2021: A year at the allotment and living with a pandemic

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It’s been a funny old year hasn’t it!

I think we’re all feeling the pandemic hangover from what was 2020, and if I’m honest I think this has reflected in the growing and the level of produce as well.

Overall

The too long didn’t read of this post (tlrd), is that the produce obtained from the allotment wasn’t as fruitful as one might have hoped. Looking back, there’s usually a glutton a couple of things (courgettes, rhubarb, beans…etc) – however, there was none of that this year.

A part of me wonders if this was due to the weather or whether it’s down to ones gardening performance. Either way, I take solace in something someone told me early on which was, “You have good years, and bad years.”

That said, if someone asks me, “how’s the allotment going?” – I’ll probably blame the weather.

This year has been quite a telling one in the fact that, I’ve not been able to put as much energy into the plot as I’m used to, I’ve instead had to put energy into other parts of my life.

I’d usually be suffering from allotment withdrawal by now, but instead as the plot has ticked over nicely over the last year, I feel ok about it all. A weed here, a hoe there and cutting the grass has kept everything in check.

The start of the 2021

I started the year quite ecologically minded. Just before the start of the year, I had decided to make a wildlife area for the plot and had built a lovely bug hotel out of some old logs and scraps of wood. A bug hotel, which I’m hoping has inspired many.

Come the new year I was looking into what else I can do in the wildelife area a bit more and I built a hedgehog hotel and a bird station for the wildlife area.

Hedgehog hotel – see how I built this here.

Bird station – see how I built this here.

The year moved pretty slowly which should have been an indication of what was to come. Following the ecologically frame of mind through, I started to think more about what I can use (or re-use) around me for the benefit of the garden.

I’ve started collected egg shells to make slug pellets – which dead easy to do.

March – Mild virality…

I have no idea why, but in March – the toilet roll seed starters just blew up and was watched by a good many a people. I think this is probably the first time something I’ve made actually got quite a bit of attention.

I have no idea why this happened, perhaps it was shared somewhere prominent, maybe YouTube algorithms delivered it to the right people at the right time… Who knows.

It was filmed and uploaded a whole year before anyone took notice, and here it is in all its glory.

To dig or not to dig – that is the question

I dipped my toes into the world of no dig gardening, and experimented by growing potatoes two ways.

The whole no dig experience is something new, and dare I say it I think it’s something I’m going to do much more often. Before I do that, I need to make a water station.

Then came the summer, and it was time to make use of some of the produce, the main being the rhubarb.

I’ve always wanted to make something alcoholic out of the rhubarb, and slowly encourage my inner distiller, so I decided to make rhubarb gin, which was a huge success.

This is something I will be doing more often when I have glut of rhubarb.

The full recipe can be read here.

Going a bit quiet…

After that, for the next few weeks, everything went a bit quiet. For one reason or another, I didn’t find myself doing much blogging – mainly because nothing that significant happed on the plot.

I kept things ticking over as before and that has put me in good stead. You can read a summer update here.

I did manage to do a bit travelling, which is a luxury these days and I visited the Turnau Vineyard in Poland. I’d highly recommend it and I’d love to visit more of these places when I can.

And that brings us to now!

I’ve got some exciting ideas for 2022 and I’m looking forward to sharing more in the new year with you.

A Merry Christmas to you and a healthy Happy New Year! I’d love to know how the year has been for you in the comments below.

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