Page 33 - ALG Issue 1 2022
P. 33

Northumberland, Cumbria and Durham
Mike Brannigan
0191 649 2542
 Welcome to our new members...
Sacriston Allotment Association 2 individuals
    You reap what you sow
Is that an old gardening term or an old way of referencing karma?
Either way, it’s very true. It’s been a funny old year with the dragging on of Covid and the seemingly ever-present threat that it brings to all of us. It seems to have engendered a world of threats and negativity: there’ll be no petrol, there’ll be no meat for Christmas, there’ll be another mutation – we’re doomed Capt. Mannering!
Fortunately for myself and my husband, Michael, we have the ever-constant world of our gardens. Of course this has, as it has since I started growing vegetables as a child more than 60 years ago, the usual threat of pests and diseases of a different kind, and the newly added global warming.
Last year I wrote of how the pandemic, since we were virtually confined to
our gardens, brought us to enter the Beautiful Garden competition and
how I won and Michael got a special commendation. This year we started out with a focus on the competition as a goal for a bright spot in this world of gloom and threats. We love our gardens and this year planned our plots with our usual favourites and our usual
trial of something different. Along with the usual things we had a go at tromboncino, asparagus peas and a few different cauliflowers. I also tried some sweetcorn. We’re at quite an elevation in the North East of England so it took a little extra nurturing before I put them outside, and it paid off with an impressive crop of juicy sweetcorn. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to stand well so it turned into a bright but quick flourish, which we really enjoyed.
This was our first year of harvesting the asparagus beds, which we planted two seasons ago, and they were delicious but a mixed success with Michael coming out as a clear winner in that match.
Soon the competition came around and the judges arrived. Again, they were a pleasure to entertain, with much discussion around our mutual
love of gardening. No-one had seen asparagus peas before and, though they weren’t fruiting when they came, we all generally agreed that it is a very pretty plant you could put in your borders as
a flower.
Again the months went by and again
we awaited the results. Would our efforts be rewarded? Would we reap what we sowed? During those months we had a good harvest but some of
our work, as it is with nature, was harvested by the usual culprits of
mice, slugs, snails, caterpillars and a few pesky pigeons and pheasants. As always there was enough for them and ourselves. We net most of the brassica and transferred any caterpillars to our host of nasturtiums, which they seemed happy to demolish. The bees this year have been phenomenal and when we finished harvesting our broccoli, we left the whole crop to go to flower. I never knew bees were so attracted to their flowers, and we’ll be leaving the end of next year’s crop for them again. They loved it and we loved their company.
At last October came and the results were announced. Again, the
Would our efforts be rewarded? Would we reap what we sowed?
presentation dinner had to be cancelled because of the ongoing threat of Covid, so we waited for the results to go online.
Guess what? I won! And Michael got
a special commendation again! Team Hogarth triumphed again. Brilliant! Our philosophy to work with nature and go with the rolls rather than enter into a constant battle with nature seems to have brought rewards.
You do indeed reap what you sow. Team Hogarth will, again, be looking forward with optimism to whatever the next year and mother nature brings.
Carole Hogarth, Quarrington Hill Growers Association
       Allotment and Leisure Gardener 33

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