Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Return of the Borlotti bean

I am pleased to report that the Borlotti beans which the children planted at the allotment are doing really well.
It was a bit of a high risk strategy, since they were beans which I saved from 2013. I sowed some of them last year, but they were all eaten by some mysterious critter. I handed over all of the remaining beans to Year 5 during their class visit, and kept my fingers crossed.
So far they are doing really well. So who knows - maybe we'll have another crop this year? Keep those fingers crossed.

Year 5 Allotment Assembly

Better late than never, here is a photo of my lovely gifts from Years 5 and 6 to thank me for their visit to the allotment.
The week after the visit was the occasion of the Year 5 class assembly, which they developed around the theme of allotments and growing food.
Hayley and I were greeted at the door and ushered to named VIP seats. At the end of the very impressive assembly, we were presented with copies of a selection of poems and memoirs that the children had written, a thank you card and a beautiful bunch of flowers - all totally unexpected.
The flowers are in pride of place on the table, and the children's work is safely in my memory box.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Years 5 & 6 visit the allotments

Today's visit by Years 5 & 6 has been fun, and busy. Some went to Hayley Sansom's plots, and the rest stayed with me. They did a variety of things including preparing and sowing a seed bed, making a bird scarer and harvesting garlic.
Fran also came down for a while and was happy for the children to ask questions and have a chat. Geoff came down too, which was lovely.
The photo shows the garlic crop assembled to dry in the sun at home. Five varieties harvested this morning: Early Purple, Lautrec Wight, Solent Wight, Red Something-or-other which has rubbed off the label, and Provence Wight. Of these, Provence Wight is by far the largest with Early Purple coming a respectable second. Red Whatsit is pretty good too.
I was too busy to take photos at the plot this morning, but plenty were taken by the teachers and their assistants. I'm expecting that they will be uploaded onto the class website so will keep an eye out for them there

Monday, 15 June 2015

Preparing for Years 5 & 6

I've spent a lovely two hours this morning weeding, sowing seeds, and making plans for a visit from Claypole school Years 5 and 6 on Thursday. The soil is beautiful following really heavy rain at the weekend, and very easy to dig. So I have marked out two seedbeds for the children to prepare, and identified a range of seeds for them to plant.
Let the fun begin!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Cucina Povera

Cucina Povera reaches new heights with the discovery of a use, at last, for broad bean pods.
I picked the first of this year's crop last night. After shelling them, I was about to sling the pods into the compost when I thought: "There must be something I can do with these".
Happily, t'internet being what it is, a spot of googling quickly identified someone else who had the same thought, and came up with the inspired idea of coating them in a quick batter and deep frying them. In my case the coating was gram flour with black onion seeds and cumin seeds. Absolutely gorgeous.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Spring Challenge

Well, that's it. I've completed a final weeding and hoeing of the allotment before the inevitable explosion of weeds while we are away. This is the Spring challenge: warm and wet weather is absolutely perfect for the weeds. Turn your back for a couple of days and they really take hold.
It's been a joy this morning. It is the perfect time for hoeing: a warm bright sunny morning 36 hours or so after heavy rain.
I was delighted to see that not only have my super-early tomatoes survived this week's hailstorms, but the Latah variety are even sporting their first flowers. They are looking very promising so far.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Holiday countdown

Well, that's the garden ready for us to go away on holiday. The hosta and passion flower are planted out; the coriander is harvested and frozen; and the third and final sowing of broad beans has been moved into a larger pot. They were destined for the raised beds, or the allotment. But the beds are full, and I remembered that the rabbits at the allotment have rather a fondness for beans.
I had hoped for an empty greenhouse by the time we went away, but the basil put paid to that idea. It was probably a bit ambitious to have basil planted outside by the end of May. So now three small pots of basil seedlings have been transplanted into masses of larger pots, and the greenhouse smells of summer.

Lincolnshire Sky

Lincolnshire Sky