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.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Tomato: “Legend Bush”

I have completed planting out the tomatoes which I will grow at the allotment this year. Last to go in were Tomato "Legend Bush" - a modern heavy-yielding and early-fruiting variety reputed to have a good flavour, and also some resistance to late blight. It is supposed to do well in large pots, and particularly well in a greenhouse so I have left a few under glass to hedge my bets.
This photo is from the Real Seed Company's website as clearly mone are not in fruit yet!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Leek recipes anyone?

I have harvested 3kg of leaks this week, mainly from the allotment but also some from the raised beds at home. In addition, we had a lovely fresh supply all through the winter.
With Waitrose selling organic leaks at £4.99 a kilo, that's my answer to anyone who wonders whether it's worth growing your own. (I may have recently defected to Aldi, but I'm still happy to quote Waitrose prices for comparison purposes!)
The car was a tad whiffy on the way home, but that will soon clear. Needless to say, I will be researching leek recipes for this evening's meal.

Lincolnshire Sky

Lincolnshire Sky