Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Allotment Diary 2011 Me: 78 hrs He: 69 hrs

My intention today was to just mow the lawn in our gardens - to pick up some of the Autumn leaves, but Mr L wanted to go up the allotment and help me finish off the 'move'.

Three and a half hours we were up there - and not another soul was up there for even part of the time!

Still we got done everything we wanted to in order to give up the 'lump' of the allotment that I want to.
We mowed all the paths of the sections we wanted to give up.

And it's looking neat and tidy - we even moved all the stuff ready to compost!

Wish it looked like this when I took it over years ago.   But instead it was covered with perrennial weeds as tall as me.  40 carpets in different stages of rotting, lots of discared metal, rubbish, chunks or wood, old kitchen units - you name it - we found it in amongst all the weeds!
This post is just for my records so that if no-one takes it over quickly - as least I  can prove that it was left in pristine condition.
I rescued some Patti Pan squash and some courgettes.

Roasted red peppers not grown by me!

 I added onions, garlic, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, marrow, pumpkin, cabbage, and more....
Roasted three trays of it all in the oven, stirred it half way through, added a few spices, and roasted it some more.  We had some with our lunch - and I've bagged the rest for freezing - we have around 30lbs of different combinations of my ratatuille - it's such a treat in the winter, and we hardly have to buy any vegetables until Spring.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bumper crop - bumper cook up

Well, after yet more harvesting we had another bumper harvest too much to process and freeze in one day - so we tackled what we could, and today I had a bumper cook up.

Here is the list...........
Pattie pan squash
Green squash
Potatoes - the tiny ones, damaged ones
Roasted red peppers (from a jar)

I filled up four baking trays, and roasted the mixes for 45 minutes.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Allotment Diary 2011 Me: 74.5 hrs He: 65.5 hrs

 We have been spending time harvesting this past week or so, and have cooked lots of Ratatouille and frozen another ten pounds of mixes.  These photos I took yesterday.

I reluctantly had to prune this boisenberry/blackberry bush down.  It cost a fortune years ago when I bought it as a little cutting, and it has thrived and grown and produced the best yield ever this year.   I had a mind to dig it up and bring it home and plant it in our garden - but it's got such a big root on it that decided it's not worth the effort - so when the new plotholders take over this bit of my allotment they will be getting a bed full of different fruit bushes, a row of Comfrey plants (or should I dig them up and sell the roots on ebay?)   I started off with just one root I bought online and gradually increased my stock.

It makes a nice border on the left and is pretty when it gets flowers.  If I get the time I will clip it all down and compost the leaves.   

I just need to mow the paths one last time, dig up some gooseberry bushes, before giving this part up.

I will be sad to let this go, but it takes me very many hours to keep it in tip top condition, and now that my produce is being stolen, it seems a total waste of precious time from sowing seeds, growing the plants, planting, weeding, mulching, mowing, only to end up without a full crop.

But I will have 150ft x 33ft left.  The person did steal all my courgettes from this end of the plot, but perhaps they won't next year.  And it will take me  half the time that it does now to keep this under control - and I'll grow a fraction of the crops - but more at home.

Whilst up there yesterday  -  at the top end of our allotment field was a black chicken running around.  I didn't have the time or energy to go and investigate to see if there were any more.  I daresay that someone had released it into the fields beyond our plots - they just don't realise how cruel it is.

Chickens can't survive in the wild - apart from the obvious predators, they are more likely to die of thirst!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Allotment Diary 2011 Me: 69 hrs He: 63 hrs

We went up the allotment last weekend and picked lots of runner beans, dug up some more potatoes, which were huge - the ones that David gave us which were free from his son.  We also picked pumpkins, courgettes, Boisenberries, etc.

Today we went up there for an hour or so, before the heavens opened.   I was shocked to find that someone had stolen two of my four large cabbages, all my ready to eat courgettes, and I am sure a couple of pumpkins as well.   I noticed that a gate I had secured with a big chunk of metal had been breached and the cabbages which were hidden in a bed in the fruit cage and netted, had the net taken off and the bare holes where the cabbages had been ripped out.  Nasty, nasty, person.

I am giving up a big chunk of my middle plot, and leaving myself with just a third of a plot - if I get produce stolen or any damage next year then I will give up the plot altogether.

Patrick picked some more Boisenberries, and I picked almost a full bag of lovely runner beans - from just the few plants I had.  I also picked three large orange pumpkins which grew on the compost bins, a couple of small ones, some lovely pattie pan courgettes - obviously the thief didn't like these, just the normal green ones, some little yellow squash - which he missed, and a couple of large courgettes which had turned into marrows.

I was so flipping cross, I felt like giving up all the plot.  To think that over the  years I have given away so many of my crops to other plot holders, and neighbours and even strangers who wander up there now and again.  This year when I haven't been able to grow much because of the hot sunshine, someone goes and steals stuff.

It has to be someone who has a plot up there - as the cabbages were hidden and not visible unless you know they were there.

Still - I have just paid my rent for this year - £6 - which is a bargain, notified Mrs M of the theft and my giving up part of the plot - leaving me with just a third.

Off to bag up a big couldron of cooked plums and apples we got on holiday