We got our allotment at the end of April. It started off (as most allotments do) as an overgrown mass of weeds. Our enormous plot might have come complete with a shed and an apple tree but it also came with hundreds of dandelions, discarded rocks and metal piping. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Ten weeks later though and it is, in my humble and inexperienced opinion, a thing of beauty. My fella has done a wonderful job of turning over sufficient ground to allow us to sow seeds and bed plants. It has taken form and started to look somewhat like an allotment. We’ve got wooden canes to support beans and peas, we’ve had to invest in netting to protect our flourishing strawberries, and our chard is covered with a blanket of fleece.
Not only does the allotment look the part, it’s starting to act the part too, and this weekend we indulged in a crop fresh from our own land. Cultivated by own our hands. Well, the hands of my fella. While I play an active part in the allotment, I’m the first to admit that my fella does waaaaay more work down there than me. And so, whilst the radishes were a joint effort, the salad that we snipped away at was solely due to the efforts of my green fingered boyfriend. It was thanks to his efforts that the burgers we enjoyed for dinner, were garnished by a home grown salad. You see, I have a man of the traditional sense, a caveman of sorts, I have a man who provides. He brings in veg and salad, and has a whole host of ideas to keep us fed throughout the coming months, as the land we garden yields its produce.
We seem to garden through stereotypical gender roles… As I wander off, barefooted amongst the weeds and purloin fresh raspberries from the neighbouring abandoned plot, my fella digs at the soil, and hoes the weeds to oblivion. I do the girly things and put my raspberries in a cheesecake (white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake– yum) whereas he whips up some meaty beefburgers which he cooks on a BBQ in the rain and lets the salad add a ripe crispness to that.
It is the best feeling ever though. To be sat at the table eating produce you had a hand in creating. Our salad was joined at the table by my contribution, the first successful bottle of elderflower champagne. From elderflowers that I’d foraged, and days of stirring a heady scented mix that sat in a (new) mop bucket in the kitchen for a week. The commitment, the devotion, and the eventual pride, as it all comes together to be enjoyed. Oh em gee. So lush. And that’s how we roll in this relationship. Each of us, literally and figuratively ‘bringing something to the table’.