The kids were heroes. They helped quite a bit, they got in the way quite a bit as well, and when they were bored they played and made friends with the other gardeners. I traipsed around after and made sure they weren't making a nuisance of themselves, but without exception the allotment holders seemed to welcome their interest, especially 8-year-old Tom who was soliciting advice on growing carrots and blackcurrants. Allotment holders are generous with their advice, and almost as generous with loaning tools, hosepipes and other equipment.
At about 5pm we finally had a reasonable-looking bed and we put in 4 rows of beans and peas and watered them before coming home. It felt fantastic. We really had worked like dogs and it was so satisfying to put those seeds in the clear tilled ground, carefully cover them over and water them in from our new water butt. The feeling of achievement was only enhanced by being able to look across to the weedy bombsite we still haven't tackled and reflect that just this morning the whole lot had looked like that.
I'd say we've cultivated about 1/3 of the area which was under the plastic sheeting. I'm hoping to cultivate the rest in the next few weeks and get some crops in before it's too late. Root veg is next on the list - Tom's carrots, as well as swede and beetroot and kohl rabi perhaps. Unless that's a brassica. I need to read up. We're putting the sheeting over the rest of the plot and by next spring with luck we'll be able to cultivate that, too.
It was a very good day. I even remembered to apply the after-sun lotion before the Deep Heat.