When I took on the second plot on Ranmore Allotments I had no hesitation in dedicating it entirely to fruit. This first year has allowed those young bushes to grow strong roots and I was not concerned that any fruit that did form was taken by birds long before it was ripe. Next year all the soft fruit will need netting. I knew this when I started, but how and what with, and at what cost, kind of got lost in a haze of enthusiasm. Now it hits me with a punch to the wallet that this is going to be expensive to the point that the red, white and black currants as well as the gooseberries will be the most deliciously expensive fruit that I will ever enjoy.
Allotment ethos is one of make do and mend, and recycling, which by and large means finding bits and bobs and odds and ends in skips ready for landfill. Great for the odd raised bed or patch work shed but when it comes to large numbers of long uniform timber then we wait in the hope of something turning up. And turn up it did when the house at the bottom of our road decided to have a loft extension. First a hard hat was thrown over the building and the old roof completely removed with (joy oh joy) the rafters stacked in the drive. Guess who was first to be knocking on the door only to be told I'll let you know. It seems that there were several interested parties but he did get back to me with a 'you better get in quick' - it seems with the popularity of wood stoves it was wanted for fuel.
|first get uniform - if not square!|
It has turned out to be a happy and unexpected discovery (serendipity) and was quickly cut to size, treated, transported and transformed to make the bulk of the cages. Still a bit to do but who knows - something will turn up, but alas I will have to buy the netting. It is curious that despite the care I took in marking out the beds that now I'm cutting the timber every side is a different length!
Oh! I do like allotments.
|now to brace it|
|know anyone with a job lot of netting?|