Spalding artist and allotment grower on the potential of rice as a crop

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A regular column from mixed media artist Carol Parker.

I’m seriously considering planting some rice... so much rain! Of course it’s only me that’s a bit rain averse; the weeds and plants love it – I’ve never seen such stonking dandelions and the rhubarb has gone bananas. The allotment is getting a miss this week as the soil would just be unworkable, but it’s given me the opportunity to do a little design work to make the space easier to cultivate. Finish the reclaimed wood edging is first on my list, to stop the spread of pernicious weeds from the surrounding grass paths. The sweetcorn was planted during the last dry spell (remember that?) and is now enjoying a daily watering from the sky; thanks for such healthy plants Keith Butters.

I don’t mind admitting that I’m finding it quite a challenge maintaining my large plot. I haven’t been able to find the time and effort required as work is so busy at the minute. My commitment is still there. I love my shed and my piece of Lincolnshire field: the birds at dusk, the hares and rabbits that appear when they think no one’s looking and the sneaky pheasants that scramble about for a free meal. But try as I might, I never seem able to get on top of all the work that needs to be done.

So I’m happy to report that I now have friends helping with the load and even the far end is being planted up and will soon be as productive as the rest... plus there are others to have tea and cake with in the shed and that’s gotta be good! There are new people appearing on the site too (I won’t mention their names): a nice chap has taken over the plot to my left and next to him a young couple are often to be seen hard at work…heads down and meaning business!

My creative sessions for those living with dementia and their carers are continuing to be delivered across south Lincolnshire. I’ve met some really wonderful people who are getting so much from not only learning a new skill, but also from the social interaction the sessions provide. And as one of the participants said recently, ‘I may have dementia, but I’m still me!’

And there’s more exciting news – a new artist led co-operative ‘Cross Arts’ has been formed. Watch this space, see Facebook page ‘Cross Arts’, website coming soon www.crossarts.org.uk