Have allotments always been targeted by vandals, or is this a relatively recent development? And how have we got to the sad state of affairs where it is just a matter of time before it happens? We were advised last Autumn when we first took the plot that it was best not to lock the sheds otherwise they'd be damaged by forced entry (did we listen? - no).
Arrived at the plot yesterday to find lots of sheds - including ours - had been broken in to. Not too bad for us, just the padlock ripped off so some damage to the doorframe & just one smashed pane of glass, nothing taken. But I do feel really sorry for one or two people who had more solid metal sheds - their doors have been thoroughly kicked in and are damaged beyond repair. And not nice to have your shed spray-painted & tagged - no matter what repairs you do to the damage, you're left with a more permanent reminder that's tougher to get rid of.
If I could only get my hands on the vandals, I'd get all medieval on their asses, and invent a punishment to fit the crime. Bury them up to their knees and stake them to the ground using a variety of garden tools, spread them with treacle, scatter them in birdseed, and shout out "RELEASE THE CROWS!"
And, of course, invite my fellow allotmenteers to pelt them with rotten vegetables and douse them in stinky fermented nettle tea.
Or maybe I'd force them to eat my radishes.
Ahhh, yes, about my radishes..... I grew some beauties as you can see (they were ultra-organic, something feasted on the leaves before I could pull them, as you'll see from the holey leaves).
Not sure why I grew them - can't stand them. Never buy them. Don't eat them. But I knew that they're quick easy growers, and I hoped that maybe they'd taste amazingly different.
But no, still distinctly and identifiably radishy. Bleugh.
And there was me, laughing at the couple on the plot opposite who had an emormous bed of spinach on the go last autumn, who when I commented that given the amount growing they must love the stuff, they replied "No, can't stand spinach, but there's not much else will grow this time of year and we like to have something on the go".
I'm not laughing now.
But we did pull our first few leeks today. They've been in since last October, courtesy of our kind allotment neighbour who gave us some of his extras to plant. I've no idea what variety they are, but they were the first thing we planted so we're enormously proud & protective of them. And we've been drooling and salivating at the prospect of eating them for 7 months now.
I think we have to get on with harvesting & eating them now, beacause as soon as it warms up a little they will flower and become inedible. Though leek flowers are stunning - will look like an Agapanthus - so I will leave some to go over.
The ones we had for tea were really tasty - I knew they would be, as the minute we pulled them the oniony leeky perfume that filled the air was very intense.
They tasted like nothing I've ever been able to buy from a supermarket. And I like the imperfect shape of one of them - it just reminded me how all the supermarket food we buy now is all about appearance and not at all about taste.
But the food I am growing is all about the taste. Not that I will be above posting photographs of any rude or lewd vegetable shapes that I might accidently grow.
And please don't say anything about the oniony leeky perfume attracting every onion fly for miles around. I'm hoping that if plants are several weeks behind thanks to the cold winter, then so are the pests...