The Allotment Garden 2019
Yay! Today we were introduced to allotment space B2 at the Barrington Community garden! We (being my mom and myself) are super excited for the full sun and deer fences up. This will be our first foray into community gardens - and we are excited. I will take on the majority of the work - as my mom is closer to the beds at her house, but they are ultimately her garden plots that she allows me to share.
Why we chose to join a community garden
First - the lovely beds in the sun! The garden is in the full sun - something we sort of have in the garden. One other addition we are doing this year is adding another new bed - so now it’s 3 of the old beds 10x6ish? They get shade as of about 3pm in the afternoon, and one new bed 4x6 (I think) which will go on the sunniest section of the garden. HOWEVER, it’s still not really full sun.
Second - the fencing! We live in an area of our town that has quite a few Deer. There is a nature preserve with a big cove, and while there’s a “highway” (2 lanes on each side 45mph zone) they still head up towards the wooded area near the house. The garden is actually very close to the same path the deer take, but this has nice fencing around - so we are only dealing with bunnies and birds. I am not so worried about the birds, but bunnies are another story. Those pesky little Peter Rabbits, they like cabbage and peas as much as I do unfortunately - so we will put up a bit of fencing.
Third - the community - this we weren’t sure about, how active people are, do they know each other? How much support does the town give the garden … turns out it’s a lot. Plus they grow veg for Tap-In our local outreach organization that is part food-bank part center where locals can pick up clothing, household goods and more - so it’s wonderful that they provide them fresh produce. It’s beyond nice to find a community of people who love the same thing you do, and I can’t wait to pick up some knowledge. The plots in the gardens are small (5x20) in comparison to say—> English versions of allotments, but locally speaking I did some research and didn’t find anything even NEAR this size across the state - usually it was one 3x5 bed.
Bonus - we learned today that they not only have the beds to use, but there are community herb gardens which we can use, plus a raspberry patch which will most certainly provide a nice snack on a garden day. We hear there are also sunflowers to enjoy!
The garden is in an awkward location, it’s on a busy road which we have to do a full turn around on a highway to drive there. However, it’s very close to the house - and it was really lovely to learn about the town’s support of the garden. They help provide the wood chip which is used on paths (volunteers help spread each year - plus it’s part of our duties) and they have helped with grants for the shed, tools, and more. It’s honestly pretty darn cool and I can’t wait to share more in the coming months.
What’s next for the allotment garden this spring?
I think we are going to do “no dig” on this bed - meaning we will never till or overturn the soil in this bed, but simply compost 1x a year with a good heaping 2 inches. I’ve been a big Charles Dowding fan over the past year or so and slowly convincing mom of this method, so it’s a great place to try it out.
Then we are going to put up our bunny fencing - this from home depot seemed to be the fencing of choice around the plot - and I agree - this was perfect. Cause you could step over it if needed, plus it’s relatively inexpensive compared to the other varieties of farmyard low fencing like this.
Next up we are going to be working on getting the brassicas in the ground! They will be living at the allotment space as their final home, they are a great choice - since it’s a one-time crop :)