Meanwhile, Down on the Allotment

The politicisation of the vegetable patch has been concerning me of late. 

Without presumably any intention the current leader of the Opposition has succeeded in becoming synonymous with allotments, marrows and runner beans. Consequently the vast majority of the population is purposefully showing complete disinterest in the cultivation of their own vegetables, leaving that to veteran Labour Party gaffers.

However, it now seems that the as yet unconfirmed new Prime Minister will, in his quest to leave the EU by 31st October, no doubt be exhorting us all to grow our own in an attempt to become self sufficient. Of course, he's not yet aware that if you live on a diet of cornflakes, ready meals and Cheesy Quavers, growing your own in a window box on your balcony will be nigh on impossible. 

Forgive me, I digress, for in these turbulent times there is something very comforting in being able to wander amongst the seeds I have sown, now flourishing as plants.

After last year's warm dry summer, the weather conditions in 2019 have been far more typical for North  Yorkshire with a cold start to the season followed by intermittent warmth then rain. Consequently those old favourites: rhubarb, gooseberries, shallots and early potatoes have all been thriving on my plot. 

Even the tomatoes, despite the cool start in an unheated greenhouse are now bearing fruit.

Sometimes gardening can be a lot of effort but when you can eat the product of that endeavour, it really does feel worthwhile. The sunken beds (one of our first retirement projects) have made a real difference and with a capillary watering system in operation inside the greenhouse and a plentiful supply of rain outside, even the time spent watering has been reduced.

After defeating the slugs with copper enforced fortressing, however, my beetroot (now secured in a cage for its own protection) was attacked my pigeons in a sheer crime of frustration after I had wickedly hidden all their favourite brassicas under netting to keep off the egg-laying butterflies. Moreover, a wandering cat has got in on the action deciding to dig amidst my runner beans which are now being defended by a motion sensor with a high pitched alarm.

It's all a complete haven from the political turmoil around us, although don't be surprised if I get a call up to fill the post of Defence Minister next week; I certainly have the experience!


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