Spalding allotment tale of two halves

Out with... the old sweet peas, broccoli and fennel, and in with winter cauliflower and cabbage.
Out with... the old sweet peas, broccoli and fennel, and in with winter cauliflower and cabbage.
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You can tell by the chill in the evenings that autumn is here and the allotment holders on my site are preparing for the change of temperature.

My sweet peas have been composted along with caterpillar-devastated sprouting broccoli (caterpillars long since left), fennel that went to seed soon after planting and courgettes that are now more mildew than leaf, turning them from a fresh green to ghostly grey.

Taking their place are winter cauliflower and cabbage and some winter peas – not sure whether these are edible; think they may be just to add nitrates to the soil!

Although my cherry tomatoes cropped well, unfortunately my Marmande beefsteak tomatoes were badly affected by blight, leaving them brown and mushy... not pleasant.

Strawberries and raspberries are now coming to an end. Not a great crop of either this year but it was their first so I’ll let them off. The fruit I did pick never made it back home – far too tempting!

You may think by reading this I’m not an accomplished allotment holder, but don’t judge too quickly, as I have other skills...

The woad seeds I planted back in April are now healthy, bushy plants that I will overwinter and let go to seed next year. The seed collected will then enable me to have sustainable growing with leaves to dye for... literally!

Another artist and I are hoping to secure funding for a woad project in the area to share our valuable Lincolnshire heritage of natural dyeing.

My Visible Mending Exhibition is proving to have a healing effect, both to those contributing and also as an audience member. I’ve had some lovely comments forwarded by tour organisers. It’s rewarding to know that this project is travelling the UK and making a difference to people’s lives.

And great news: funding for the Early-Stage Dementia Awareness Training for Arts Facilitators has been secured, thanks to Spalding ward councillors, for Thursday, October 9 (10am-4pm). Book through South Holland Centre.

If anyone wants the half of my allotment I’m offering, please contact me by email at jean.hodge@jpress.co.uk

Yet again no words left to tell you about Willoughby Road Allotments in Boston... will prioritise next month!