# Back to the allotment

When returning back home, a pleasant surprise was waiting for me: £40 in gardening vouchers for writing a “star letter” to the Amateur Gardening magazine. Wow! I went out at once and got some necessities for the allotment, a weed incinerator, which more or less looks like a metal rubbish bin with holes at the bottom and a chimney on top, and an insect house to encourage wildlife like bumblebees, ladybirds and other beneficial insects to stay close to my plot. Also, a little bird feeder which is filled with water, so that insects and birds can have a drink, as lots of the flies were recently drowning in my nettle brew, which is supposed to be a DIY liquid fertiliser.

Today the long-awaited allotment film is starting out in the cinemas. It’s called “Grow Your Own” and is a fictional story based on a real-life project of therapeutic gardening with asylum seekers. But despite all the media attention, the project is threatened with closure as their funding is running out this autumn. They previously had some lottery funding, let’s hope this isn’t going into financing the Olympics now!

Unfortunately, I missed our AGM last Sunday for our allotment site, and so far I haven’t met anybody who was there to tell me what has happened. The communication structure in our allotment site is not that good, it’s more word of mouth and a small official noticeboard, but I decided not to get involved too much into the organisational side, as am already involved in so many other groups and projects and prefered for a chance to be one amongst many.

The fox has now built another home not only in my compost heap but also in my little heap of the earth I have inherited from the previous plot holder. The fox just had cubs, so maybe I should try to encourage them to live somewhere else, not all of them on my plot.
The courgettes and the melons unfortunately died whilst I was away, the peppers became black ?! and the tomatoes look pretty unhappy as well. Don’t ask me why, but I guess it is just a bit too cold, grey and rainy here. They are supposed to be in a greenhouse, and now I know why.
A lot of weeds sprung up in the last two weeks, too.

I quite like the Observer’s allotment blog. Can sympathise a lot and it is nice to read of similar experiences and how they dealt with unknown pests and surprising plant results.

### Comment by Paul on 2007-06-16 20:53:14 +0100

Dear Ulla
You may not believe this but I have only just come across this interesting blog of yours. You need to advertise! I didn’t make it to Germany – got as far as London for Brian Hawâ€™s 6th anniversary. Don’t say “Who’s Brian Haw?” like some people in London did. He’s the Parliament Square peace protester – don’t say “Where’s Parliament Square?” like the news desk at the Sun newspaper did – (IMAGINE – a London based journalist not knowing where Parliament Square is!) I enjoyed your pics on Indymedia Scotland and Eileen Cook of Edinburgh Stop the War and CND wonders if you could do a report back from Rostock.

Might I suggest you send out the URLs of your blog to people as not everyone (including myself) knows about your fempages?

Best from Granton, Paul.

### Comment by Ulla on 2007-06-16 22:51:43 +0100

Hi Paul,
of course I know Brian Haw, he’s now as famous as some celebraties, especially after winning one of Channel4’s political awards. Yes, we should really do a debrief of Rostock and the G8, there were actually a lot more Scots there, so maybe we should just organise a public talk with some of the video rushes at the Forest Cafe?
see you later then
Ulla

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