As the mad Hare of March leaps and runs in random directions, excited at the end of the cold wet winter, men and women in sheds on allotment sites everywhere feel the same sense of excitement and urgency, me emphatically included! Before walking over to Willow Hey, I was busy frantically running round, sowing seeds, taking last minute cuttings, making beer, and manically patting the pockets on my old army coat to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything before leaving, spring is here!
A visit from community members
I arrived at Willow Hey shortly before nine o’clock, the first thing I noticed was that all of the raised beds we had filled with the soil last week had paw prints running through them, and signs that snouts had been rummaging and digging to the bottom of the raised beds, my first thought when I saw the mess in the beds was that a gang of mischievous and bored teenagers had been on the site during the night, but in reality I guess the Foxes that live on the site are enthused with the same seasonal madness that myself and every Hare in the UK are.
Perennial food for an uncertain future
Today we planted twenty five hedging plants around different areas of the site, the hedging serves two purposes, firstly, it will provide something of a buffer from the cold air that runs through different areas of the sight, and secondly, all of the hedging will yield crops for decades to come, we dug in sea Buckthorn, elder, crab apples, cherry plum and hawthorn, and also dug in some more soft fruit bushes, including two varieties of gooseberries, blueberries, black current, and red currents. In times of economic chaos and imposed ideological austerity the power of such a large amount of cleanly grown fruits that will yield for decades to come helps to build in resilience and of course food access for the communities most effected by the Neoliberal agenda.
Getting ready for the Sun
Whilst we were busying ourselves planting fruit trees and bushes, our other two crew were painting the inside of one of the brick built greenhouses which we will be using to full capacity from next week onwards. fortunately for us both greenhouses only require a little fettling with no major repair jobs required. The problem with this particular greenhouse is that despite it large South facing windows it is quite dark inside depending on the angle of the Sun, so painting it white will help make use of the sunlight a little more as the seasons roll. And finally we would all like to wish Carla the very best of luck in her new job that’s starts very soon and hope it all goes well for her, Carla has been our chief fire starter and cutter of firewood over the winter and into the early spring.