Monday, 30 November 2009

Green shoots and Frost!

As there is quite a hard frost forecast for tonight I thought it might be a good idea to dig up the last of the potatoes. They would probably be ok under the ground but if they got really cold they might get ruined. I've probably left some behind anyway, it seems to be impossible to get every last one. It's a beautiful day today though so I took the camera to photograph these new broad bean shoots - I hope they don't suffer from the frost.

And here are the garlic shoots, those ones at the back might even be onions, can't remember now.

I've had a bit of a disappointment with my bokashi. I ordered 4 bags of the bran (an e-bay bargain) in October, and emptied two of them into my plastic bucket (with lid). It seemed to me to be quite a wet batch, and sure enough, it has now gone mouldy. I have sent a message to complain but have not yet had an answer. I'm going to have to throw quite a lot of it away.

On a lighter note: 1st of December tomorrow! This is our home-made advent calendar - it is a picture of our own front door (but with a bit of artistic licence to make it look posher than it really is!)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

What I've been doing.....

....while the weather has been too blemmin awful to do any work at the allotment. Well, actually I did venture down there yesterday, because we had run out of potatoes, and I was damned if I was going to spend good money on potatoes. I did buy some carrots in the supermarket the other day because I couldn't face the wind and the rain to go and dig some. And I wasn't very happy about it. So I braced myself and went and dug up a bucket of potatoes, a few carrots and a celeriac. While there I was pleasantly surprised to see that the broad beans are coming through - hooray!

I have also treated myself to a set of camera filters I found on e-bay, which you simply screw on the end of the lens and they allow you to take close ups. You can use one at a time or all four together. So I have done a few experiments but not many so far because it's always too dark and you get best results with no flash.

Recognise this lady?

Have also had another attempt at pumpkin bread, which was a bit more successful this time:

Planning some more spicy pumpkin chutney for Christmas presents, if I get the time, as I have also just taken on another job: making two sets of curtains and two roman blinds.

And on Friday I'm off to the Good Food Show!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Onions and Garlic emerging

I managed an hour at the plot today - the first time I have actually done anything up there since... I can't remember. The onions and garlic are just beginning to poke their noses through, but still no sign of the broad beans.

One psb plant had collapsed in the wind, and had to be propped up again, and as usual the netting had come adrift and had to be repositioned. One plant had been stripped by pigeons. I think we got off quite lightly with the gales compared with most parts of the country, it really wasn't that bad here.

I pulled up a few of the old marigold plants, but there are still several left to be removed. Also dug up my Scabious and extricated all the couch grass from its roots, then replanted. Dug up the Achillea, removed lots of couch (but I couldn't get it all) and replanted by the fence. Pulled up miscellaneous spent annuals and some Dahlias - but I've left the tubers lying on the ground. I meant to bring them home and put them somewhere suitable for the winter. Generally tidied up the perennial patch.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Carrot Love

Because I didn't thin my carrots, some of them have grown so closely together they have become amorously entwined, like these two. I'm pleased to see that they seem to be continuing to grow, because a few weeks ago they were all still very thin and spindly.

As well as the carrots, this afternoon I braved the cold wind and threatening sky to go and dig some supplies for the next few days. I dug up some supersized potatoes, which were surrounded by a lot of supersized worms, which is encouraging. Less encouraging is the number of bindweed roots I come across while digging, they go very deep, and don't bode well for next season. I also brought back some rather underwhelming celeriac and a few leeks. I'm 'between' leeks at the moment, the early ones are almost finished and the late ones are not quite big enough yet.

I haven't done much lately other than plant the onions etc, the weather hasn't been very conducive. Also I seem to have fallen slightly out of love with it all... but I think it's mainly down to the time of year - I expect I will get fired up again in the spring. Hope so anyway.