Yes, I'm still here!
I'm planning to get back on top of this in 2010, but I thought I'd better recap last year first so you know where I'm at.
2008 ended pretty badly, with our whole potato crop ruined by wireworm, tomatoes ravaged by blight, neglected beans drying on the plants, pumpkins mysteriously exploding (yes, exploding) and most everything else drowned in weeds. We did get some stupendously big parsnips, but they were too big - the middles were all woody!
2009 was more of the same - not enough time to do everything, broad bean plants turned to blackened stumps for reasons unknown, crops going to waste on the plants, weeds just everywhere...
And we decided we'd give up. We'd given it a good shot but we obviously didn't have the time to do the plot justice, and there are plenty more people out there on the waiting list who deserve a shot at it probably better than we do.
So off we went in September to harvest what was left; a few pumpkins, potatoes, onions and parsnips. And we were amazed. There was so MUCH. Four of the most beautiful pumpkins, a huge bag of parsnips, dozens of squashes from a plant I'd given up on months back but had seemingly revived itself. A big bag of healthy potatoes, despite last year's wireworm problem and losing half the plants to a very rushed and careless earthing-up job. So many lovely onions! And we thought, well, we grew all this with hardly any effort at all. Maybe we're just doing it wrong.
So we're going to simplify. Fewer crops, given more space each. Add some more permanent things to the allotment (raspberries, raised salad beds) so we no longer have the daunting task of digging over the WHOLE lot. Fussy plants requiring more work will grow in our home garden, in pots or growbags, or not at all.
And maybe, just maybe, this year we'll get this thing under control...