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RUSTIK

An allotment adventure

We’re back! We put Rustik magazine on hiatus a few months ago, as we have been in a transition state, but that doesn’t mean we’ve given it up completely. Work has brought us across the ocean to Surrey, a county in the south east of England not far from London. It’s taken us a few months to get acclimatized, and we still miss the cozy comforts of Rustik Cottage, but we’re really starting to like our new home!

One of the great things about life here is the climate. Sure it’s clammy and damp at times, but it doesn’t get too cold here in southern England, which means the gardening season is about to begin. That’s right — two months of cold and damp passes for winter in this country!

Not only has the weather taken a turn for the better, this week we secured a spot at a local allotment, a leased area of land used by subscribers to grow fruits and vegetables.

The tradition of allotment gardening dates back to Anglo-Saxon times but really took hold here in the early 1900s, as the country was rapidly industrializing and people needed to be able to grow their own food. There are nearly 350,000 allotment gardens in the UK, which works out to one for every 180 people, so we consider ourselves lucky to have scored a small corner of one.

That said, we may rue the day we ever decided to take on this particular adventure.

We never do things the easy way, and that has perhaps never been more true than in the case of this allotment, which is pretty overgrown and in desperate need of some TLC. The site is a great size though and the previous owner left a few useful bits and pieces in place to help us hit the ground running, including fencing, trellising, a wheel barrow and a broken down but still salvageable cold frame.

What has us really excited is the fact that the allotment has been used to grow grape vines and make wine for several years. As many of you know, that’s a passion we have been pursuing for a while now so we feel truly blessed to have stumbled upon this particular patch right on our doorstep.

We did a bit of shopping over the weekend to get ready for this adventure, including dipping into the stocks in a neighbour’s garage to pick up some second-hand tools.

We are looking forward to sharing our progress here with our readers. Let us know what you think!

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