger-Dog and two cats for company. Exhausted and still dealing with a grumbling appendix, I got an early night.
Yesterday I had a nice long lie in and then watched the Grand Prix whilst doing laundry loads. Afterwards I pottered around the house for a bit and then got bored and decided to go plant some onions while the weather was still good.
Once there I deconstructed and excavated the compost bin, using a spade borrowed from 100 to move it onto some canvas so I could drag it over to the onion bed. Doing so disturbed a toad who’d apparently dug his way in to hibernate for the winter. Feeling bad about taking away his winter home, I spread the compost on the bed we’d dug over, picking out the bindweed roots as I went.
Once done, I used the rake to create three furrows and then planted winter lettuce at the corners and the onion sets 30cm apart. I still have an awful lot of onions left. Anyone know how to store them?
100 gave me some thin fleecy material to spread over the bed to prevent birds from picking out the onions before they have a chance to take root. I weighed it down, tidied up the remains of the fire, packed up and went home to play with the kitten.