Welcome to our allotment blog. We've got a plot, now we're trying to figure out what we're doing! So please join us - put the kettle on, sit back, and dream about Living The Good Life...

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Egg-cellent stuff

Our trusty Lola's still popping out one egg a day. Gosh she's a handsome ol' bird! Little Peggy Sue should start laying any day now. (She looks a lot smaller in the photo than in the flesh...). And they're still getting on fine.

Fab :)

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Mmm, taters

Wahey! Potatoes! I still get over-excited digging up spuds, especially when you can hold up the plant in a celebratory manner and say "Look! Look what we've got! For practically free!!!" So after four, or was it five,
plants, we'd got a good half-bucket-full of tasty new potatoes.

We also had a big handful of broad beans and mange tout, as well as the first artichoke bulb (bulb? head?) which I haven't quite worked out what to do with yet. I'm hoping to sow some more mange tout next weekend, to see if we can get a late crop from them. They've been a bit neglected this year, but these ones tasted so good, even if they were a bit old and crinkled, that I want more! We're also keeping an eye on the blackberry bushes too, as I have plans for jam, puddings, cordials and various blackberry-infused alcohol concoctions.

Loads of bees are bee-ing (!) attracted to the purple alliums, which were dancing about in the wind like cheerleaders shaking purple pom-poms. The bees clinging on for dear life. Although if they do get shaken off, hopefully they'll head over to the squash and courgette...

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Sunshine and showers

A lovely day on the plot today - not too hot, and not too cold, with a little shower of rain to make it easier to weed. Did lots of weeding, and also transplanted some squash plants where two had germinated in some places and none in others. We've filled all the gaps now but we sowed butternut squash and a varied selection of summer and winter squashes all in one bed, so it'll be interesting to see which ones have ended up where. We've just got the beginnings for some squash flowers and some yellow courgette flowers so hopefully in the next couple of weeks we'll get the first harvest.

Picked all our gooseberries and made gooseberry chutney and gooseberry and summer fruits jam. Mmm. Now I need to make some scones and get some clotted cream for a real taste of summer. And the damsons are looking good so we'll keep our eyes on those to make damson gin again for Christmas.

We're continuing to dig up our early potatoes, which are delicious, and the main crop ones are flowering now - some even have little tomato-like fruit on - are you supposed to cut them off??? The runner beans are flowering too, and the carrots are looking good after a slow start. I sowed the last of our orange carrots and some more purple ones so hopefully we'll get an ongoing crop as soon as some are ready.

Last week Adam put some water butts along the edge of the plot, which makes watering much easier as we don't have to walk the whole length of the allotment with watering cans. Just need to do the odd one-off trip to fill the water butts instead!

I'm still taking pictures on my camera without a viewfinder or screen so it's a bit of a gamble if I get the right thing in shot and in focus! Here's a quick pic of the plot... nice and green but the grass needs strimming again! It's never-ending!

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Chicken update

...now they're getting on fine. Lola stopped laying for a few days, maybe in protest at this new creature in her space, more probably, because of the hot, hot weather. She gives little Pegs the odd peck every now and again, usually when Peggy gets in her way or has a treat that Lola wants, but Pegs seems to be holding her own and there hasn't been a repeat of the incidents which led to them being separated. Hoorah!

Anyway, back to allotment business... Popped down there very quickly this evening to dig up some potatoes for dinner, and also picked a load of gooseberries (the berries of geese? where did that name come from?) and a dozen of the very first raspberries. Mmm.

Last week Phil gave us some of his left-over sweetcorn plants, (who in their right minds has left-over sweetcorn? You'd find a place, surely?) which was great as we had a million gaps to fill. They all seem to be doing fine, as are two small pumpkin plants he also gave us, and two cucumber plants which mum gave us - only one plant germinated out of three spots, each one had at least three seeds in! Not a good year for cucumber, squash and courgette, I think we're going to have to buy two or three courgette plants.

Also saw a million ladybirds on the broad beans, no doubt attracted by the blackfly which haven't seem to have been affected by me squirting them with soapy water last week. So now I'm going to look up varieties of British ladybird and see how many we can tick off.

Longer visit for weeding planned tomorrow.