Quick quick QUICK get some stuff on there about June before July's nearly over...!
Have you noticed I don't have the inclination to blog as much as I did? I think it's 'cos the novelty's worn off. The learning curve of having an allotment has levelled out and it's not quite as exciting digging up potatoes the third, fourth and fifth time around as it was the first or second. And my gut feeling is that there are only so many times you guys out there want to read about my potatoes... so it's more of a struggle to turn on the computer and tap away. So, apologies, but that's just the way it is right now. Plus, it's summer, for goodness sake! No one in their right minds really wants to spend time at a computer when the evenings are long and warm(ish) and there's the possibility of a barbeque and a cool beer in the garden.
Ah, the garden. Brings me on to my first piece of June news. The chickens are no more. That's right, we are now chicken-less, but garden-rich. I hadn't realised how much space the chooks took up! Ellie got egg bound, we think, and unfortunately didn't make it. We'd decided that once another chicken died we'd call it a day for now, otherwise we'd just keep ending up with one older and one younger chicken - a never-ending cycle of replacing chickens! So Peggy Sue got adopted by a lovely little old lady in a nearby village, who has three-quarters of an acre, a large veggie plot and about 50 other chickens, all living out their days free-range in the countryside. The good life, eh?
Now, back to the allotment. June started with a break-in - someone wrenched the hinges off our shed doors and about a dozen others down on the plot. Nothing major was taken - just our camping stove, coffee pot, kettle and radio - but it was a bit of a shock. Not as bad as it could have been, mind you, as a few years ago someone had their shed burnt down to the ground...
Veggie-wise, we've had peas, broad beans, potatoes, onions and garlic so far. The tomatoes are just starting to ripen, as well as the cougettes, pumpkins and squash. The damson tree looks good - lots of fruit - so there'll be more damson gin made this autumn! And the big blackberry bush along the side of the plot is also bursting with fruit, just ripening in the sun, so again, it'll be blackberry vodka. Possibly the tastiest flavoured alcohol type concoction I've ever made. (Please note, I'm not actually an alcoholic, it's just that sticking slightly tart fruit into cheap alcohol with a shed-load of sugar is damn tasty. And possibly one of your five-a-day... wishful thinking, eh?)
We tried making elderflower champagne at the start of June, using a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe, but it was a bit of a disappointment. Lots and lots of fizz, but not much taste, so we're having to add some of our elderflower cordial to it for a bit of flavour.
What else... oh, the raspberry bushes are taking over (eek) and after all my faffing about last year with parsnip seeds on kitchen paper and in warm places and in toilet rolls, this year I just chucked some in the soil and loads have germinated. We've also got beetroot, swede and some crappy carrots. (really can't do carrots - any tips?)
Enjoy the summer everyone... will be back soon...