Thursday, 31 January 2008

honkjazz The Allotment! Part 2

Sunday 27th January, 2008. Today I popped down to the plot to carry on with the fence mission. Herbert joined me a little later and we cleared more weeds from the borders, established an entrance, ripped up some more of the dead couch grass and put some more fence-posts in. Sadly our neighbors on two sides don't care much for their fences and, as you can see from the photograph, there are whole sections that have collapsed and not been fixed on one side and we've been fixing the ones on the other side as they're meshed into ours. Interesting concept - breaking down barriers with our neighbors by putting up barriers between us and our neighbors. What an awkward sentence that is.

To finish the day off I cleared an area for the shed base. This we intend to cover with rubble and sand and then put paving slabs on top. I'm quite enjoying this part of the project at the moment - designating areas of the plot for different things. Shed in bottom left corner, composting area in the bottom right corner, herb garden in the top right corner, etc. It's good because as it starts to take shape in the mind's eye the work doesn't seem so impossible. You can break it down into departments and this makes it easier to imagine and organise. And gives a good excuse for planning meetings in the pub. I love planning meetings in the pub. There is surely no better pint of ale to be had than the one after a hard days work on an allotment.
Anyway, as I write this I've just blagged some more timber so I thought it would be helpful to keep a record of how much we spend and what we manage to steptoe (as it shall be known from this day forth!).

2 Belfast sinks (local small ads) = £10
30 small paving slabs (recycling centre) = £10
Tools (2 forks, pick-axe, sledgehammer
and shears - recycling centre) = £12
Water Butt and base (recycling centre) = £10
Gardening knife and U nails (garden centre) = £9
Wetstone (local DIY shop) = £2.50
Netting (ebay) = £4
Thermos flask (local DIY shop) = £5

Total = £62.50

8 metres of picket fence
Small stakes
15 sharpened fence posts
Bulk load of mixed timber
Incinerator bin
Cable drum
2 doors (to be turned into compost bin)
Another bulk load of mixed timber
Hardcore/rubble (freecycle)
Some framed windows which will become some sort of cloche (free cycle)
(coming soon - paving slabs, breeze bloocks and sand)

So as I left on the Sunday evening you could actually see the edges of the plot and we've made a start on a shed base. The next set of jobs are going to be finishing off the fence posts, laying the hardcore on the shed plot and building some compost bins. I need to get onto my horse manure supply and I think I have two potential suppliers of chicken poo which I understand to be the most beneficial to allotments. So the sooner we can get those compost bins together the better. We also have a connection at a big seed company so that should save us a few quid.

Anyway, enough about money. I suppose we had better get our DIY heads on.
Take of yourselves. And each other.