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...

Thursday, 29 October 2009


I have been remiss. Updates are not appearing on here as thick and fast as they should probably be. But there, look, I only posted once last October, so this is a vast improvement. And anyway, not much has been going on this month. Or at least, not much has been going on that I've been tempted to blog about.

We're onto chicken no. 5. A couple of weekends ago Lola had a cough on the Saturday, wheezed on the Sunday, and was dead on the Monday morning. Even as we were discussing the possibility of finding a chicken-certified local vet. And Lola! Good ol' faithful, had-since-the-beginning Lola! There were tears, as I wrapped her in newspaper...

I've put off blogging about it this long because our apparent lack of ability to keep chickens alive had me feeling somewhat ashamed, embarrassed, guilty, sad, angry... they were never supposed to be pets, exactly, but then they're not supposed to blimmin' well die so fast either. What are we doing wrong?!! Ah well. We discussed getting rid of Peggy Sue and becoming chickenless again (after all, where the run had been would make a fantastic veggie patch - all that poo!), but then a Saturday impulse led to us getting as-yet-unnamed-but-possibly-called-Alice.

I know. Don't say anything. I'm still not entirely convinced it was the right thing to do. At least they have a fairly pampered life with us while they plot their numerous escapes and pop out eggs every day before their untimely demise.

And I can keep working my way through the cupcake recipe book my sister got me for my birthday...

Sunday, 18 October 2009


We needed a wheelbarrow to take our tatties home today. Ok, not a massive wheelbarrow, but still, not bad for a couple of hours' work in the sunshine, and it feels like we've got all this food for free!

As Adam re-insulated the composte heaps with lots of dry grass, I picked the last of the tomatoes and the squash. Then we spent an hour or so digging up the last potato bed, and we ended up with half a barrowfull of Cara potatoes, as well as nearly a dozen winter and butternut squash, a bag of tomatoes and another big handful of dried borlotti beans.

I'm looking forward to eating these. They're not massive, but perfect for a meal for two, which is great as, well, we are two, and we eat meals. They should keep pretty well - especially if we can cure them a bit more in the sunshine - but that iddy biddy one on top isn't going to see the inside of a cupboard, as it's going to be roasted along with potatoes (ours), carrots, swedes and parsnips (all not ours, sadly) and a pheasant from the local market for our lunch. With lots of garlic and lemon. Yum.

And I wonder if I'll be able to resist making a Halloween lantern out of that orange one...

Update - ickle squash tasted goooood.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

All autumnal

How time flies when you're having fun! Since my last post we've had more tomatoes, more beans, and more potatoes. Also my birthday, and, oh yes, a new camera. Woo! But the weather's definitely turning, the courgette and tomato plants are looking sorry for themselves and the sunflowers in the garden are getting a little bedraggled. But still beautiful, especially if you look close up.

One of the first real signs that autumn is well and truly here - the borlotti beans are drying nicely on the plant. We've got a couple of handfuls of the dried beans now which we can store and use in something hearty in midwinter. They're sitting in a kilner jar in the kitchen, look nice and rustic.

The winter squash are also ripening nicely. We'll just give them another week or so to get a bit more sun. We've also got three small butternut squash, which is very exciting stuff indeed as I love butternut squash.

No real success with the sweetcorn this year. We've had three, maybe four decent sized cobs and a couple of tiny ones. But boy, were they tasty! The cauliflowers, brussels sprouts, red cabbage and purple sprouting brocolli are all doing fine. The netting seems to have kept the pigeons off so far!

The allotment as a whole seems to be going from strength to strength. Apparently the council-owned allotments are full and they've started sending people our way. All the suitable plots are now let, so the ones near us which are mainly overgrown with brambles and grass are going to be professionally rotavated, so we should have some neighbours which will help keep the path clear and the weeds under control But they're going to leave the big giant blackberry bush untouched, so we'll keep a little privacy. And get the blackberries!

We helped to clear some of the long grass on one of the adjacent plots and found this little fellow hiding under a rotting piece of plywood...