Growing

I grow stuff. Lots of it. I absolutely love it. It is addictive, just like running. The ache you get from digging, sowing, weeding and harvesting is one of those nice ones. Admittedly not as nice as the one from finishing a long race, but still a pretty good one.

I am afraid I do not have green fingers, though. What grows, what wilts and what never sees the light of day is almost entirely up to nature. I have read the books, I have followed prescriptions. All to no avail. I shower everything with equal amounts of care and attention. But somethings are successful, while others are not. Regardless of whether similar crops grow on the neighbouring plot. On the bright side, I just love my allotment, no matter which crops it brings and their volume. I have enough. Not a little of everything, but quite a lot of some things. These vary from year to year, so at least we do not get bored.

My allotment is my haven. It is my daughter’s amazing bit of wilderness in the city. This is where she learns about nature. About vegetables, fruit, flowers, animals and insects. About life. And about the produce that forms the basis of our cooking. Our most treasured time together. She loves digging, watering, weeding and harvesting. She is exhilarated by feeding spiders. And she is waiting with great anticipation for the day she sees another fox. And rat. She also eats anything as a result. Lambs sweetbreads with roasted beets, grilled mackerel with fennel sott’olio, mussels with borlotti beans, rabbit with olives and anya potatoes. Amélie is 4, and a foodie if there ever was one.

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