Since returning from Spain nearly a month ago, our allotment has been our salvation during the Lockdown restrictions, and we visit nearly every day. It is only half a mile away, and walking there and back and preparing the allotment for the planting season has constituted our 1 hour + exercise allowance.
I am reminded of the Dig for Victory campaign during WW2, which was vital for the war effort, ensuring food security for the population during the war and during the post-war period of food rationing until 1954, which I can remember.
As I said at the start of this Blog, this is a War against an invisible enemy and there are many battles ahead, and Dig for Victory could be one of them, just as it was in WW2. https://dig-for-victory.org.uk/
Another aspect of the crisis is that farmers have warned the loss of seasonal workers because of the lockdown and closed borders are threatening British food crops. University students and furloughed workers have been urged to volunteer to support their local farms and help “pick for Britain” and help feed the nation through the pandemic.
Romanian workers are also being flown in to help feed Britain amid a continuing recruitment crisis in the agriculture sector.
Initially, when we were in quarantine for 14 days after our return from Spain, it was very difficult to get seeds, as we couldn’t go shopping. Instead we tried to buy online, but everyone had the same idea, and seed websites crashed and others were overwhelmed by the high demand.
Eventually managed to order seeds from Tamar Organics in Cornwall, very cheap and swiftly delivered. Primrose on the other hand were expensive with high postage charges, and the order still hasn’t arrived after 3 weeks.
To date, we have planted 4 rows of early potatoes, onions, shallots, peas and broad beans. In addition, we erected a large (6’ x 5’) plastic cloche bought in a closing down sale last year, for propagating seeds early. This includes 2 types of French beans, 2 types of courgettes, a tray of sweetcorn, and leek and tomato seeds.
I planted a row of Supermarket garlic cloves a few days ago. Of course, this was far too late, as according to an old adage “garlic should be planted on the shortest day of the year, and harvested on the longest day of the year”.
Allotment updates will continue during the season.