I spent far too much time up the allotment today – four hours – and I am still suffering from the effects of yesterday’s digging.
It was a surprise not to see a deluge when I got up – which was forecast – so a quick breakfast, kitted up, and a dash up the lottie before black clouds turn into torrential rain.
Let the girls out and collected their eggs and parked wheel barrow on the edge of their meadow, as they would be free-ranging - and in a rush to do so! The went on the hunt for any black berries that I missed yesterday. Again, the tunnel through my hedge then out into the field – and lo behold I found some more.
I also picked lots of bunches of elderberries too – will be looking up a recipe for them too.
Back to the barrow and this is what greeted me.
330ft to play in and they dig out a big deep bowl in the plant border and snuggle down.
I trundled off and left them to it – too much to do before the rains come to stand and stare!
My mission today was to clear the weeds and finished crops from a raised bed, and repair or remodel it, and then sow some more crops for salads.
I didn’t get chance to take a finished photo, as the rain almost caught me out a few hours later and I had to make a dash for home.
It was somewhat satisfying being on hands and knees pulling out weeds and discovering germinated seedlings – you can’t do that with a rotorvator can you?
I left the rows of spinach and chard intact – as we and the chooks and my family eat it. They are good crops for the winter and seem to survive right through and are edible all the time too.
There are some carrot seedlings coming up – a bit late – but you never know. Last year a late sowing produced lovely early carrots in the spring. I sowed some more beetroot – for a leaf crop, Webbs Wonderful lettuce, an Oriental leaf mixture, more spinach to harvest the small leaves as they grow for salads rather than the big leaves from the summer plants, and another sowing of cultivated rocket, again for small leaf pickings.
The rocket I pulled up, served us well, and I have saved some seed stalks to dry to use next year.
It took me a while to re-jig the raised bed, a bit Heath Robinson looking, but it will keep the birds and rabbits off, and that is good enough for me.
When I win the lottery, I will get a man in make really posh raised beds and have a rabbit proof fence that goes down three feet to keep the little blighters out, bless their furry little bob tails.
Harvested today – Cherokee climbing beans, and flat French climbing beans, yellow Haricots for drying, the blackberries, elderberries, two autumn raspberries which I ate, runner beans for lunch, spinach, chard, and two eggs.
Not a bad haul huh?
A phone call from Pat and the black clouds heavy with rain about to fall on me any second, meant a hasty retreat – calling the girls – who for once were on a go slow an not the slightest bit interested that a cloudburst was imminent. I had to go back and shake a plastic ice cream tub with their fruit cores in to get them running helter skelter for shelter in their run.
Then I did the same, stopping only to snap this flash of bright red on the way.
And the asparagus
And one last look over my shoulder at my giant rudbeckia - which flower their hearts out all summer long until the first frosts - without any dead heading by me.
I think that I will propagate them next year and have a whole row of them along the fence.
You can see them from wherever you are in the field - a big bold bright sunshine yellow - gladdens your heart on a miserable day.