Group run

Springing Leeks and Pomme De Terr-ible Potato Puns!

1 GoodGymer made their way 5.4km to help the YMCA Allotment in Barnsley.

  • James Smith
Wednesday, 5th of April 2023
Led by James Smith

Our visit to the YMCA allotment this month was a special one; it coincided with a family orientated social gardening session which they were were hosting there from 6 - 7.30pm. Because of this time frame we decided to set off on our run a bit earlier than usual to enable us to spend the maximum amount of time with everyone.

GoodGym were first to arrive on scene, closely followed by some others who had spotted us running towards the allotment from their car. We got the lock-up opened and watched the steady stream of people arrive. There were folks of all ages eager to help out at the community growing space; lots of children, who were very enthusiastic 'allotmenteers', along with some of their parents and other local people affiliated with the YMCA. There must have been a good 12 plus people people there working away.

The first task of the evening was to weed one of the raised beds. Everyone picked a spot around the bed and got to work. There were a distinct lack of trugs at the allotment tonight so we were forced to make use of large plant pots and compost sacks for weed deposition. Some other volunteers had been at the allotment earlier in the day, including our litterpicking buddy from Twiggs, Scott and we suspected that these people may have moved the trugs; it's a mytery! There was a lot of chatting going on between everyone during the weeding which was great. Some topics of conversation with the kids included querying the species of certain plants we found, the best methods for pulling up weeds and what positions people play in their netball teams. We also had fun inspecting the masses of frogspawn in the little allotment pond.

It's so great that spring has arrived, the trees are re-leaved

After the bed was clear we aerated the soil and then raked it level. We then used canes laid flat across the bed as guides for planting onions in rows. We used a finger to make a shallow hole in the soil alongside the cane. We then placed a bulb into the hole and secured it in place with some surrounding soil. One hand's length was used to approximately space out the planted Alliums. One half of the raised bed was filled with onions. On the other half of the bed we were to plant potatoes. Again we used canes to mark where the lines of potatoes would go. We placed potatoes along the cane at spaces of around 12 inches, then dug potato craters with a trowel down to a depth of around 6- 7 inches at each point. A sprouting potato was then dropped into each hole and covered over with soil. At the end of each row of planted produce we left a vertical cane to denote the locations of each one. Teas and coffees were brewed up on a camping stove to keep the workers toiling at maximum efficiency.

Sooner or tater

With so many caffeinated volunteers in attendance, the evening's objectives were very speedily achieved. We had managed to fully 'de-weed' a large raised bed, prepare the soil, and then plant two full crops. After celebrating our achievements, some spare produce was shared out to those that wanted some, namely huge leeks.

We then said our goodbyes, thanked everyone for a wonderful evening, and hit the road, specifically Dodworth Rd, towards Penny Pie Park where we then did repetitions on the steel fitness equipment in situ there. The reps included 20 lat pull downs with palms facing away, 20 with perpendicular palms, 20 quad presses, 20 stair climbs and 20 bodyweight presses. Following this, we ran back down the hill to Glasshouse where we stretched off after our 5.4 km run, strength session and perspirant inducing planting activities.

Report written by James Smith

Discuss this report

sign in to add a comment

James Smith
Led by James Smith

Previously AA of Barnsley GG. I was torn between Barnsley and Sheffield :)

Share the love

Become a member

with an optional monthly donation

  • Run, walk, or cycle to help older people
  • Access sessions across the country
  • Claim your GoodGym t-shirt

Need help with a community project?

If you're a community organisation and have a physical task then we'd like to help.

Request a task

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more