Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Our allotment

Everything is flourishing at the allotment at the moment with the recent sun. It is our second full year and it has been a great learning experience for all of us so far. Harry and Peter have been involved in every aspect of it, even though sometimes that means hard work instead of more pleasurable tasks, such as weeding rather than planting. The allotment has definitely been a positive addition to our home educating life; even when I have to go at 10pm to water the tomatoes because I haven't fit it in, I don't resent it as it is such a feel-good place and full of life. It is physically very hard work, despite both being quite fit and strong and we all go most weekends over the summer to keep on top of things.

It gives us a good chance to be outdoors and the boys often ride their bikes there as our site is only ten minutes away from home. We also know several other plot holders now and they chat with the boys and give them produce to eat. This was one of the reasons I was keen on getting an allotment; it gives them a good opportunity to socialise with a diverse range of people of all ages. A lot of the older people seem to really enjoy seeing the children. 

We have learned about food chains, by seeing our plants being eaten and finding lots of ladybirds and worms, who are our garden friends! We have also discussed crop rotation and the different nutrients needed by different plants when we have been planning our planting. 

The greenhouse is heating up and we have green tomatoes and cucumbers growing. 

We have been watering lots recently and talking about the parts of the plants and what they do. Peter knows that the roots need a drink.

The outdoor produce is beginning to ripen too. We have picked the first peas and Peter has tried and enjoyed them. 

And harvested loganberries, which we used to make flapjack at home. I love that we get to see the connection between planting, growing, harvesting and finally eating and this can be done by growing a few crops in pots at home as well as in the larger scale of an allotment. Peter was searching the bush for the ripe, red berries this morning. 

The sweetcorn is getting taller. This was my favourite crop last year due to the impressive height of the plants and I hope it does as well this year.

We have kept a small area unplanted for the boys to play in. They have plant pots, trucks and hollow cylinders and manage to create some great imaginative games together.

We are very lucky at our site to have a community wildlife garden too. There are beehives, a pond, bird boxes and insect houses. We visit most times we are at the allotment and enjoy seeing the bees go in and out of the hive. 

We will be adding manure at the end of the year to a lot of our soil to improve it over the winter, which I think will be a good learning activity too. We already use our own kitchen compost at home on the garden and it is quite amazing to see how vegetable peelings and coffee grounds turn into the dark, rich compost.

The allotment also gives us the opportunity to be involved in the Newcastle allotment show, which we enjoyed last year. There are lots of classes of show fruits and vegetables (none of ours are up to that standard, but they are interesting to see!) and children's classes, which Harry entered and won a small prize in last year.


  1. All looking good. It's great that you have the community area. I love that you are so up close and friendly with the bees!

  2. Your allotment is flourishing and I can certainly see the educational benefit to the children of planting and harvesting their own food. I wish we could get an allotment but they are like gold dust around here:)
    Thanks so much for linking up to this weeks #homeedlinkup

  3. What a lovely allotment site! We have an allotment and whilst I'm grateful it is very utilitarian. Certainly no community area.