Frugal Living,  Musing,  Parenting

New Allotments Are Taking Shape

Last weekend the hour “sprang” forward and so we have nearly an extra hour in the day to work on the plot. The new allotments are taking shape, we got our polytunnel this week which was a big deal to us. Himself has been down there every day. Putting raised beds together, moving manure, topsoil, digging over the polytunnel, rotovating a wide open area for some loose beds and doing general scrubbing and cleaning of the shed.

The shed had been in storage for the past year. This meant it had been flatpacked and under a tarp in my parents-in-law garden so it had to be scrubbed from top to bottom on the inside before we started it using it. They live in a rural area and goodness knows what had nested under the tarp over the winter. He painted the shed this week too.

For the most part I’ve been stuck at home most days. The weather is only just beginning to get warmer and we have 2 small children – the 4 year old would happily spend days on end down at the allotment but he gets tired and it’s not practical for Daddy to be keeping an eye on a cranky little man when he’s trying to do heavy jobs. The 1 year old is a little vulnerable so unless it’s above 7 degrees or so we don’t want him out in the cold for long periods of time. The site is still very bare and the wind whips through it. Polytunnel Layout

Anyway we got around that today by containing him within a travel playpen inside of the polytunnel with the door open on 1 side of the tunnel. He wasn’t too happy but we got a good hour before he got very cranky. Mind you that could have been because two of his favourite people in the whole wide world arrived (good friends of ours happen to have a plot next to us) and he wanted to play with them. We took him out of the playpen then and let him wander around a little bit. For a while he was okay, he climbed into the empty raised bed and had a chat with us. I blinked though and he had lifted the netting around the outside of our plot and was sprinting (no mean feat when you’re 17 months of age) across the site. He will be the death of me.Containing 1 year old

I’m keeping going at home with some very interesting reading materials. We’ve accumulated a good few books over the past couple of years and while I’ve read them all more than once it’s always good to have a refresher.Reading materials

You might notice that there’s a pig rearing book in there. Yep. The pigs will be arriving soon. I’m very excited, others not so much. While the idea of having pigs on the site has everybody interested, the idea of rearing pigs for slaughter isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It’ll be interesting to see how many people sign up and we will be heading off for some training in the next couple of weeks.

I keep on pinching myself. Hubby has done a fantastic job of getting the site ready for planting. We know that key for the next while is getting the set-up of the plot right. It’s going to be very hard work this year. The ground is quite solid in places but it’s nothing that graft won’t fix. Hubby’s not shirking away from the work either which is good because I struggle with the heavy end of work like digging and operating a rotovator.

So far there is very little planted though and that’ll happen in the next week or so. I can’t wait to see the plot getting a little bit greener and the colours shooting out. So far it’s just a varying shade of grey.

I’ll be back in the next few days with a new recipe but I thought some of you might be interested to see how the new allotments are taking shape. If you are interested in allotments in the Fingal area then you need to contact Fingal County Council directly but I can tell you that there are still plots of most sizes available in ours.

I'm an Irish mother to 2 boys, born & bred in Dublin, Ireland. I like to cook simple & fresh food for the family, with the family on a budget.


  • Emily

    Very exciting Caitriona! We also found that a paddling pool in the polytunnel on warm days was a complete hit, with just an inch or two of water. And have you read Klaus Leitenberger from the Organic Centre? An EXCELLENT book. Joy Larkam too!

    • kathryn

      Great thing about Klaus’ books is that you know if he can grow it in Leitrim it’ll work anywhere – unlike books written in South of England. And couldn’t agree more about paddling pools to keep kids happy in the polytunnel. And when they get too old (the paddling pools not the kids) they make great raised beds

  • Amee Carroll

    You have been busy – I used to put my children in a large cardboard box so you are very posh. Can’t wait for the pig reports, interested to see how you get on there.

    • Wholesome Ireland

      Tempting as a large cardboard box may be Amee, this little fella would have escaped within seconds. It’s not posh! When he ran off across the other plots yesterday I was considering building a cage. The pigs are going to be very interesting!

    • Wholesome Ireland

      Haha Jesse I know the feeling. I’ll be putting in chicken wire as soon as possible. I think it’s more of a containment thing for the 17 month old than a deterrent for rabbits!

  • kathryn

    Nicky Kyle’s monthly “What to do now in your polytunnel” is better than anything I’ve read in the books.

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