Archive for allotment porn

Belated Christmas present

It’s hardly been going to the plot weather, hence the complete lack of posts. But I did go and check my allotment yesterday, as the gales have caused quite a lot of damage locally. Nothing was wrong there, but look at this:

allotment strawberry bed My new ‘free form’ strawberry bed! It’s been built alongside the path and to abut (but not touch) the asparagus bed, so it’s an odd shape but I love it.

Now I just need to drag OH to the plot again so we can bed it down properly, then it’s my job to fill it with manure, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow … I hope the strawberries appreciate the efforts we’re going to!

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Squash harvest and crop disappointments

giant butternut ripeningOur squash harvest has been pretty good this year: despite the pollination rate being very low (even with hand pollination) we’ve got some good sized Turks Turban and Crown Prince and the butternut squashes are magnificent.

We’ve had eleven butternuts, plus this monster which is still curing … never seen a butternut this size before!

giant courgetteMy former allotment neighbour, Maisie, used to have a lot of sayings, some of them garbled, but ‘never get between a man and his marrow’ was one of them that I’ve always taken to heart. There’s something about allotment men which is a bit … obsessive. OH has always been that way inclined, whether it’s the Best Kept Allotment or the biggest onion, tallest sunflower or whatever. This year it was his decision to see how big this marrow would get. Except it’s not a marrow – it’s a courgette that was missed in the harvesting and is now taking over the entire plot. The glove is there to gove some sense of scale … roll on the first frost is what I say!

I’ve been tying up the asparagus now that the weather is getting windier, pruning the tayberry, picking apples and kale and getting beds ready for the overwintering onions and garlic – general preparation for the winter, made rather unseasonable by the sudden hot weather. All my peppers have ripened and so the greenhouse is almost empty except for the lemongrass which is doing well, and a couple of Royal Black Chilli plants which will soon come home to be overwintered in a heated house. They don’t tend to survive in an unheated greenhouse.

flowering psbA couple of things have really disappointed me this year: the first is the purple sprouting broccoli, which had me running up to the plot every day in February to see if it had sprouted yet. Admittedly this is an earlier variety but it shouldn’t be flowering now! I’ve had to cut off every one of the flower-heads that had actually flowered on two of the plants and can only cross my fingers and hope that the others don’t burst into flower too. I suppose I’m going to have to run to the plot every day from now on, but for entirely the opposite reason.

powdery mildew on raspberriesAnd my gorgeous Autumn Gold raspberries have got a little powdery mildew – just one plant, and I’ve cut it all off and removed the mildewed material from the plot, but it’s the first time that I’ve seen mildew on yellow raspberries so I hope it’s a one-off rather than an indicator of things to come.

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We have video!

Okay, not video of me at the allotment, but a real book trailer! I’m so excited about it that I can hardly type!

Isn’t that amazing?

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Gluten-free blackcurrant clafoutis

blackcurrant clafoutis gluten freeHere it is!

After some experimenting I actually think this is better than the standard wheat-based recipe. I’ll post the recipe itself later today!

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Open Gardens – Sunday 30 June

103 edible border 1 aug 2011Plot #103 (aka The Voodoo Plot) is taking part in the Open Gardens Scheme this year. You can find all the details of the gardens that are open, and pre-order tickets: here. Two other allotments on the site are opening too, so there’s a nice variety of growing styles and allotment philosophies to experience.

We’ll be having the horticultural equivalent of a bran tub, where for a small donation of your choice you can plunge your gardening gloved hand into the bucket and pull out a packet of seeds! There are some excellent varieties on offer, so there will be some lucky growers! And, of course, I shall have books on sale …

So if you’ve ever wondered if the plot on which “Minding My Peas and Cucumbers” and “The Allotment Dairies” is based was real, this is your chance to come and find out!

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Allotment harvest 12 May 2013

103 allotment haul 12 may 13What a haul for a windy Sunday! We’ve got:

• one immense leek, the very last of the year – it will be a bit woody in the core but with that cut out it’ll make a great soup or pasta sauce
• at least a kilo of purple sprouting broccoli – which we love as much as asparagus (and a good thing too, as we’ve got plenty of the former and none of the latter for at least a year)
• rhubarb
• a nice big bunch of sage (for sage butter, and also fried sage leaves over pork – delish!)
• the first of the rainbow radishes

Not bad, not bad at all.

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Mountain Spinach seedling

103 mountain spinach 3 may 13You know, I always think mountain spinach is the Marilyn Monroe of the crop world.

Perhaps it doesn’t have the most cultured flavour …

Perhaps it’s not the best performer …

But by all things green, it’s SEXY!

Tall, lush and unapolagetically pink – this is one edible border plant I wouldn’t want to live without.

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