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Plough Field Allotments.


Wellington Field Allotments Hixon


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By Mrs FM


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Alan J Hartley



More Fun With the Allotment.

After not doing much on my plot for a week or two, I went down to have a look one, nice, Sunday afternoon and was pleasantly surprised to see the plot next to mine being cleared by a young couple with 3 young children. They had obviously had a picnic and all seemed to be having great fun with the young kids laying a cobble stone path down the middle of their plot, while the older family members did the weeding and digging. The younger girl was keeping herself busy taking a half filled wheelbarrow of weeds to the waste pile with the toddler running behind her. Then she was giving the little one a ride back in the barrow - until he fell out! The parents chatted to me asking what I had been growing, so I gave the mother a few, juicy, ripe, red tomatoes. The kids immediately came running to see what she had got and happily sat on the grass eating them. When I handed over a small handful of ripe raspberries she nearly got knocked over in the kids enthusiasm to get at them!

The site owner has started to let the cottages that are being converted and it seems that one likely tenant is going to have a horse in the adjacent, small, field that backs on to my plot. I have planted 4 small fruit trees against the adjoining fence, so if the horse does arrive, I will have to dig them up and re-plant them further away from the fence as, horses being what they are, it is likely to have more than a nibble at the trees young shoots and leaves in the Spring. Fortunately with Winter coming, the leaves have almost dropped now and it will be no real problem to dig them up, as the dormant period for trees and most plants generally, is a good time to move them.

With the odd cold night that we have had recently, I panicked a little and started harvesting my tomatoes without giving a lot of thought as to how it should be done. The first lot were picked in dry weather, but the second lot had been rained on the night before. Desperately trying to get in as many done as possible, I didn’t think to dry them and left them a warm kitchen over night still in the buckets as they had been picked. Naturally, with the damp on them and the added juice from the odd split ones, they spoilt quite badly and I lost most of them. Normally when I pick them at home, from the greenhouse, I carefully sort them and wipe every one dry before putting them away, so it was stupid not to clean them when they were picked from the allotment. The picking took several sessions to clear them all, even with some help, and we lost count of the total number of buckets full, mostly of green ones and a few of red. Sometimes we picked the tomatoes “On The Vine,” which meant just pulling the whole truss off the stem instead of picking them individually and we found that they kept and ripened better. The large number of ripe, but split tomatoes, that we collected, we used as best we could in cooking for soups and ratatouille etc. The bulk of the green tomatoes could only be used in making “Green Tomato Chutney,” but the problem was finding enough people to take them. It seems that I went all round the village in my efforts to find someone who wanted them. I even managed to persuade one of the nurses who gave us flew jabs the next day, to have one bucket!