Thursday, 23 October 2008
No, we haven't died. Or been cruelly neglecting the allotment. Our computer broke and I can't access the blog at work so that's the reason for the long silence.
And then, when we finally got a computer up and running, blogger was unavailable. Typical. So sorry for the long absence.
But I'm back. For now anyway. And I'll try not to ramble on for too long about what we've been up to for the last few weeks.
The first weekend of October we went to London for a spot of sightseeing and a stay in the Waldorf Hotel (as you do... One of the benefits of working for a big travel company is being able to use your concession on a nice hotel!) So, that was great fun, but no allotmenteering!
Since then we've harvested all the sweetcorn (mmm, yum, delicious - sorry to those of you who we promised to give some - it was too nice and there just wasn't enough to spread the wealth... so maybe next year...) The final courgettes, cucumbers and squash have also been eaten, and we've composted the remains of all the plants. Adam dug over the now-empty beds at the far end of the site, and we've now got lots of space ready for us to plan what's going in next year. Hee! Look at all that nice fertile earth! Now I'm just waiting for the seed catalogues to drop through the door so we can start dreaming of the veggies to come in 2009!
While Adam was wrestling with the cucurbit plants I dismantled the runner bean poles which was an epic task to say the least, as the beans stubbornly refused to let go of their sticks. Then I dug over the bed which had also had the pathetically tiny dwarf French beans in.
The red onions which Sian planted at the end of September are poking their heads above the surface. They're an overwintering variety but I need to find out whether they still need a bit of protection for really cold weather or not. A week after the red onions went in I planted some regular white overwintering onions too, so we should get a decent amount next spring.
We've got some more spinach growing and the chard is going great guns. I've also been pulling beetroot now and again (that reminds me, there's a couple boiling on the hob as I type) and it's great just sliced in sandwiches.
I also dug a little bed next to the shed where I might put some sort of climber to ramble up and over. I mentioned before about getting some honeysuckle in, but I need to find out what sort of conditions it likes first - the soil next to the shed is quite shallow and rubble-y and doesn't get much moisture or sun...
Erica, a friend from work, came to stay last weekend and we took a quick trip to the plot to get some veggies to roast for dinner. Erica pulled some carrots and seemed sufficiently chuffed. We also sacrificed the first leek (it was a bit small, to be honest, but we just HAD to try one!) and had a swede. The first swede! Excitement indeed!
Adam did some more weeding (good man) while I made tea, and then we all had a traditional Bedfordshire Clanger for lunch. (For anyone who doesn't know what a Bedfordshire Clanger is, think of a rectangular Cornish pasty, made with suet pastry, with a hammy-meat-and-veg filling at one end and a stewed-appley filling at t'other. Main and pud all in one!)
We've got some tiny cauliflowers growing, nestling down at the base of the leaves, hiding from the chill it seems. But, see - they look great! I do have to keep picking off caterpillars though and I'm too squeamish to squish them so I fling them into the undergrowth on the deserted plot next door, hoping they'll perish before they find their way back, or get eaten by a hungry sparrow.
And we've been eating the kohl rabi. After neglecting it for the best part of 6 months it's not half bad roasted!
Finally - a random pic. Here's the remains of the cucumber plant on its way to the compost bin. Anyone else think it looks like something out of a Tim Burton film?