note to farrow and ball

you can have this combo for your paintcards for free

a perfect compromise

i wanted somewhere outside to read, relax, write, enjoy a beer, escape, but couldnt really justify using up space that could produce food

so, inspiration - a kiwi tipi



in time the leaves will grow over the whole structure, dangling their fruit inside the tipi for a greedy me to eat

a different kind of fruit salad

there's a strange lull in the action that's just ended. after the fuss of flowering things seem to go quiet, there's actually a huge amount happening but after the eyecatching colourshow the slow stretch of green growth goes on side stage

but now the fruit is getting established, and among it some potential new flavours including from one of the two apricot trees kept back in the polytunnel



the stunning edible fuschia fruit - tasting like kiwi with a squirt of blackcurrant



the still growing, ripening nectarines and peaches (watchout HFW!)





the delicious edible honeysuckle (a shrub rather than a climber)



the mulberries, ready to colour up

climate change allotment

the concept of climate change food and climate change growing seems to be taking the step from people being interested in what we're doing here to actually finding their own way of building some of the thinking into their 'patch'. from farmers to courtyard-owning urbanites, i get a fairly constant stream of queries and questions, and it seems about time i tried setting down a few ideas and figuring out how the ideas behind climate change farming might work for those with different resources and opportunities to otter farm. given that not everyone has almost exactly 17 acres, im going to try to satisfy the owners of that most common of patches, the allotment.



i'm genuinely envious of allotmenters, and not as some reciprocal faux-envy intended to balance out that most allotmenters seem to be frustrated smallholders and therefore envy me my patch, but it is all the things smallholding isnt. amongst other things, smallholding is mostly (wonderfully) solitary, generally exhausting, and endlessly frustrating. allotmenting strikes me if not entirely socialable as such then something altogether preferable (at least to this semisocial solitude seeker), being quietly, sweetly, companionable - brushing you up against mr different class, mrs other nationality, while you demonstrate that have something fundamentally alike. i crave the drop in scale, the intimate. the small tools, the physical rather than the mechanical.

it's reassuring that after 400 years or so, these organised commons are still with us, protected by a few acts that compell our local authorities to ensure "adequate provision" of land for us commoners to cultivate, but what actually what makes an allotment an allotment? i find there's refreshingly little in the way of common rules - even my perception of the allotment shed as repository of extensive soft porn publications seems almost entirely without foundation.

sizewise there's some commonality - a 16th of an acre, 250m2 seems the roughest approximation of apportionment, although in truth there's much variety - in planning the climate change allotment i find that the best site is under this area by perhaps a quarter, so i intend to allow myself a little compensatory latitude, and do without the compulsory shed (i'll keep the tools - and notional porn collection - in the farm barn)



it's also a weird shape, has stoney patches, is aligned south-north (the 4m side is due north) and therefore perpendicular to the ideal, but allotmenting seems to thrive on such limitations, and while this will be far from a typical allotment in content, it will have authentic beginnings, real limitations and some opportunities

it's cleared, dug, rotovated

watch this space

start thinking again

the old camera's been playing up and i cant seem to think of much to say without taking pictures, even though so much is happening...hence the long gap in posting

got a new one now though, so maybe i can start thinking again

Go to Otter Farm | by Mark D