One man & his organic plot - December 2018

  • Last updated: 30 November 2022
Winter has finally landed and yet another year ends. For those under the age of 40 it probably doesn’t mean that much, but for us past that landmark, it’s amazing how fast a year goes by.
Chris Collins in his winter garden
All the more reason to be enjoying the great outdoors, the gift that is nature and all the freshly grown organic food you can eat. I always feel a new year’s beginning gives good cause for optimism and its worth remembering that a new growing season is never far away.
Saying that it seems pretty quiet down on Barrowell allotments at the moment, even the hard core old boys are a scarce sight. The winter crops are in and are fairly self-sufficient. The kale, which had recently been covered in whitefly, is looking particularly good and seems to have enjoyed the first frosts, unlike the whitefly thank goodness.
However, I personally am down there a lot at the moment, the low winter sun makes for a beautiful atmosphere and I love seeing the trees in the winter, they have fantastic shapes that can’t be appreciated during other seasons. There have also been some spectacular sunrises here in North London, well worth an early rise to see.
As everybody gears up for the festive season, it inevitably starts to get slower on the work front, although it never really stops. I’m out and about meeting my fellow organic gardeners, who also very kindly ask me to speak at their meetings. My thanks both to North London Organic Gardeners & Winchmore Gardening Club, where subject matters as varied as Japan and Westminster Abbey were on the agenda. We even popped off to tropical Africa for a short time too, metaphorically speaking. As I’ve mentioned Japan, it’s fantastic to see that the Tokyo regional government recently declared Tokyo a pesticide free city.
The big job for us now though and one of my favourites is its time for planning next year’s growing, a good gardener is always ahead of the game. I understand that the new Heritage Seed Library catalogue is due and I’d be lying if I said I’m not excited. I shall be spending the day with Catrina and her crew. I’m looking forward to chatting to them about all things seeds.
On other news it’s been great to work with GO’s education department, helping them out with their amazing ‘Project Learning Garden’. Distributing kits to some gardening keen schools. We attended two earlier in the month to get them started. The children made a great workforce for me as we rapidly filled the new raised beds. This is fundamental work and using organic gardening to aid kids with their school curriculum really does pay dividends.
With that positive note it only remains for me to wish you all a very Merry Christmas to you and your families and of course, happy gardening for 2019.