Sunday, 15 September 2019

September harvest time

So a week ago I dug up more potatoes, these are Picasso main crop & very nice they are and make great chips & roasties too.
A lovely Trug of produce. 
Using my trusty petrol strimmer I cut the grass path again, might be the last time this year, unless we get a late summer.
Got loads of weeds to burn, so had to buy a new incinerator bin! 
At least we had plenty of dry weeds to burn, despite the rain we have had.
The Borlotto Beans are almost ready to pick, see below:
I'm glad we put a bigger netting frame over the Kale, it's put on a growth spurt now with more headroom. 
Today's harvest: Raspberries, Beetroot, Tomatoes & Pears from our neighbour.
And a bag full of Beans. 

Borlotto & Runner Beans.
We've harvested so much fruit this year, so I'm trying Goosberry & Raspberry mix wine.
I'm also starting a batch of just Raspberry wine. 

Will be doing a double batch of Rhubarb soon too.
Things are still growing though, I weeded around the Parsnips today & other crops are doing well, we expect to still be harvesting through the winter.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Another 5 hours digging and clearing our allotment

Another good harvest: 
Picasso Potatoes, 
Tomatoes, 
Beetroot, 
Raspberries 
& Flowers.
I showed a close-up of the Barlotta Beans last time, so here is the whole plant, now about 7ft tall and laden with beans, not ready to pick yet as the pods are not swelling with beans.
I knew it was hot, but didn't realise it was a record breaking Bank Holiday weekend heat!
So I decided to work at the shaded end of the plot, digging over more of this patch ready for our next big project, I showed the photo of a huge root last week, I traced it and now its getting thinner so hopefully nearing the end. 
So watch this space for more news soon.
This area we planted up and netted last time, they are looking healthy so have survived the move from seed tray to ground.
This area has also survived, since planting and netting last week. 

We are expecting rain next week, so that will be  good for our new plants.
The Brasicca's are doing well too, I noticed a Cabbage White Butterfly in there so must be vigilant for caterpillars soon!

All the clearing has produced a pile of weeds & roots, so as they were dry had a bonfire to burn as much as we could, the ash will be dug back into the soil.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

10 hours over 2 days working on the plot!

Saturday: 
I dug over a patch we need and got all these assorted early potatoes that we missed when digging up a few months ago: Pentland Javelin, Foremost & Charlotte.
Jo weeded around the Kale and Borocale and planted some more Cabbages in a space left by Pak-Choi that had gone to seed earlier in the season.
So to protect these brassicas I used some water pipe hoops with metal tube legs to give extra hight and covered with netting, protecting the growing Kale etc.
This is the patch I dug over and got that mix of Potatoes, we plan to plant some over winter crops on Sunday.
This patch was left fallow, so a few weeks ago I dug it over and today Jo planted: 
Leeks, 
Spinach, 
Cabbages, 
Swede 
& Kohl Rabi. (see next photo)
And to make sure the young seedlings, we had started off at home, dont get pulled out & eaten by the birds we netted the whole patch!
So Saturday ended with a good harvest:
Runner Beans, 2x Courgettes, Tomatoes & Potatoes. 


We spent a very satisfying 5 hours today!
Sunday: 
The patch cleared on Saturday is now full again with:
Kale, Pak Choi, Cabbage, Spinach & Lettuce. Netted of course too.
Inside the fruit cage: Jo weeded around the Raspberries & cut out all the old fruited wood, then I tied up all the remaining canes to the horizontal wires, the autumn ones have fruit on already.
I have been clearing the lane end of our plot ready for the next big change to its entrance, but dug up this massive root! I expect its from the tree on the other side of the lane, will have to remove it as it might interfere with my plans!
Odd that we have a Yellow and an Orange Courgette on the same plant ?
The Patti-Pan Squash is looking good, we hope it gets a bit bigger, needs more water!
Dug up some more Picasso spuds for our meals, we will also have some of the earlies I dug up on Saturday, they store well in light proof bags.
A good weekend of digging, weeding, planting & harvesting, another 5 satisfying hours done today.

 A total of 10 hours this weekend and the weather was good too.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Another good harvest

I'll start with today's harvest:
Foremost potatoes
2x Courgettes
and a Cucumber.

I dug up the potatoes around 5pm and by 6:30 a few were in my tummy, you cant get fresher than that!
In the Greenhouse:

Here is the Cucumber I picked.
Still in the Greenhouse: 
The Plum Tomatoes are nearly ready, we will be making plenty of tomato sauces with these.
The climbing Borlotti Beans are doing well, they have reached the top of my 6ft wigwam and the pods are forming well, you can just see the mottled red/green colour starting.
The Coxs Orange Pippins are looking good too, the tree is laden with sweet apples.
This heritage variety 'Woodbrook Pippin' has 3 apples, last year we got just one! So hopefully its now happy in its new location.
I just love these Echinops, the bees love them too when in flower, like this one. 
The blue colour is stunning.
So I managed 3 hours today, between the showers, the sun came out and it was lovely, but the sky went very grey and it rained soon after I arrived home to make my dinner.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian (& Jo on holiday)

Monday, 22 July 2019

Day after Open Day

 Sunday was our annual Open day when we open our gates to the public, have stalls selling Fruit, Veg, Jam & Cakes, we have a Tombola, Raffle and cook food on site, its a great fund raiser for our society. A local radio station did the music for us as it is our centenary year.
 So I got busy neatening up our plot, cut the grass and pulled up loads of weeds. 
I dug over this patch, removed mainly grass and some persistant weeds! It's now ready for some winter crops, like Kale, Spinach & Onions.
We had lots of visitors, as all plots did, folk loved all the flowers we grow, especially the Poppies & Lavender.
Today, Monday, I returned to finish off some digging & harvested all this, another bumper harvest.
Potatoes, Cauliflower, Courgettes, Kale, Peas, Broad Beans, Blackberries & Sweet Peas too.
I displayed the Canada flag for open day, we have Canadians in our family so was very appropriate.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 14 July 2019

A mega harvest today !

 Such a lovely day to get busy. This end of the plot is a haven for Bees with all the flowers we grow, in fact flowers feature all over our plot. 
I was busy at the other end clearing lots of weeds and getting to the Damson so I could remove all leafcurl diseased branches, which we burnt.
This is the Goosberry bush, sadly it has suffered from swordfly attack. 
So we decided to harvest all the fruit and freeze it, so we can decide what to do with it later.
So here is the final crop, approx 9lb.   
Although we have already harvested some, Jo added a handful to Jumbleberry Jam she made, I'm hoping to make wine with some and even expriment with adding other fruit for wine too.
So time to dig up more early potatoes, these are Foremost and very tasy they are too.
 These are Pentland Javelin, also a nice early potato.
 These are our favorite, Charlotte. 
They are a waxy 2nd early but have a lovely flavour and cook really well.
Jo's been busy!
A trug full of Peas, Broad Beans & some French Beans too,
Here is the Cougette patch , there is Beetroot too & in the back the Leeks I put in a few weeks ago. 
So a bountiful harvest today: Cauliflowers, Potatoes, Peas, Beans, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Raspberries, Strawberries, Beetroot, Gooseberries & Sweet Pea flowers.
Yes a lovely day, we got lots done, weeding & harvesting. We had Cauliflower cheese, with New Potatoes, Peas & Beans for dinner tonight, only harvested this afternoon & very tasty it was too.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.