Growing your own is all well and good, but I feel it’s my duty to warn my fellow Walthamstownians of the perils. I speak as an experienced allotment plot holder.
Little did I realise that the simple joy of tilling the soil could be fraught with such trials and tribulations.
Forget the aching back, the fork impaled foot or the stench of rooting compost. It’s your fellow allotmenteers you have to watch out for.
Watering cans at 50 paces is not an uncommon sight. Wild accusations of theft, treachery and wilful damage rend the air on quiet Sunday mornings as plot holders face up to each other over a cup of (green) tea or something stronger. The innocent family barbeque that can so easily turn into a scene from “The Sopranos”.
Often I find myself muttering foul incantations under my breath as I sow my broad beans or plant out my pak choi. This time it’s my neighbour’s super charged motor mower driving me insane. He is completely impervious to the hideous noise as he wears ear guards.Or it's the kids of that “lovely new couple" - you know the one's with the gorgeous Labradoddle pup - who run amuck across my allotment. Fancifully, I picture them fetchingly impaled as living scarecrows.
Then there’s the “know it all”: worse than a dose of potato blight. Been on the site since the Norman Conquest and Chair of the Allotment Committee!
“Well you know if you’d asked me”….”My brassicas always do well, but you can’t help being a novice.”
And after all that? A trip to Lidl to buy some edible fruit and veg…..