This week I thought I’d dabble with technology and the allotment and, specifically, device etiquette on the plot.
I recently stopped taking the Blackberry with me on allotment visits.
Yes, because it
is a modern-day
distraction, whose tweets, emails, texts and voicemails I resent…
but also because I recently dropped
it into a bag of compost, and it’s not insured.
I’m one of life’s risk-takers, but I ain’t nuts!
There is a desert island-style isolation to vegetable growing and it’s a great place to gather thoughts. Life definitely looks a lot better after a few hours with the trowel and without the buzzes and bleeps which accompany office life.
However, I have now found myself announcing as I pull on my wellies: “I’m going up the plot… and I’m not taking my phone.”
Stunned pause.
I may as well have revealed I’m leaving to become a Morris dancer and changing my name to Johnny Jingle Bells.
It’s hardly ‘I’m going outside, and I may be some time’, but Barbara seems perturbed as how I will survive without instant access to the Facebook image of an
ex-colleague’s toddler wearing an amusing hat, or a text informing me I am entitled to two-for-one pizzas that night.
However, one of life’s little pleasures – for me – is spending a few hours in the sunlight, plugged into my Internet Walkman thingy, pottering on the plot.
Music sounds so much better when you’re
pruning. But what to listen to? What are the horticultural hits to get down with the hoe? Here are my ideas…
Presidents of the USA – Peaches: There is not a lot of peach-growing in East Oxford. I won’t lie. But, hey, it’s a song with fruit in it.
Big Bill Broonzy – Diggin’ My Potatoes:  I’ve got no idea what this song is about, but I doubt massively it is about potato cultivation.
Animals that Swim – Greenhouse: This was a student favourite band of mine, who penned this tune about an allotmenteer who decided to diversify into a more, er, cash-appealing crop. Police trample on radishes to get at the stash.
The Orb – Latchmere Allotments (Nocturnal Sunshine): Because if you Google ‘songs’ and ‘allotments’ this cool little ditty comes up. Give me a break, have you tried to think up five songs to do with gardening?!
In the meantime, I have been criticised for not writing about
allotmenteering in this column. Or, anything to do with growing vegetables. What has given you that impression?
So, for the record, I
have growing two types of potatoes, runners, red cabbage, spinach, lettuce, leeks, courgettes, peas, strawberries, plus some struggling fruit bushes. All is well.