It’s Saturday 4th April 2020 and we are two weeks into the covid-19 country-wide lockdown. The general manager at the Abbey has confirmed the Allotments can continue to operate as normal, with a specific proviso that we close the gates after using them.
According to the National Allotment Association, members should take the precautionary measures which include using hand sanitiser regularly before opening and after closing any gate locks; observing “Social Distancing” with each other 2-3 metres; minimising the contact with each other and; not sharing any tools.
It’s about 8am and I didn’t see a soul as I travelled to the main gates. I use sterilised wipes to open them and then I walked down the front path towards the walled garden. It looked as though the land owners had been fixing up the gardens in the last two weeks. Some of the flower borders had been cleared up and a path had been repaired.
I’ve never seen the allotment looking so quiet and still, except there is definitely an increase in wildlife. There were plenty of bird flying around and roosting in the trees. The pheasant made a quick visit also, but I was the only person there.
My main job for this visit was to check out the borders and figure out how much effort it will take to start work tomorrow. And also to collect some rhubarb. I picked up about 20 or so stalks of rhubarb from my main rhubarb plant and then dropped them into the centre of the plot while I started to turn over the long plot against the wall.
The Association had locked up all communal facilities. The garden shed was closed and locked up. The key has been taken. So, instead of using the rotavator to quicken up the time it should take to turn over the long plot against the wall, I spent an hour doing it by hand.
As I left the allotment garden I took a quick look round. Some of the plots had been turned over completely and planted and the majority had been at least started. It looks like now, with time on their hands, people are using it to spend time at the allotment. It’s starting to look a lot better.
It’s going to be rhubarb crumble tonight for dessert