CHAIN MAIL

Issue 147    Sept 1st   to December 1st 2020

HAHA

My last article, written in February, said that we really should have visited the plot over the winter so that it would be ready for planting in the spring. Well, as it happened I didn’t even make it to the plot until the end of June – when the restrictions for the ‘clinically vulnerable’ were reduced. What a pleasure it was to get back there!

In our absence, plot neighbour, Neal, very kindly dug and cleared all the weeds from Plot7 so it was mostly bare ground (unlike Plot3 which is a terrible weedy mess!) He also brought us lovely Spring harvests of our rhubarb, over-wintered broad beans and carrots and some of his own Spring veg. Thanks to the generosity of other plotholders Jamie managed to plant a few runner beans and a couple of courgettes so we’re not entirely without home-grown this year. They’ve been so generous in sharing surplus fruit and veg that we’ve been quite spoilt!

For the first time in years HAHA has a waiting list in double figures and both our Council sites are fully occupied. Coronavirus means that we have social-distancing rules on the sites and, during lockdown, the Marsh Lane site had restricted opening hours. People were relieved when those restrictions were lifted so that they could visit the site after work, but the committee needed to make those hard decisions to keep everyone safe.

Sadly over the last few weeks we have some damage and thefts on the Marsh Lane site. We think it’s likely to be because of our somewhat reduced security due to Covid so we’re making some changes. Such a shame after so many years without incident. But it hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of plotholders; the site has looked amazing all summer, with so many beautiful flowers to encourage the abundance of pollinators. Most of the new plotholders have really taken to growing their own and are delighted to be enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of their labour. Some will wonder why they didn’t get an allotment years ago!

Given the lack of planting there’s not much to do on the plot, but working from home means that we can pop up to the site for lunch – I could definitely get used to that! I’ve had more time to watch the wildlife and was excited to find two of the UK’s largest caterpillar recently – the elephant hawk moth caterpillar; one was 7cm long! I also saw a visiting cat prowling about and he caught a slow worm. He wasn’t happy with it wriggling in his mouth so dropped it – good, slow worms are welcome visitors.

You can follow our successes and failures through my blog plot7marshlane.blogspot.co.uk and see some of the wildlife who visit: plot7wildlife.blogspot.co.uk/                   

Belinda         Contact HAHA on 0754 118 7274    
www.haha-hungerford.org.uk