A few years ago Z and I took on half a plot at our local allotments. This was way back before it was the trendy thing to do. We had been down to the allotment because it was their yearly show and we are, essentially, nosey. Having looked around we decided to take the plunge and with a few friends signed up for our plot.
I could see the pit-falls and future arguments of communal allotmenteering a mile off. Firstly what do we grow? Even the most dedicated fan of food* has pet hates and most of them are veg related. I have a friend who loves gooseberries, you will not find me voluntarily within a mile of these spiky, sour little faux-fruits. Likewise I know plenty of people who can't stand broad beans, but my plot isn't complete without them.
With all of this in mind Z and I suggested to "the collective" that we would look after one half of one of the two plots that we had taken on and they could do whatever they wanted with the rest. Then disaster struck, we got pregnant. I know that the arrival of our son (18 months ago) has been scary, exciting, joyous and given us a new outlook on life but his arrival almost cost us the plot.
Luckily, a couple of Z's colleagues have stepped up to the mark and are now ploughing our furrow for us. We still pop down on occasion and this summer R should be at a stage where he can muck about in the weeds whilst we get on with some serious vegetable husbandry.
This is all very well and good, but what about tonight's menu? As a lottie substitute, last summer we dug over our front garden. It's small but it kept us in salad last summer and we even managed a glut of runner beans. For some reason the wild rocket that we planted just kept growing, right into November, so we never got around to digging it up. Imagine our surprise when, in all of the great spring weather we've just had**, it sprang back into action. We now have our first glut of 2012 and we haven't even sown anything yet.
In order to manage the sudden mass of rocket I have made a rocket pesto to dress linguine for tonight's meal. Because rocket is so much more peppery than basil I have added almonds to the sauce instead of pine nuts. If I had any I would have used pecorino instead of parmesan cheese but beggars can't be choosers.
**until this week, seriously! I was eating ice creams on a beach in Edinburgh this time last week and now it's snowing. What's going on?