Saturday, 22 May 2010

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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