Its that time of year when I begin to wonder whether the allotment is worth it. There's no crops to pick (other than the occasional raspberry) and walking two miles each way to spend an hour or two digging the beds and preparing for next year somehow seems hard work.
In addition, this coming Saturday is the only day of the year that we're allowed bonfires so all of the suff I've collected up over the year needs to be piled up and burned.
Its made worse by the fact that the allotments on either side of me have been given up by their allotmenteers which not only means it will be even lonelier next year (unless somebody keen takes them on) but also that there will be an increase in the number of weeds.
I don't know if people will take on the allotments, there are a number of vacant and unused plots on the site already.
All that said, I'm gradually digging over one of my strawberry beds, sorting the plants out from the weeds and transferring the "good" ones to another bed which I've already turned over and cleared from the sweetcorn crop this year.
A positive sign are my broad beans. A few years ago (well 2012 to be precise) I bought a load of broad bean seeds from Moles Seeds. As they were getting old, last year I decided that I would sow them as green manure to overwinter so that I could dig them in to improve the soil this year. Well, I got the best crop of broad beans ever. Early, free of blackfly and generally perfect. So I decided I would use some of the harvest in the same way this year. However, when I looked at the seed, they'd all got little holes in them so I assumed they wouldn't grow but, ever the optimist, having gone to the effort of preparing the ground, I decided to sow them anyway. The result (so far) is better than expected. I've got a few more beans I can sow so I will do so in the rest of the bed.
So, optimism works sometimes.