First parsnip of the season

ParsnipHurrah. The parsnips are ready and they’re big.

Wish I could say the same of my leeks, which are pitiful. I did the same this year as I always do, but they’ve grown feebly. Leeks also need sunshine, apparently.

There’s a bit of panic at the allotment site. We’ve all just paid our rent and the renewal terms are stricter than usual: carpet can no longer be used for weed suppression and every plot “must be kept weed-free”.

Gulp. I can live without the carpet, but the 100% weedless plot is a fantasy.

So that’s me buggered, then. Here’s hoping for a lenient interpretation of the rules.

10 Responses to “First parsnip of the season”

  1. Greenmatle Says:

    Weed free need not be hard work…

    Buy yourself a good narrow-ish Dutch Hoe, sharpen it(and I mean really sharp) with a whetstone, and the rest is child’s play.

    Each time you visit, it should take no more than 15 mins to cover the whole plot, smoothly sliding the hoe between plants, slicing off all of weedkind in your path…. with a G&T in the other hand.

    Let the tops fall where they will. Don’t even disdain to pick them up. Two days later they will have withered away to nothing.

    Of course the trick is to start early in the season as soon as the first weed seedlings appear, and then after a few goes, you’ll have them on the run.

    10-15 mins once or twice a week…. and a smug smile.

  2. jopan Says:

    Every allotment holder would be kicked out if they kept to that rule. Daft rules are all part and parcel to anything that involves people.

  3. Christina Says:

    Hurrah indeed. This is one hell of a beautiful parsnip.

  4. corynsboy Says:

    Now nearly all allotment in the country has a waiting list, some of the powers that be are throwing thier weight around as they feel they have some leverage. My allotmet society is the same.

    Weeding should be at the the top of the list of things to do when you get to the plot but we all know that with limited time during the growing season it is not always possible. Hopefully the old goats that make the rules, and are able to spend all day on their plots, will enter into the spirit of the law rather than enforcing the letter of the law.

    There will be a revolt on my plot if there is no wiggle room on this issue. Half of my society are under 40s with kids and full time jobs. Most of the people on our waiting list are our firends so they can only replcae lik with like.

  5. Matron Says:

    Fantastic parsnip! I am waiting till Christmas day to see if my parsnips have come to anything this year! I too have problems with forking because I have heavy London clay soil. I am still waiting for my leeks to get big enough to warrant putting toilet rolls round them!

  6. allotment blogger Says:

    Wonderful parsnip! I’m envious.

    As for weed-free, it’s a joke. Our allotment site has the 75% in cultivation rule and we regularly send out weed notices. It can be a real problem though, when people only blitz their plot after getting a weed notice, so for the next few months it looks utterly wonderful and then it fades into 100 weediness again. I do wonder why people have allotments if they don’t want to work them?

    To my complete amazement, one of our neighbours paid a labourer to clear his plot of weeds after getting a weed notice – how on earth can you justify paying somebody to maintain your allotment?

  7. LisaB Says:

    I’m delurking to sympathise with the ‘weed free’ rule. I’ve just been given a ‘needs more work’ verdict on my plot even though I’ve been there working min 5hrs a week during summer. The fact that it hadn’t been touched in a few years, was head high in brambles and docks when I took it on (and there’s still quite a few very overgrown weedy plots on the site) doesn’t count. I think it’s to do with the fact that it now has a very long waiting list…

  8. Lottie Wannabe Says:

    I might try one of my parsnips. The leaves are enormous and the weather has been cold at night, so they should be tasty. I don’t have an allotment, but would love to have the time for one.

  9. Soilman Says:

    Gosh, this one struck a nerve. Until this cropped up, hatred of the allotment police was something I read about on other people’s blogs; nothin’ to do with me, guv’nor. Now I’m getting as paranoid as everyone else has clearly always been.
    I reckon panic’s premature, though; the current allotment fashion craze will eventually pass. When 6 out of 10 plots are uncultivated again, the fascists will leave us alone.

  10. rich Says:

    This “allotment Police” thing is out of hand. Afew people weilding more power than Police and the State against normal law abiding citizens. A level of reasonableness would be appropriate. The weeds are from nature- has anyone yet qualified in beating nature? I doubt it.

    Great veg by the way and a great web site. Keep up the blog… oh and don’t hold back with the rants. They make me laugh and shout at my screen “thats so true!”.