Monday, 31 May 2010

Hello Esther, and anyone else who reads this.

Good news from the plot. Food production is going well, but there's no chance of us getting fat yet.
The potatoes recovered well for their earlier frost related problems, and are now flourishing. Lettuce and salad leaves are going to be ready to harvest soon. Onions are doing well, and the bigger of the two rhubarb has produced another crop (ready for pie tomorrow- yum!) The carrots in the ECB are doing well too. I have got high hopes for them.
Beetroots are still very small, but most survived transplanting. I have sowed the seeds for a whole forest of sweetcorn, but so far nothing has appeared, but it's early days yet. I still haven't dug over the ground where I am going to plant them, so there is no rush there.
The big success of the spring has been radishes. I know radishes are so easy to grow that you give them to kids to get them started, but that doesn't make it any less exciting when I can pop up to the plot to water and come back with a fistful of veg. This year I planted red and purple ones (Amethyst). They have both performed well. The reds look great, and have a good crunch, but the purple ones are nice and peppery.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Welcome to Leon, my first follower. It seems a bit weird having a follower. I generally write this blog to amuse myself, and didn' t know anyone else read it, except for my dad, when I remind him. Anyway, cheers for joining up Leon, and perhaps I can inspire you to get your own allotment!
Things had been going slowly down at the allotment, as I have been busy with so many other things. Just listing them would stress me out, but you know- life and stuff. I have been struggling to find the time just to do basic maintenance, like weeding and watering. I had a further blow to my confidence last week when I found all the tips of my potatoes plants crinkled and black. I spoke to one of the old timers, who confirmed my fears- it was frost. In mid May- I ask you. Apparently it is considered unwise to leave potatoes uncovered before the end of May, which is news to me.
Luckily, the potatoes seemed to have recovered, and with the fine weather we have been having I have managed to commit more time to the plot, and even drag Corinne and the kids down there for a bit of extra help. now things are shaping up well.
This week we have weeded the beds, constructed another raised bed (it still needs digging over), planted out salad vegetables, sowed more radishes, transplanted beetroot seedlings, put straw beneath the strawberries and generally spruced the place up a bit.
We have also eaten the first fruits of our labours to, in the form of some radishes and rhubarb (not at the same time). I planted two varieties of radishes, one a nice shinny red, your classic salad radish, and the other small and deep purple coloured. The purple one has a more intense, peppery flavour, which is my favorite. More of those got eaten at the allotment than made it home to the salad bowl. Well you have got to try these things.
When I first planted the radishes, I did them in two neat rows, one purple, one red, interspaced between the onions. Now Eleanor has emptied both packs of radishes into the carrier bag the seed packets were in, so they are all mixed up together- now I wont know which one I am pulling until it's out of the ground. Ho hum.
The rhubarb we had in a pie, with some apple- very simple, but very tasty. Charlie doesn't eat cooked fruit (I think he is afraid it might be good for him) but Eleanor tooked in, with great gusto.
Charlie seems to have gone off the allotment at the moment- I think he sees it all as a bit of a waste of time, which is sad and disappointing. remember that this is the boy who said, rather pointedly, that "this is our allotment, daddy, and not just yours!". Today however, after some persuasion (some might read that as 'moral blackmail') he was more helpful, helping me build the bed and putting straw down for the strawberries. hopefully he new found enthusiasm might last a bit longer than the weekend.


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