Monday, 18 January 2010

News and Update

I have been and worked at the plot today for the first time this year. I could only manage a couple of hours before my back was stiff and achy and it hurt to stand up again from bending. Had to come home for a hot bath and a Pilates session. I have got myself a DVD with a view to strengthening my back and 'core' muscles so that I am generally less feeble when it comes to digging etc.

Anyway, it has been very wet recently and I didn't think it was a great idea to work on the beds so I concentrated on weeding and tidying up the path on the hedge side. I disentangled all my canes from a pile of decomposing leaves and an overgrowth of goose grass, pulled all that out and emptied a sack of bark chips behind the compost bins before putting the canes back on top - hopefully that will help them to keep a bit longer - they were in danger of being swallowed up and going rotten.

The daffodils are coming up so I had to weed very carefully around them, and I was followed closely by a pair of robins and a blackbird on the lookout for bits and bugs to scavenge.

I also emptied one of the compost bins which is 'finished' - it's still a bit strawy because I have been adding lots of straw every time I put green sappy stuff or food waste in over the summer. Other than that it looks lovely. The contents has had to go into bags for now because none of the beds are ready for it. I now have about a dozen bags of compost waiting to be distributed when the time comes.

I inspected the various crops to see how they have survived the unusually cold freezy weather. The worst hit are the broad beans. Quite a few of them are completely dead, but there are still a few which don't look too bad. But I think I will have to re-sow in the gaps in the spring. The leeks look fine but obviously haven't been able to grow at all. The onions and garlic are looking quite perky still and the psb seems to have made a good recovery too. There are a few sprouts ready for picking actually. I dug up a few carrots which look fine, and also the remaining few celeriacs, which also look fine, although I don't know what they will be like inside - a bit brown maybe. They don't feel mushy though.

Now the latest news is that we have found another house to buy. Still early days but we have had the offer accepted so just keeping our fingers crossed. Hopefully it will be straightforward because for various reasons (which I won't go into) there is no chain, but we probably won't be moving until the end of June/early July. So I think you will understand why I have decided it is not worth growing greenhouse crops this year. Not only would they be in full growth by then - and there is no greenhouse there yet, but we are going away at the end of July for two weeks and I wouldn't feel happy asking brand new neighbours to water our greenhouse AND feed the cat, before we've had a chance to ingratiate ourselves with them. I will probably just grow a few chilli plants and ask a friend to have them to stay while we go on holiday.

Finally, I have baked my first butter-free cake - a cherry and almond one containing potato and ground almonds. I'm pleased to say that it was really very nice, and it wasn't just me who thought so. The family all agreed. I am looking forward to trying a butternut squash one. Not sure if I can bring myself to buy a courgette from a shop - perish the thought!


Jo said...

Exciting news on the house front. Are you moving far from your present house and will you still be near enough to your allotment? Yes, I picked up a courgette in the supermarket last week and put it straight back down again, it just doesn't seem right to buy them out of season.

Kella said...

Well done you for getting to the plot and getting such a lot done.

I'm glad to hear of the cake success.

And good luck with theo house sale.

Rachael said...

We are moving to the other side of town so I can still use the allotment but won't be able to walk there. In the meantime I'm putting my name on the waiting list for one much nearer the new place - fingers crossed!