We walked to the allotment with heavy feet this week. It was neglected because we had neglected it. Life got in the way, which is ironic really considering how much life is entwined within the plot. Our lives, our material stuff, we allowed them to get in the way.
When I was sick the last thing I wanted to do was sit in pain at the allotment, but I should have done.
Over-stressed and writing letter after letter to the bank, we opted to stay at home and write more letters.
We poured our energy into other stuff and the allotment suffered.
As I opened the gate I noticed a vibrant orange flower, insulting my neglect. Shining brightly out of the flower bed.
“Here you, ya fupping eedgit”, it said, “you planted me and so I grow anyway”.
The sprouting broccoli was taking over, begging to be harvested. Ginormous, it was nearly as tall as I am. I had started them from seed last Summer. Just one seed.
We ate well that night with sprouting broccoli and chard in butter and garlic, then carrots and beetroot that had been stored in the soil over winter. It was a feast that I felt in many ways that we didn’t deserve.
Yes it was overgrown thanks to months of not weeding enough. The allotment had been neglected, but in a benign way. The food continued to grow and we had harvested when we could.
It just takes one seed, plant one seed, and it will grow. Plant many seeds and you feed your family (and probably half the neighbours as well *cough*).
Now there’s a little brown box in my office, crammed full of that ‘one seed’. On this bitterly cold Winter’s day I’m pulling on my overalls, boots and gloves. I’m heading off to the allotment, if even for a little while to whittle away at the work that needs to be done to prepare for the growing season ahead.
This week my big decision was not to give the horrible stuff the head space anymore and to focus on more positive things. I’m well into writing my second cookbook and hope to have it ready to pitch to publishers very soon. I feel lighter and brighter for making this change. I feel more like myself.
My motto this year? Plant more. Nurture more.
It’s a motto that will work in life not just at the allotment. 😉
It’s a bit of a weird weekend with so much uncertainty ahead, particularly given events internationally yesterday. Still I’m reminded that growing your own food is perhaps one of the most revolutionary acts that you can do. Maybe this year, if you’ve never grown before, maybe you might like to take part in the growing revolution and change your life just a little bit?