The allotment has never looked worse and has never produced more – a useful reminder that neatness and fruitfulness should never be mistaken for each other.
A kindly summer has meant that even with minimal attention, the crops have flourished. While I was hospital-visiting, the plot was just quietly getting on with growing. Well done that plot.
The King Edward potatoes, bought loose from a sack in the village store, have produced ridiculous numbers of perfect spuds. Most of them are still languishing in the ground under a dome of weeds. I’ll dig them as I need them over the winter, and enjoy baked potatoes and mash to warm me up on cold evenings. Luckily I now know the butter I’ll pile over the top is just what the doctor ordered (just the one doctor, but I’ll happily take his word for it).
Courgettes are still producing in late October, butternut squash has made fantastic soup and roasts, my first-ever Brussels sprouts are delicious and plentiful. There are more beetroot and onions than I know what to do with, parsnips galore, endless spinach and leeks I haven’t even started on yet.
The only weak link is the carrots – not so much baby carrots as foetus carrots. In their defence, I never thinned them out, and they were lucky to get planted in the first place. They’ve done as well as they could in their straitened circumstances.
I’ll gradually fight back the weeds over the winter, but will try to remember that even the shabbiest plot can be working away quietly on a bountiful harvest. Appearances can definitely be deceptive.