Category Archives: Artwork

Plot 326

Plot 326 tenancy started on 24th August 2010. The key to the plot arrived in the mail on 27th August and the first visit to the new Plot took place on the 28th August, subsequent visits to the Plot have taken place since then and will continue on a regular basis. The whole Allotment site is extensive and the waiting list for this particular site at Bulmershe is long and now at the numerical figure of 88. When Ella Montt signed up to the waiting list in November 2010 the waiting list was half the number as it currently stands, this would suggest that there is a fairly active turnover of Plot holders, but it may also suggest that individual flux is a reality in society as a whole and that static living is not a common factor for many.

Allotment Plot 326

Gaining tenancy was and still is an exciting moment for Ella Montt who now became an Allotment Holder. The experimental Plot at MERL will now have a research area not just in the historic garden at MERL, but Ella Montt would also become part of or linked in to Allotment History on a town site that has been in existence for many years, a space that has much history of its own. Ella Montt will share the people’s rights to growing space for food. Allotments in the United Kingdom were originally set up for the working classes, poor or unemployed people when they were denied access to land through the Inclosure Acts. The parliamentary Acts were a gradual process from medieval times but the passing of these Acts accelerated around the 18th to 19th Century. The rich often appropriated Common Land that was once open to all and the people were denied access to growing space or to forage for fuel wood and food. A mass exodus from the rural areas at this time, because of lack of work and means of support coincided with industrial revolution, towns and cities began to grow rapidly, and space was needed as part of both the rural village and urban areas for the workers or unemployed to grow food for subsistence.

Allotment 3/9/10

Various Allotment Acts were passed over many years to allow the right to land with in a given area. Much like strip farming of medieval days this land was divided up and rented to the Growers. During the 1914-18 War, because food was needed, the demographic of allotment holder grower changed to be not just the poor, but also anyone who was able to implement this action. In WW2 1939-45 Allotment land was converted from any land, garden, or park space that could be made available. The need for food is universal, so this was a parallel affect in other countries affected by war at this time.

The popularity of access to Allotment space comes and goes. For some individuals they have asserted their right to this growing space for many years. In recent years awareness that being able to grow ones own food can be beneficial in many ways. It is an enjoyable way to maintain health through outdoor activity, food can be grown without the use of pesticides or genetic modification, biodiversity and wildlife can be encouraged through companion planting, one can grow food without contributing to air miles, the food tastes better than anything bought from a supermarket, the food is fresher, one will know how it is grown, it can be an act that deflates the power of the supermarket through autonomy, but does not support individuals who are in business as Growers. An Allotment site is a social space, in order to maintain an individual Plot and achieve vegetable self-sufficiency it takes planning and labour.

Allotment Plot 326 3/9/2010

The first visit to Plot 326 was the start of a new adventure. On entering the big iron gates a series of social interactions was initiated, including welcoming deposits of runner beans and over sized courgettes from various other Allotment Holders. Ella Montt’s Plot was at the furthest end of the field site. A timely reminder was noted that panniers would be needed on the bike for transporting various items both to and from the Plot. With assistance from a map of the Allotment space and another Allotment Holder the Plot‘s position was defined. A survey of the new Plot discovered that it was cultivated in a small percentage area by the previous tenant, but the majority of the Plot space was covered in weed plants with bountiful seed heads and brambles.

An Apple Tree is at one end of the Plot. The tree is over grown and in need of pruning with some of its boughs trailing onto the floor. When the tree was flowering in Spring it must have been covered in blossom, because now it is covered in Apples, which unfortunately, because of it being over grown and over capacity, means a lot of the Apples are being wasted on the ground. Some of the fruits have since been gathered but as yet it is too early for them to be ripe and because they are eating apples they are not fluffy when they are cooked, but they are usable for cooking. It was reported from the Allotment Holder at 328A that last year there was only one Apple on the tree and in October it was very tasty.

Apple Tree on the Allotment

Working on the Allotment Plot has revealed the soil seems good, but the Plot is known to flood in the winter. Gradually the Plot will be dug over, a choice was made not to rotovate it, because although rotovation would break up the soil quickly it would turn the seed heads and brambles under the soil, which will create even more work at a later date. The next few weeks will see more space clearing when time allows in preparation for over wintering vegetables and fruit planting.

Allotment 06/09/2010

The Shade of the Mulberry Tree

At The Allotment Plot at MERL on 2nd September 2010, even though the day had started off with a chill in the air, the sunshine was once again hot and bright. Last week there had been substantial rain, but the soil was already drying out. The Plot‘s growth was gradual. There were no dramatic changes. The reality of plant growth on an allotment is part of nature that humans seek to control through the act of cultivation. Ella Montt surveyed the Plot and then sat in the shade of the Mulberry tree, avoiding the direct rays of the blazing sun. Cultivation can be a fine art; the reality of nature can be an organic wonder of unpredictable magnitude.

Allotment 2/9/10

There is minimal harvesting to do, because the produce needs to grow more. The Squashes are disappointing in their lack of development. Ella Montt will need to work on the fertility of the soil through composting and the planting of more green manures over the autumn and winter months. Squashes can thrive well if grown on compost heaps. Cosmos Cosmea‘s is beginning to unfold its pink petals to create beauty within the Plot. The Beans are reaching for the sky!

Allotment Plot 02/09/2010

Harvest commenced: French Climbing Beans Blue Lake = 8oz = 220grams and Blauhide = 2oz = 40grams; Runner Beans = 2oz = 40grams; Tomatoes = 7oz = 200grams; Carrots Amsterdam Forcing 2.5oz = 60grams; 2 Dwarf Beans Royalty.

Beans reaching for the sky

MERL Allotment and Plot 326

At the Allotment Plot on 27th August 2010, after a few days of consistent rain, Ella Montt observed that the Climbing Beans had not yet taken full advantage of the horizontal bamboo canes that were erected on a previous visit. The Beans continued to reach for the sky in the style of a Jack and the Beanstalk action. The Fenugreek seeds have sprouted and are growing.

Beans Reaching for the Sky

Fenugreek Seedlings

The day was a historic for Ella Montt in terms of the Allotment Plot and Allotment history. A new part of the Plot revealed itself. Earlier in the week, an electronic notification in the form of email had declared to Ella Montt that Allotment Plot tenancy was imminent at one of Reading town’s Allotment sites. On the 27th August before arriving at the Plot at MERL the tenancy agreement had arrived in the mail, along with the new Allotment key for Plot 326. At the time of signing up to the Allotment waiting list in November 2009, there were at least 38 individuals on the list for this particular Allotment site; in early August the numbers on that list for that site had risen to 75. The numeric nature of the list suggests that Allotment holders come and go, some have the same plot for years, others are in transit and the Allotment is a fleeting part of their reality. Allotment history is written into the tenancy agreement the dates of Acts passed in 1908 and 1950 it seems are still relevant today. The Allotment Plot and the work of Ella Montt will expand to work both the MERL Allotment and Plot 326.

Ella Montt adjusts the focus of the Plot to examine the growing activity on the Plot at MERL. Small Sweetcorn ears are forming. The Pepper plant looks like it was a one Pepper wonder, the weather conditions are defeating the plant, it is perhaps to cool now at night to allow the plant to flourish and produce more flowers for fertilization, the Aubergine is also not succeeding to produce fruit even though it flowered a few weeks a go. All other vegetable plants are achieving produce, but not at an accelerated rate. A surprise Cucumber is discovered. Cucumbers can be a resilient and pro active in their growing procedures. A Blue Lake Climbing Bean has decided to grow using a Sunflower as a physical support. Beneficial insects are actively enjoying the Pot Marigolds and the Sunflowers.

Pot Marigold and Insect Sunflower and Insects

Harvesting commenced: French Climbing Beans Blue Lake 14oz = 400grams; Blauhide = 3oz = 90grams; Rainbow Chard = 2oz = 60grams; Tomatoes = 13oz = 370grams; Courgette 1.5oz = 40grams; Kale Pentland Brig 1.5oz = 40grams; Pot Marigold seeds = 1oz = 20grams.

Fenugreek – An Aromatic Culinary Ingredient and Green Manure

At the Allotment Plot at MERL on 19 August 2010 it was noted that some of the plants look a little yellow, particularly the Sweet Corn, Squashes and Tomatoes, this could be that they have been under watered or over watered, the former seems more likely than the latter. The plants have not been lacking sunlight so chlorophyll molecules photosynthesis work that give plants their green colour should not have been impeded. Although it had rained during the night, the soil looked fairly dry. The first row of Lettuce Marvel of the Four Seasons had finished producing and roots were extracted from the ground then left to decompose in to the soil. Meanwhile the Sunflowers glow radiated the cloudy day.

Squash and Sweet Corn

Sunflower with Bee

Ella Montt was preparing to film part of the Plot when two visitors came into the garden to sit at a bench nearby so that they could eat lunch and converse. The Museum’s garden is a public space. Ella Montt, at this moment, did not want to record private conversation, so worked on other areas of the Plot before sitting to consume lunch and then resumed the quest to film the Plot once the visitors were gone. Part of the Plot on that day, was to plant some green manure in any spaces available. The chosen green manure seeds from Tamar Organics was Fenugreek, it is quick growing and should be ready in to dig in ten weeks time, around mid October. The plant is a legume. The aromatic seeds and leaves of Fenugreek are both used extensively in cooking, particularly in curries.

A small green Squash is growing, the other Squash plants are still lacking in female flowers. A first harvest of Spring Onions White Lisbon became part of the day’s action. The Pot Marigold continue to flower producing quantities of seeds, those that had darkened and dried were harvested into an empty seed packet for distribution at a later stage. Thoughts turn to scattering the seeds in Guerrilla Gardening format or seed swaps. The Marigolds will perhaps self-seed as has both the Borage and Chamomile. Harvesting of other crops commenced with Herbs, Basil, Mint, Marjoram, and Chives. Harvesting of other crops commenced with Herbs, Basil, Mint, Marjoram, and Chives; followed by Rainbow Chard = 2oz = 60grams, Kale Pentland Brig = 3oz = 80grams, Tomatoes = 11oz = 320grams, French Climbing Beans ~ Blauhide 2oz = 60grams = and Blue Lake = 6oz = 20grams, and 1 Runner Bean = 1oz = 20grams.

Ella Montt has been considering the growth of the Climbing Beans up the four supporting bamboo pyramid structures. Some of the plants have climbed past the pyramid structures and are searching the sky for support. More bamboo canes were hunted out and collected from the shed across the garden then delivered to the Plot. Ella Montt attached the bamboo horizontally from one pyramid to the next; all of the pyramids are now linked at their zeniths so that the climbing and runner beans can continue to grow to optimize their plant constructions. Ella Montt wishes to enhance the Beans growth potential to compensate for Brassica failure. In any given season the harvest that a crop will produce can be unpredictable at the outset, because of weather conditions, disease, predators and unforeseen chance happenings, Ella Montt has to adopt a flexible working strategy to maintain the balance of available produce.

Climbing Beans

A New Allotment Site and The Plot

12 August 2010 – Two weeks had passed since the Ella Montt had visited the Allotment Plot. The Plot had not become chaotic, but was growing steadily. Ella Montt had visited a new Allotment site in rural South West England. The Allotment site had started cultivation in March this year after a village had decided to search out a field that could be converted into Allotment growing space. A village can have the advantage of negotiating new Allotment growing space from a landowner, if the village is in closer proximity to land as opposed to a city or town, however the negotiation always depends on the location of the village and the situation of the land, what it is already used for and who “owns” the land.

New Allotment Site

Back at Ella Montt’s growing Plot at MERL, there was more research to be done. Ella Montt kneels on the ground and carefully digs the earth to uncover any remains of the buried Sweet Potato. The disturbance of the earth reveals a hardened lump that is barely distinguishable as the original tuber, it would seem that it was still composting, but producing very fine shoots or roots in the process. However the roots could be in themselves part of decomposition, a breakdown of nutrients absorbing themselves into the soil. The remains of the Sweet Potato are gently recovered and will not be disturbed again, but the area will be monitored for any signs of shoot growth. The Sweet Potato experiment will resume at the start of the growing season in 2011 as mentioned previously.

The day’s weather is overcast; warm, but not overly so and somewhat humid. Ella Montt’s attention turns to other details of the Plot through an assessment of vegetation growth activity. Both Kales, Pentland Brig and Red Russian Curled, are not appreciating this summers weather conditions, harvesting of both will commence without further delay. The Aubergine Black Beauty has two flowers. One small Squash has formed on a plant, but all of the Squash plants are being slow to grow and not producing the needed female flowers in order to form Squashes. Squashes are a good source of food for the winter, because they can be stored. The Sweet Corn plants are starting to flower, but they are not tall enough to produce good ears. More Cosmos plants are growing.

Aubergine FlowersTomatoes

Harvesting commenced: Lettuce Marvel of the Four Seasons = 4oz = 100grams; Rainbow Chard = 4.5oz = 115grams; Kale Pentland Brig = 7.5oz = 200grams; Kale Red Russian Curled = 4oz = 110grams; 1 Runner Bean; 1 green Pepper = 1oz = 20grams; 1 Courgette Patriot F1 1oz = 20grams; 1 Courgette Soleil F1 = 7oz = 200grams; Dwarf Beans Royalty = 1oz = 20grams; 7 Tomatoes 2.5oz = 65grams; French Climbing Beans Blauhide = 6oz = 175grams and Blue Lake = 5oz = 145grams.

In an effort to work towards achieving vegetable growing self-sufficiency through the Plot some more seeds were planted close to Sweet Corn. Seeds planted were Oriental Saladini, Borecole Nero Di Toscana, and more Carrot Amsterdam Forcing.

Ella Montt sits next to Allotment Plot reading The Living Soil by author Eve Balfour. This book, first published in 1943 by Faber and Faber, was an informative research text that assisted in the initial formation of the Soil Association. An original copy of Lady Eve’s book sits across the garden in MERL’s reading library archive. Chapter III HUMUS is being read again today. Whilst reading, a woman and her child is silently observed removing seed heads from the prolific Pot Marigolds, she places the collected seeds in a paper bag. Earlier the woman had been seen to be amused by the Heavy Metal CD pigeon deterrents.

Pot Marigolds

In search of the Rhizomatic

Sunflower on the Allotment Plot

16 July 2010 – A light weeding of the Allotment Plot is performed. The Marigolds are in full bloom. A question hangs in the air – whether or not to harvest any Kale Red Russian? Or to leave the leaves until they grow larger? The cut and come again method can prolong the harvest time. Perhaps the Carrots should also be thinned? Or not? They can be left to plump up perhaps, as part of the on going growing experiment? The same questions hang over the Leeks and Parsnips; to thin or not to thin? Ella Montt ponders the Plot. There is currently not much room to plant new seeds. There are no signs of madness staring into the face of a Sunflower.

Rainbow Chard harvested 6oz = 160 grams.

Red Russian Kale Sunflower

22 July 2010 – (Writing this at the Allotment Plot). Rain showers fell this morning; sun is now shining. At the Allotment Plot everything is growing slowly. The red-tinged Lettuce Marvel of the Four Seasons is bolting, so harvesting will commence. Brassicas are growing under the influence of Heavy Metal. In searching for the rhizomatic vegetable an experiment was attempted to sprout shoots known as slips from Sweet Potatoes. The Sweet Potatoes had been suspended in water for one week, but no shoots had appeared from the vegetable. At the Allotment Plot, a hole was dug for a Sweet Potato, which was then buried under the soil to see if that would result in the growth of slips. The Sweet Potato would be unearthed in a week’s time to check on any developments. Sweet Potatoes are a vegetable that grow in a vine like format which is a rhizomatic construction. The leaves of the plant grow above the soil and the shoots grow tubers under the soil whilst growing more slips in different directions which then grow more tubers. A Sweet Potato plant with the right temperature and growing conditions can grow to cover an entire area, which in a sense is truly rhizomatic.

Sweet Potato

Black Fly on the companion planting Pot Marigolds had Ladybirds in attendance. Cabbage White Butterflies fluttered by, fortunately and as yet, there are no signs of their Caterpillars. The season will follow soon. The hungry Caterpillars can be removed from Brassicas to companion planting to avoid total crop devastation. A few Fennel plants are appearing. Weeding action was suspended this week in order to attract more biodiversity. Rainbow Chard harvested = 4oz = 110grams. Marvel of the Four Seasons Lettuce harvested = 6oz = 160grams.

Blackfly and Ladybird

29 July 2010 – On arrival at the Allotment Plot there seemed to be no signs of any rhizomatic growth action by the Sweet Potato, in order to verify this claim, the buried Sweet Potato was unearthed. The Sweet Potato was starting to decompose under the soil, composting itself and not growing any slips. The Sweet Potato was covered again with soil; it will be checked again in a week or two’s time to confirm any results. In search of the rhizomatic, if the Sweet Potato fails to produce the desired slips, the experiment will continue in 2011 at the start of the growing season.

Weather conditions of the day were warm, humid and still very dry. The artist, acting as grower initiated weeding action. Different types of bees and insects were visiting the Plot. Cabbage White Butterflies were not deterred by the fading words on the Pigeon defense mechanisms Heavy Metal CDs. The words will need to reapplied. The Brassicas are growing, but could be attacked at any time by the hatching Caterpillars. Ella Montt continues weeding.

Green Tomatoes are forming and a Pepper. The Pot Marigolds continue to grow prolifically, enjoying the weather. Plants can prefer different types of soil, amounts of water, temperatures and weather conditions. Ella Montt acting as a grower planted more plants as potential rhizomes. Creeping Thyme and Strawberries plants that send out runners in different direction to form new sections of the extend plant.

Strawberry Plant


Both Kales Pentland Brig and Red Russian Curled are almost ready for cut and come again harvesting. A few purple Dwarf Beans Royalty 1.5oz = 40grams and climbing Blauhide Beans 2oz = 60grams were harvested, also some Marvel of the Four Seasons Lettuce 2oz = 60grams, some Rainbow Chard 5oz = 140grams and a yellow Courgette Soleil F1 2oz = 60grams. There are only male flowers on the other squashes so far.


Ella Montt dug two holes in order to plant the wooden legs of a sign carved a few days before in the studio. The sign is made from old wood the is recycled from the fixed up greenhouse. The letters of Ella Montt’s blog address were carved into the wood. The sign was planted and is now part of Ella Montt’s Allotment Plot.

Allotment Plot Sign

Garlic Harvest a Performance

Allotment (1) took place on 8 July 2010 at Allotment Plot @MERLReading; the Garlic and Radar Onions were harvested. Please note this action was filmed as a Performance and will be shown in exhibition format at a later date.

Onion Radar

Before the performance Ella Montt was sitting in the shade of the Mulberry tree and made the following observations about the Allotment Plot. The day started off slightly damp and cooler to the previous high temperature, but by 11am on arrival at the Plot, the clouds had started to drift apart a little to let the sun break through. The humidity in the Garden at MERL had rocketed and the atmosphere was sweating. Borage and Pot Marigolds continue to flower and bees are visiting. Cosmos and Nasturtium flowers have also blossomed, but the plants growth seems somewhat stunted as does much of the vegetables, presumably because lack of moisture in the soil. All plants are steadily yet slowly growing. Brassicas are recovering under the influence of the heavy metal CDs, which have deterred or maybe thwarted the Pigeons appetites. Tomatoes are beginning to flower and fruits form, the side shoots will not be removed from the plants, they will be allowed to bush out in all directions.

Squash Flower allotment107

During the Garlic and Onion harvesting Performance sentences from Deluzes & Guattari book A Thousand Plateaus – Rhizome were recited pertaining to the Rhizome and plant life. The book became buried under the Garlic and Onion bulbs. The recorded results for the harvest were as follows:

Onions Radar originally planted 36 sets. Onions Radar harvested 20 bulbs with stalks = 1lb 8oz = 680grams once stalks were removed bulbs weighed 1lb 5oz = 600grams

Garlic Thermidrome, 14 cloves were originally planted. Garlic Thermidrome harvested 13 cloves which weighed 12oz = 320grams.

Garlic Sprint, originally planted 15 cloves, harvested 14 cloves which weighed 13oz = 360grams. Garlic Sprint 14 Scapes harvested which weighed 4oz = 100grams.

Some Rainbow Chard was also harvested which weighed 6 oz = 180grams.

Garlic Harvest

This week Detroit featured in an interesting article on urban regeneration through food growing in empty spaces. The decline of the car industry in the town has made way for food cultivation. Any where that can grow plants that can be harvested as free food for local people is shaping how we can live outside of business consumed society.

Allotment July2Allotment July

Drought at the Plot and Berlin

On 1 July, after returning from a visit to the Berlin Biennale, the Allotment Plot experienced a quick hoe down. The ground was exceptionally dry, the BBC weather person reported it was the driest first half of the year since 1929! Seaweed water was applied in a form of soaking action. Some of the plants seemed to be flourishing even though they were experiencing drought. Marigold flowers had opened in vivid shades of orange. A few flowers had appeared on the tomato plants.

Pot Marigold

The Garlic scapes continue to develop; soon the plants will be harvested. If Garlic plants are left too long their visibility above ground starts to diminish, their green stalks fade to dry wisps and then disappear altogether leaving the Garlic cloves hidden beneath the soil.

Garlic Scape Stalk

Squash plants that could be growing in all directions to reach out tendrils in random directions are still static, but at any moment the directional journeys could begin. A sparse mixed line of Lettuce seeds were applied with Florence Fennel Romanesco. The lettuce seeds were Lollo Rosso, Marvel of the Four Seasons and Solix.

Squash & Lettuce

The Heavy Metal CDs seem to have deterred some of the Pigeon activity, but as the CDs are an on going experiment in plant defense systems the situation will need to be carefully monitored.

Allotment July 1

Berlin is one third green space. It has some large parks and many trees. Berlin like the rest of Germany also has Allotment gardens know mostly as “Kleingärten”or “Schrebergärten”. Traveling across Germany by train it is possible to catch glimpses of Allotments close to the railway lines as one can in the UK.

Germany Allotment

Broadbeans and Peas uprooted

On the 18/06/2010 at the Allotment Plot the Broadbeans and Peas were over and out. The remaining produce was harvested. The plants were uprooted. The last Pea pods harvested weighed 60grams = 2oz once shelled = 1oz Peas = 20grams. The last Broadbean pods harvested weighed 9oz = 250grams once shelled = 2oz = 60grams. Harvesting is an event. The total harvest produced was far less than anticipated.

Broadbeans & Peas up rooted

It is hard to know with a new allotment plot what production to expect in the first year. Vegetable growing businesses such as Tolhurst Organic have years of experience in knowing what to grow and how to grow it. The work is labour intensive and produce amounts vary from year to year determined by random factors and weather conditions. Growing all kinds of plants for market consumption takes a good deal of expert knowledge. If the business is to grow one crop per growing cycle year then all thought processes surround that one crop, but if the business is to grow multiple crops all year round for a vegetable box delivery scheme or for shop consumption then tangible thought processes of multiplicity surround the crops. That is not to say that the thought process for a single crop is not complicated, but it is more rooted in one crop. The thought process for growing multiple crops must in a sense be more rhizomatic, the attention moving from one crop to another. The thoughts graft on to the radicle-system not just a principle root system; the crop rotation layers are folded onto one another. “The rhizome itself assumes very diverse forms, from ramified surface extension in all directions to concretion into bulbs and tubers. […] The rhizome includes the best and the worst: potato and couchgrass, or the weed.” (Deluzes & Guattari Rhizome – A Thousand Plateaus). A rhizome grown underground is that of Tumeric or Ginseng, therefore is not a rhizome grown above ground that extends in all directions a Squash plant or plants such as Nasturium, Tomato, Pea, or climbing Bean?

In the space that appeared from the Broadbean and Pea removal Sweetcorn seedlings that had been reared in the fixed up greenhouse were planted. The summer Spinach that had gone to seed was pulled out of dry ground and all the uprooted plants were gathered for transportation to the compost bin across the garden amongst the trees. The Pot Marigolds were beginning to form buds. Seaweed concentrate was mixed with water in a watering can and applied to the plot soaking it with intensity. Lack of rain continues the soil is parched desperately thirsty for any moisture.

Brassica defence against Pigeon invasion was applied in the form of CDs scripted with the words; “HEAVY METAL!” tied with blue plastic string to bamboo support canes. This is an experiment to see whether or not Pigeons are fans of Heavy Metal, if they are not they should stay away from the Brassica plants. How this will be tested since there is no surveillance system is by noting if the vegetable plants thrive and grow. Heavy Metal is unable to be played aloud within MERL’s garden so the Pigeons need to be sensitive to the suggestion of Heavy Metal as a complete genre.

Heavy Metal Pigeon Defence

Weeding the Plot and Self-sufficiency

Weeding the Plot on 10/06/2010 is not an arduous task, because the Plot has not gotten out of control. Weeds will infiltrate if the Plot is subject to neglect, but as it is a clearly defined area of 270cms x 470cms it is currently fairly easy to keep weeds under control. Pigeons who are invading the Plot are a different matter, if only they would eat the weeds and not the tasty vegetable seedlings they prefer! The pigeons continue to attack the Brassicas and anything else that appeals to them. Ella Montt has never seen a pigeon anywhere near the Plot, but has been told that pigeons are at large and arrive in flocks. A barricade of netting could be the answer to block access, but that would restrict other more welcome visitors to the Plot. A pigeon eviction device needs to be constructed.

Torrential rain was in the forecast for the following day, so water was not applied to the Plot. However the rain did not arrive the next day as predicted. (At the time of writing 13/06/2010 rain seems likely).

Peas Meteor and Broadbeans Supersimonia were harvested:

Pea harvest = 42 pods = 4oz = 120grams

Peas shelled = 2oz = 60grams

Broadbean Harvest = 23 pods = 1lb 4oz = 560grams

Broadbeans shelled = 6oz = 160grams

Borage Flowers have started to bloom as part of the Plot, their role is companion planting, but the plant can be used for its medicinal and culinary qualities. The five pointed star shaped flowers contain an alien science fiction-like beauty. Bees visit the bowed flower heads. The plants stems are hairy and uncurl as the flower buds emerge.

Borage Flower

Defiant Purple Sprouting seedlings are boldly challenging the pigeons. How brave they are! And how will their survival be? The pigeons can attack at any time and will strip much larger plants. The young Leeks are growing with stealth; their growth is visible in one week. The largest Sunflower is growing in strength hopefully it will reach the sky. The Squash plants seem reluctant as yet to reach out in all directions and travel across the soil. The ‘gone to seed’ summer Spinach will need to be extracted from the Plot.

Purple Sprouting seedlingleek seedlings

At this time Ella Montt has not achieved self-sufficiency through cultivation of the Allotment Plot. If Ella Montt’s intention was that the vegetables growing on the Plot would support her nutritional requirements then this must be what is known as the ‘Hungry Gap’, which relies on external support for food sources. A traditional Allotment Plot should be about 10 rods squared and is supposed to feed a family of four all year round. Based on this measurement one individual would require 2.5 rods squared to support oneself. If one rod is 5.03m then the Allotment Plot, should measure 12.58m squared in order to achieve self-sufficiency.

Sunflower & Bug