In my last post I briefly mentioned how I’ve been really busy reflecting on my life and what I want to achieve. I’ve been assessing where I’m at right now and planning the journey to get me where I want to be. This journey requires a lot of life changes; some huge and some tiny and most of them require change on my part. But some things involve changes for the whole family. I’ve already begun to implement some of the family changes. One was to get the kids outside into nature more (and to get Zip away from the screens) and another was to grow our own foods again.
Boom! I combined the two.
I contacted the council and scored an allotment. Something I’ve been wanting to do for years but I’ve never taken the plunge. At first, it was a joint venture between four home education families however it quickly became quite strenuous on our friendships so we chose to go our separate ways. I think this was for the best as we are all still good friends now with our own allotments. The plan with this allotment is to create a home education base. Somewhere we can meet up, do activities, pick fruits and vegetables and play. It will be more than an allotment in the end.
In the beginning
Yep. This is it. What a mammoth task, right? 400 and odd square feet of landfill. OK, it’s technically not a landfill but it may as well have been. Everywhere you looked the ground was covered in rubbish. Even when you tried digging you found buried rubbish and more importantly, BROKEN GLASS, hiding under the concrete soil. It was a total mess! We had enough rubbish on our plots to fill two skips! And then some.
We got to work right away.
The hours were long and tiresome sorting through each area, gathering rubbish, pulling out dead things, clearing swamps, burning rotten wood, etc. That wasn’t quite what I was expecting when I thought of getting an allotment. I was picturing planting seeds, blossoming fruits and bumblebees.
The kids have thoroughly loved having an allotment.
Zip found it difficult at first to entertain himself. But I left him to his own devices. He has made new friends, learned all about snails, created a snail tank, run ’til he couldn’t run anymore, used tools, played in the hailstones, experimented with PH, tested for moisture, learned about decomposition, had stick fights, played football, dug soil, rolled around in mud and loads more stuff – and all with a smile on his face. This is a first for Zip and a long world apart from the usual game-obsessed, nature-avoiding 8 year old we are used to so this is an accomplishment in itself.
Bear and Pop are more alike in many ways and both love to be outside so this has been exactly what they’ve been wishing for. A space to be their crazy selfs and run around in the mud. Bear is just happy to be outside and wants to join in with everything and Pop is just in it for the tools and machinery, I think. 😉
So, have we made any progress?
It has now been about 11 weeks since we first took on the allotment – and yes, we’ve made progress!! We have half of a greenhouse, a couple of beds with plants, a compost heap and mostly no rubbish! There’s still LOADS left to do, but progress is progress.
One thing I’ve learned is that before and after photos are an absolute must. They really do help you stay focused and see exactly what you have achieved.
I’m so glad we decided to take on an allotment and reap the many benefits allotments have to offer. Do any of my readers have an allotment? I’d love to hear about yours!