Leith Links Allotments were open until 9pm as part of Parks and Gardens Open Day, so after I had finished with the bike ride I took my daughter down. Was taken on a guided tour by a lovely woman, and it turns out that her sons were staffing the gate and her husband was working their allotment. An incredibly friendly family who probably are a mainstay of the site.
Highlights of the tour included:
- It’s a smaller site than Saughton with approx 40 plots laid out East to West and two plots deep. A tarmac path runs down the spine of the site with a composting toilet at one end and the shed and composter at the other. Didn’t see any fences between any of the plots, unlike Saughton.
- apparently all allotment sites in Edinburgh have a composting toilet. I’ve so far just been peeing in my compost heap …
- 6 foot tall fennel! My partner is still feeding the daughter herself and fennel tea is used to aid let-down. And we like the vegetable too! I had a taste of a peeled shoot, and it’s a delicate taste: there’s a freshness at first, with the aniseed coming in later.
- lazy beds with dug-out borders — saves having to knock some boards together.
- 7 foot tall raspberry canes growing between two rows of stakes and blue tow-rope. Didn’t look like the canes were tied to the ropes, they just leaned against them if required. Approx 2′ between the rows.
- Seeing tiny pears taking shape behind the blossom
- Climbing beans using a discarded step ladder as a trellis. There was a real recycling ethos in the site, and I want to capture that with my plot.
- my ability to spot and name plants is getting better.
- 93 people had visited the site by the time I got there. I was happy to be able to chat that I’d organised the bike ride (did I say that I’m chuffed about that?) and I’d consider running a group down there if it’s on next year.