The Allotted Month - November 2008
As far as crops and harvesting go, this month has been very much the same as October. So I won't repeat myself.
Allotments generally are targets for vandalism, and Edinburgh's allotments seem to be at risk as much as other places in Britain. It's a sad reflection on what has been called our "Feral" youth. I've heard that in Denmark the allotments are respected, the public have access and there is little, if any, vandalism. I think that I'll emigrate to Denmark.
In recent years our site has been increasingly targeted. We have a high strong fence and securely padlocked gates. But the vandals have obtained (by purchase, I wonder) bolt cutters and use them to cut a panel out of the fence. Huts are broken into and their contents strewn over the plot, presumably in a search for anything saleable. Not much is actually stolen. Sometimes huts are set on fire. Our most recent attack was a spree of glass breaking with one hut burnt down. At least one greenhouse had all its panes broken.
My own plot hasn't escaped. Some time back my neighbour's hut was burnt and my wooden greenhouse suffered co-lateral damage with one end burnt before the fire brigade arrived. Many panes were broken with the heat. I had started repairs but the vandals struck again, throwing stones and breaking a few more panes, some that I had just replaced.
I can think of better things to do on a cold winter day than chipping our hard old putty. I inherited the greenhouse but my initial reaction at the time was that it was in such a poor state that the best thing to do was turn it into potash yielding ash. Closer inspection showed that the basic structure was sound. Most of the glass was broken so it was easy to dismantle, chip out the old putty, apply a couple of coats of preservative, rebuild and re-glaze, mostly with recycled glass. This time I'm not using putty but just putting in extra sprigs. That way it's easier to re-glaze.
Doing the repairs has kept me busy this month, and this will continue next month. Harvesting the winter crops doesn't take much time.
B. A. Plotter.