So you’re one of the lucky 29, are you?
It must have been my loamy trousers and the fact I was carrying a shovel that gave me away. The man in the street had me marked as one of the New Allotmenteers.
It turns out he grows veg on a patch of ground in Nairn he rents from one of the churches. We stood in the street chatting for a bit about different soil textures, weeds and techniques for shoring up embankments. This is what I have become. And I like it.
The Electric Allotments are powering ahead with most plots developed now. Fences are up, tatties are sprouting and, hooray, the sheds have arrived. We now have our own wee Shangri-las.
It does feel a bit like painting the Forth bridge - it’s quite a responsibility taking on a hundred square metres of earth. It will take time to get on top of everything and of course it will evolve in the coming years. It’s a real investment and shows I’ve literally put down roots where I live.
There is a great sense of community at the allotments - we all help each other out and there’s no shame in peering over a fence to pinch a neighbour’s idea. Some of us were hopping with excitement at the discovery of a frog in the pond. The other day I nipped down to prepare the ground for the installation of my shed (and do a wee bit of weeding, aka The Never-ending Story). It was mild, sunny and blissfully quiet between 7 and 8am with only a passing train and tweeting birds creating any kind of hubbub. To experience such peace so close to a town centre was magical. And it made my labour all the easier.
TWMBO paid a visit to the plot the other evening before bath time to help water the veg. I plonked her down and her instant reaction? Eww, muddy!
Oh no. Really? She’s only two and already I’m one of those ‘uncool’ dads? (Sigh.)