My worst of 2017 could have been the tomatoes, which suffered quite badly from blight. However, in 2017 bad news seems to have really picked up the pace and August’s mishaps feel like they happened a decade ago. The worst also could have been the celeriac, which was all top and no root. It was the one veg on our Christmas plate that had to be bought at the shops. We did have potatoes, carrots, turnips, Jerusalem artichoke, kale, brussels, parsnips and New Zealand yams though, so it would be a bit peevish to complain about that.
When I started the allotment, I bought a couple of very helpful books from John Harrison’s allotment site. In his chapter on pests, he warns that the worst allotment pests are often the two-legged kind. Truer words were never spoken.
The week before Christmas I arrived to find that there was a break in at the site. I didn’t have my phone with me to document the damage, but thankfully it was not too bad. My strawberry runners, which had been potted up in the autumn were all over the floor and our wood pile had been rummaged through. The tarp covering the back of the dance floor was gone, along with The Enabler’s lawn chair. They had had a look through the shed but I don’t think anything was taken and no damage was done. I had thought that maybe it was the people who sleep rough in the nearby woods. Were it that, it would have been rather easy to forgive.
Some people never fail to disappoint though. Just before Christmas there was a second break-in. This time they came prepared and targeted the locked sheds belonging to the Builder on Plot 3, Statler and Waldorf on Plot 1. They did quite a bit of damage to their sheds and made off with quite a few tools. They even took the coffee mugs. They also upended the shed belonging to Lovely Lady on Plot 2A and stole tools from The Busy Family We Don’t See Often Enough on Plot 2C.
Not that it’s ever okay to steal, but the worst is that they are mostly destroying things that took time and effort, not money. The council don’t really seem to want to know about it, but it has been reported to the police. Ironically, because my shed was not locked, anything taken from me doesn’t count as theft (or so I’m told). Apparently the act of climbing over a locked gate does not count as breaking and entering. However, because it wasn’t locked, perhaps whoever did this did not feel compelled to damage my shed. That would have been way worse than losing a tarp and a chair.
I suppose though that these things are sadly just part and parcel of having an allotment. Best not to dwell on them too long, and focus on the better things. Speaking of, look out for my second post in as many days — I know! — tomorrow!