Thursday, September 08, 2005

On the defence - tough work

Doesn't this Sedum look nice. I noticed today that it is just changing from green to pink. It turns a really bright pink. It seems to like the hot and sunny conditions up the allotment as it trebled its size from a cutting this year.

I went up the lottie at 11am to take down my fence between mine and K’s plot . Boy was it hard work. The photos I took of him came out well, so I have printed them off and left them for him with an encouraging note on how good the plot is looking now, and offering our help if he decides to have a grass pathway as was his original intention, so that he can drive his tractor right down the bottom end.

It took me an hour and a half to untangle all the thug weeds to extricate the chain- link fencing – well 30 feet of it, and I was shattered. Once I heard the school children out for lunch I came home for mine, which I had cooking on low in the oven. It is so nice when you are worn out to just be able to sit down to eat. All home grown food of course, and a local free range chicken – well pieces of it which I had jointed and frozen.

I picked my very first green peppers – well they are a pale green variety almost white, still small, but I could not resist any longer. I also picked a couple of the chocolate ones. The former we had on our salad last night and they were so sweet. I grew peppers as an experiment, as I do not have a green house so took the gamble that they would grow and mature and ripen outside. I think that with hindsight they would have got bigger if I watered them regularly rather than leaving them to the mercy of the elements, but again the pig manure preparation seems to have bode well for them and the tomatoes.

I am keeping in the shade and will return this evening to finish the fence and if I have the energy to do today’s caterpillar safari.

John, (see ‘Brilliant Allotment’ link,) is harvesting his pumpkins and squash so I think that I might cut my pumpkins too. Last year I left them until October and some got really huge, but tasty. It is hard to cut and freeze them when they get too big – but mine still tasted delicious.

Pat and I spent another hour or so this evening finishing off the job I started and muscle man got out the remaining posts that defeated me. I didn’t have the energy to caterpillar hunt, so instead I picked some more tomatoes, another 5lbs. They are the best tomatoes I have ever grown both for taste and quantity, so I shall definitely plant them outside again. I was rather concerned about blight getting to them, but I needn’t have worried. I have lost a few that had a little hole in them from some insect or other, and one of two had dark patches on the side, but there have not been many.

The leaves on the hedgerow at the bottom are starting to change colour and fall and there are a bumper crop of bright red berries on the hawthorn, so that should please the birds this winter. It is hard to think that Autumn is starting when it is still 74f.

John was writing in one of his diaries about Japanese onions, and when I went to buy some grass seed, I saw some sets, so bought 500 grms for £1.20, so I thought I would take a gamble. I also bought some broad bean seeds which I hope to over winter. All mine failed last year, but I am going to give it another shot. I did get a crop from the spring planted ones, but as I have the room I thought I would try again.

Pat and I have just finished blanching and freezing 8lb of runner beans tonight. It is a good feeling squirreling away our harvest for the winter.

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