A personal account by Lucy, Seasonal Packer at the Plot

The swallows are, like me, back at the Plot on Old Holly Farm. They arrived a couple of months before me and were already well-established by the beginning of June when I started. This is also true of the plants here, as Dennis, Finn, and the farm starters had already done so much of the hard work preparing the soil, sowing seeds, and nurturing plantings to reach the point of harvesting.

This year they (the swallows!) are much more active and vocal than I am, as I am in the Seasonal Packer role, which means I am mostly in the packing shed or on the laptop. This is great on rainy days, and I do of course get to put my hands into the Plot soil if I get all my other jobs done. Luckily, I also have an allotment full of soft fruit and veg to entertain me when I get home!

A new joy this year, as I walk across the Plot first thing in the morning, is a startled male pheasant. By lunchtime, he is either elsewhere, or hiding, but first thing, he runs ahead of me very like a chicken, which makes me laugh – it looks so funny in such an elegant well-dressed bird. I am hoping he is helping us – do pheasants eat slugs?

It is a weekly joy filling the crop-share boxes with our produce. The process of weighing, bagging (where necessary – fresh leaves hugely benefit from being in bags to keep their juicy freshness) and getting it all organised for delivery is very satisfying. My other job is in the library, so I like to have them all lined up in their collection point groups, with clear labels. And of course, the boxes do, like library books, come back every week (usually!)

I am finding it super interesting to work with the wider team and the administration that underpins the Plot. The overarching vision into which the Plot fits feels like a healthy, organic structure and it’s great to be part of what is an effective movement supporting good food, local producers, and positive action.

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