Our allotment tales are born of long hot days and long hot nights. Even on the stillest day there is a gentle balmy breeze wafting across the site from the sea.
On the cold days when the wind whips from the North and the chill feels like it is numbing your bones, your finger tips feel numb and you wonder how the earth is made of concrete.
Crystal blue skies herald the hot and the cold days. The sun warms the polytunnel and nourishes the important crops. The sweetcorn within the tunnel is nearly ready, the “Indigo Rose” is beginning to ripen. This picture is of Nicky Kyle’s plant last year but it is very similar to ours this year.
The reason why I don’t have pictures of my tomatoes is because I’ve had very little opportunity to get down to the allotment to work the land the last few weeks. It has been busy here at home with a number of community projects and some personal ones too.
Himself has been working hard. Darn hard. Some days he comes home and he can barely bend down to take off his boots. I have to keep reminding him to wear a hat and sun protection in the polytunnel. Undercover doesn’t mean protection from the sun. If you do have a polytunnel please don’t forget to protect yourself.
Slowly as the growing progresses we’ve been enjoying the fruits of his labour. Like the chocolate stripe tomato at the top of this post (which isn’t quite ripe, I know), or the baby beetroots which are a welcome result of thinning out the crop, or the combination of baby tomatoes, carrots, peppers, scallions and lettuce.
Life is good when you grow your own food. When I smugly pass by some of the groceries because we’ve grown our own. In monetary terms it saves us a lot of money. In physical terms it takes a toll but perhaps growing your own food is a cheaper alternative to buying a gym membership. Who knows?
I couldn’t do what I do – blog, write, nourish, cherish – without him. Without his support, shoulder to cry on, arms to hold me, hands to feed us. So today my allotment tales are born of gratefulness for the silent half of Wholesome Ireland. Today I am grateful for himself.