In our first year on the smallholding in some respects I should have done nothing but prepare areas, mend boundaries and get organised, instead I did none of that and dived into growing as much as possible. I wanted to learn the seasons, the soil and observe how plants grew in this new land. Get to grips with what I could do here as a gardener. This has allowed me to make a new plan for the allotment and this year, my aim is to match what we grow better with what we use in the kitchen. Below is my current plan, it will take me some years to truly know the plot but this largely feels right for now. Most nerve-wracking is the placement of the new asparagus bed (we love asparagus) because it takes two years to establish and then produces for up to twenty years and doesn’t really like to be moved. We have separate areas for herbs, tomatoes, chillies and aubergine. The plot is on a slope with the fruit cage and compost at the top, perennial veg at the bottom.