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Digging for Victory

Posted Jun 04 2012 12:00am

In case anyone has wondered what has become of me of late, I should say my life has entered a new stage, or rather it has recovered an old one.

One of the things I very much missed after my mum died was the garden, where I used to take out my frustrations and grow vegetables in a very small urban plot, right in the centre of Coventry.

However that is all history now, I have acquired an allotment. It is simply huge compared with what I have dealt with before.

A little history
The allotments are situated on what was a former sewage works, and were established in the 1960's. The sewage works must have been built at the end of the 19th Century or the beginning of the last one, and served Foleshill Rural District Council. Anyway the sewage works backed onto the River Sowe at Henley Green, and comprised the lower fields of Henley Mill Farm. The rest of the farm is still a farm today, and it surprising to find in an otherwise urban district. I drive down what is a single track country lane, from the back of Henley College and there it is.

Anyway my allotment came up surprisingly quick.I had applied earlier in the year during the snow, having done a neighbour a favour by taking an old carpet down as he does not have a car. He suggested that I should put my name down and I did.

So far as my allotment goes, it appears that it was formerly held by a group of disabled people, and had been made up with wheelchair paths. It had been abandoned about 6 months ago. The lower part of it however had been left to nature from before as it was too much for the group to cope with.

Since I did not acquire this allotment till May, it has been rather late to do much preparation and planting, as all the digging would have been done over winter.

I have had to clear wild brambles, cut back overgrown willow trees, uproot other shrubs which had taken over, before even contemplating anything else.

As it is a large part is still under tarpaulin until I have either the time and the energy to dig it. I have had to clear what I can with the help of my brother and plant a few crops hoping for the best.

The weather has not been ideal, except for the weeds, brambles and grass, which shoot up everywhere faster than anything I have planted.

Still it is early days yet.

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