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Until now I’ve had a separate blog for my allotment, but pleading severe lack of time to do just about anything, I’ve decided that my veg are going to invade the otherwise ornamental portals of this blog (so I’ve got rid of the other one).

It was kind of inevitable anyway, as I discovered a previously unsuspected vocation as a vegetable garden designer this spring (about five enterprising people were brave enough to let me experiment on their gardens and we got some pretty good results) and this has since mushroomed into a) a garden design course so I can at least pretend I know what I’m talking about, and b) a cunning plan to incorporate as many edible plants as possible into my back garden. So for some time now my veg-growing – previously banished to the allotment – has been shacking up with my more decorative plant-related enterprises and the two are now pretty much indistinguishable.

Only thing is – I’ve been pulled up short by the current concerns over contaminated manure. Since I’m mainly organic, not being able to be sure of my sh** is a real setback. I’m currently debating the options: buy the manure, but compost it for a year? (and if so, where?!) Spent mushroom compost (hard to get hold of, and besides wasn’t that manure to begin with anyway…)? Super-expensive sterilised soil improver from t’ garden centre? Or just take the risk?

They say nobody’s going to take any notice of this until the market growers are affected. And I’m not sure how much of a crisis it is anyway: someone said to me the other day they thought it was only a problem in the London area (which almost means me, but since I’m just outside the M25 I usually exempt myself).

Will no doubt continue dithering until someone more sensible says something. Could be a while, then…

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