In 2011, to the derision of my son, David gave me a birthday present of two strong professional gardeners to dig over my entire allotment, and clear it ready for the Spring planting. And very helpful that was too. This year, aided certainly by the prolonged dryish weather we’ve had in the east Midlands, I have done the whole lot myself, unearthing a little pile of potatoes, parsnips and a huge amount – I am talking 20lbs here – of artichokes. Very good exercise for the muscles I can tell you. The only problem is that Jerusalem artichokes are virtually impossible to eat without turning into a veritable windbag, so they will probably all have to be recycled into the compost bins again! I wish I had a pig to feed them to, but can you imagine living with a flatulent pig? The mild warm days have encouraged me to risk planting the new potatoes, which have chitted very well in the greenhouse and are eager to start primary school. I am trying Sharp’s Express this year, and the old faithful Arran Pilot, so they have both gone in, making two 10 ft rows. Talk to me again in July and I’ll tell you if this slightly early planting has paid off. I have decided not to be too ecclesiastical about my potatoes this year, – having always planted them on Good Friday before, but that isn’t for another three weeks. Life is too short folks!