There are times during the spring and early summer, April, May and June, when I feel that looking after my allotment is just too much. I feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks that need to be done and balancing that with work and all the running around after the family. I wish that either my husband or one of my sons shared my love of growing things so there was someone interested in what was growing, what the slugs or pigeons had eaten and also some help with carrying heavy watering cans!
Each year I wonder whether I should perhaps give up my plot. Then every year there comes a time sometime in July when it all seems to come together and I look around and think "I've grown all this!" and it does seem worth while after all.
Today was that day. After the early morning rush of sorting out the packed lunches and driving my eldest son to work, I went straight to my allotment. I was the only person on the site at 7am this morning and standing there in my plot I felt very satisfied with my little harvest.
It might not be as weed free as some of the other plots, its certainly got more self seeded flowers, the plants may not give such heavy yields as plots that have more manpower to shovel manure and it doesn't have beautifully made brassica cages and timber edged raised beds, but it does OK.
This is what I picked today so tonight's dinner will be a roasted vegetable ratatouille including the onions and courgettes, with couscous, homemade granary bread, broad beans and chard followed by blackcurrant fool. I've bottled lots of gooseberries already so I might make this last picking into a couple of pots of jam.
Next spring when I'm feeling that the allotment is hard work I can look back at these photos to remind myself its worthwhile after all.