Dear Giles,

It is just over a week since I wrote last but how times flies. In that week the allotment has gone from being a strip of land which I have been enjoying but struggling with to becoming a source of pride. Allow me to explain.

When I took it on it was land that had been tended, but neglected for a year or two - now it feels like a piece of land I am working. Today, as I came home, I looked back with pride on my handiwork and the progress I think I have made. Fo many days I have been unable to see what I have been achieving, but now, I look back literally and figuratively and actually can see progress and the positive shoots of my labours coming through.

 

The 12 semi-raised beds have now been broadly cleared a couple of times, I have a thriving corner by the river of spring flowers, of rhubarb and a couple of apple trees. This week, the gladioli I had planted in the very early days have at last started to come through. This week, three raised ends are planted with potatoes, one with onions, one with peas and beans and I am proud to see the horseradish settling in . I have put considerable effort into sorting out the brambles by the fence to structure and better enable the fruiting.

This is all progress quicker than expected, beyond what I hoped for and I look back with significant pleasure at what has come through. In the small shed I have trays of rhubarb, radishes and courgettes growing from seed And am preparing plating space for them next.  I now understand what cousin Robert meant when he spoke of the labours of the Farmers Boy and its fruit.

Now over the last two days I think I have worked through plans to clear the remaining unplanted beds, remove the flrames and create a new larger space for some trees and flowers and start the work that I think I have wanted all along. I'm feeling ambitious but also optimistic. In this spirit I wanted to share it with you.

Trusting that this finds you in good health and enjoying the fruitless and fallow month of April which I embark on my discovery and land journey.

I am always, your good friend,

Edward

(Footnote: Robert Bloomfield was a successful poet of the early 19th century, born in Suffolk, a farm boy himself, before going to London to work as a shoemaker and where he found great success as a poet. His success was builder on his account of the years of a Farmers Boy: Giles. Ed Fordham, is distantly related to Robert Booomfield, and knows well and fondly the local villages of Suffolk, places of Bloomfield's youth).