Gardening has made this Steyning resident think about the joys of living in West Sussex

Last Saturday saw the start of the Steyning and District Food and Drink Festival.

Friday, 11th September 2020, 4:28 pm
Stephen Nightingale from Steyning SUS-191014-105021001

The event kicked off with the awards for the allotment competition.

After winning the award last year for the best kept allotment this year, I was given a special award, Allotment to Inspire.

This of course was a great honour but I feel it was influenced by the setting of the Rubilees allotment site.

Every time I walk up to my allotment, I look around and think how lucky I am.

Sitting at my table which is set at the back of my plot, I can see right across the South Downs towards the coast and to the back I have a view of the upper and lower Horse Shoe.

I am sure like me you find the inspiration in just living in West Sussex.

I have just come back from a walk with my wife.

We drove to Beeding and called into the newsagents for an ice cream.

Sue, the owner of the shop, has certainly been an inspiration during lockdown, spending a lot of her time at the Hubb making sure the vulnerable in the area have enough food and are able to still get their medicines etc.

The back of the shop she has turned into a food bank.

Even when supermarkets ran out of flour and toilet rolls, Sue had always some on her shelves, not forgetting she has been a constant supplier of my pipe tobacco.

She would certainly get my award for services to the community.

After coming out of the shop we walked along the river bank watching the sparrows pecking the thistles.

West Sussex is certainly an inspirational place to live. We have the pretty towns such as Steyning and Arundel.

The wonderful shopping centres of Horsham and Chichester.

The walks along the South Downs Way.

Then within a short distance we have the beaches of Worthing and Goring.

This week we had our annual delivery of manure at the allotments.

This is always an amusing event as it brings out every style, shape and size of wheelbarrow ever invented.

Providing you are a member of the allotment association,you are entitled to four free barrow loads.

I managed to clear my cage this week and spread some blood fish and bone over the soil.

Because the cage is so low it is difficult to get in there and dig in manure.

I have two rows of early purple sprouting broccoli along one side and a row of brussels sprouts along the other, which just about gave me enough room to plant two rows of spring cabbage.

I grow a variety called greyhound, an early maturing pointed cabbage.

I usually start them off in a seed tray and then prick them out into pots when they have developed four or more leaves.

Keep them in the cold frame for two or three weeks and they should be ready to plant out in the middle of September.

Looking back, lockdown hasn’t been a great hardship living in West Sussex.