Thursday, March 31, 2011
Have you ever read a book about vegetable cultivation? The chaps who write them always like to advise their readers to improve the soil with “well-rotted manure”.
This worries me.
I can only assume that they copied the sentence from a Victorian or Edwardian gardening manual, whose cities were swarming with horses, helpfully leaving tonnes of the stuff steaming by the roadside.
In south London, there are no horses to be found, and it is entirely impossible to get hold of any manure at all, well-rotted or otherwise.
Our allotment site used to have regular deliveries of manure from a distant stable. I thought these had stopped.
But now I have discovered the horrible truth. Take a look at this picture, secretly taken on a low-quality camera from far away.
In this scene, a tipper truck has just dropped off some manure, and you can see some plotholders, swarming around it like hungry pigeons. Within five minutes all the decent manure had gone.
This is not fair, because the people in the picture all have plots at the bottom of the hill close to the manure delivery. Also, they are retired, so can spend all day waiting their sheds, ready to pounce.
I am at a loss. What should I do?