At Allotment Plot 326 on January 14th 2011, Ella Montt planted some fruit bushes and trees. The temperature on that day was almost balmy. In the designated planting area the ground was dug to try to remove any bramble roots. Holes were then excavated and the roots of the trees and bushes were grounded and firmly covered with soil. The trees planted were Apple Cevaal, Cherry Summer Sun, and Plum Victoria, all on small root stock. The bushes planted were 2 Jostaberry, 1 Gooseberry Pax and 1 Blackcurrant Ben Sarek. Also re-planted was a Strawberry Plant and some Raspberry Canes that had been found on the Plot.
After several hours of labour, Ella Montt was hurrying to finish her work. The sky was darkening and a clap of thunder sounded over head. Then the rain came, falling heavily on the young trees, the newly cultivated soil and the worker Ella Montt.
On the 25th January, Ella Montt returned to the Plot to find bark had been eaten from trees. When the trees arrived they came with a warning that Rabbits may attack them by eating their bark. Ella had been too busy to return to the Plot before now and was sorry that she had neglected the trees. A bag of old netting sat in the Shed, Ella collected it and searched the Plot for anything she could use to prop the net up with. She found some old bamboo canes, sticks from the old Apple tree and pieces of wooden bed frame. With this assemblage of material Ella Montt created a barrier that she hoped the Rabbits could not invade. Ella wrapped biodegradable plastic around the damaged bark on the trees to protect them.
Ella Montt returned to the Plot on 28th January to check on the trees. It seemed so far there had been no new invaders. The rest of the Plot still needs to be dug over, brambles roots removed and fences put into place to try to protect the plants that Ella Montt wants to try to grow there as part of the Plot. It is very much an experimental growing area.
Ella Montt and Thorpe were discussing the Shed at Allotment Plot 326. Ella Montt was heard to say, “but my Shed is not in an advanced stage of dereliction*, it is recycled and according to your description of what a Shed’s visual needs should be, it conforms in all aspects, because it is not made up of randomly collected material.” Thorpe nodded, consenting acknowledgement to his own Report*. Ella Montt went on to say,”However, I think I will paint it, perhaps this action will make it more effective against rain penetration, because it appears to be not very watertight?” Thorpe’s face brightened, then he offered to help paint the Shed.
Whilst they were painting, Ella Montt and Thorpe continued to discuss his report. Ella Montt was curious as to why Thorpe, who had been a member of the Labour Party, had so wished to beautify Allotments and classify them as Leisure Gardens. Allotment Plots were granted originally for the proletariat or unemployed, and used by individuals and families to grow food for themselves. War in the twentieth century had broken down the barriers of Allotment Plot holding, because of the necessity for All to grow food thus changing the demographic. So far in the Allotment Plot Ella Montt had not experienced leisure in the process of working her Plot.
*The Thorpe Report (p 199)
* Departmental Committee of Inquiry of Allotments Report (1969)
21/01/2011 – Ella Montt dug up the remainder of the Leeks Almera; she was weary of Parsnips (fiction!). The new Garlic that is growing seemed untroubled by the wintry conditions. Ella Montt removed the horticultural fleece to reveal the Broad Beans that were barely surviving underneath. Ella Montt stacked the bricks that had been securing the fleece on top of the pile of bricks that form the composter. Brussels that still may be edible were left, but other frost rotted Brassicas were extracted and placed in the composter, along with the Leek roots. Young Pea shoots were visible thrusting through the soil.
Harvest = Leeks Almera = 9oz = 260g.
22/12/2010 – At this time, (which is now long, long ago), snow had fallen snow on snow and it was in the bleak midwinter, (although paradoxically in calendar terms it was only the second day of winter). At Allotment Plot at MERL non-human footprints were visible in the remainders of the melting snow. Because of the snow, human transportation systems had ceased to function in typical modes of which the human has become accustomed to. Chaos gripped the social groupings that the humans were trying to arrange themselves in to for the last few weeks of that year. Time would then pass in to another calendar year, where retrospective failings in commodification would be blamed on the amount of snow that had fallen in the last month of that previous year. William Morris lent forward as if he was going to say something, but then hesitated and returned his gaze out across the garden to nowhere in particular.
Ella Montt harvested Brussels Sprouts Darkmar 21 = 6oz = 160g, Leeks Almera = 70z = 200g.