Sunday, 28 August 2016

Summer Allotment news and Chicken news too.

In the greenhouse our Peppers are doing well, these Hungarian Hot Wax ones are cropping well, we entered one in a local 'Show your own' show and came 3rd in the 'any other veg' category.
This end of the plot looks overgrown, but in fact its the pond, where we have lots of Frogs living, so we don't want to disturb them. 
But the Purple Bean tower is still producing lots of beans. 
Our Cox's Orange Pippin apples are looking so good, the trees are laden with fruit. 
We wont harvest just yet, as they need to get bigger & sweeter.
1st test dig of the Cara potatoes and they are fine, no sign of any damage/disease, well they are quite resistant to most things. 
They are very tasty too as jackets & chips. 
The Sweetcorn is ripening well, the dwarf variety we grew has been attacked, by Squirrels we think,  see below to see what we did harvest. 
I'm calling this our award winning bean tower, the Borlotti Beans. 
I entered 6 beans into the 'Show your own' show and we got 1st, we also got 2nd place for our Raspberries, a Vase of Flowers & Blackcurrant Jelly, a good result all round.
As I've now dug up a row of Charlotte potatoes, we have sown a row of Lettuce as the weather is still warm, they will grow quick and it fills up an empty space too.
Today's Harvest: 
& Sweet Peas too. 
Oh and a bag full of mixed beans: 
Yellow & Green Climbing French Beans 
& Purple Beans.

There is some rainbow Chard in there too

So after a dull start the sun came out and it was a lovely day to do all that harvesting, digging & weeding. We also pruned back the early Raspberries and tidied them up. 

Oh and the Chicken news, click on the video below: 

Thanks for reading/returning. Jo & Ian

Sunday, 21 August 2016

What do we find on our return from Holiday ...................

Back from our holiday in Vancouver, Canada. 

So only harvesting today, but can you see the bee in this Squash flower ? 
Its lovely to still see them buzzing around.
Today's Harvest: 
Purple Beans,
& Runner Beans.

More harvesting: 
Rainbow Chard, 
& a Marrow! (overgrown Courgette).
We also dug up some Harlequin & Charlotte potatoes for dinner.
Another overgrown Courgette, about the size of a football! 

So will feed this to our Hens, cut up of course.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Massive fruit harvest and some veg

Well as the title suggests we did get some weighty fruit crops this year.

Here are the Redcurrants (9lb 8oz). 

There will be lots of jam, jelly and maybe some wine too made from this lot.
The final crop from just one Gooseberry bush, this lot weighs 15lb 11oz. 

But we did take some last months as a thinning harvest, making the total weight around 22lb!
So all this picked before lunch: 
Broad Beans. 

The Broad beans have finished now, so we put all the foliage in the compost bin.
I say before lunch, well the rain had been on & off all morning, but by lunchtime it was raining hard. So we left to get some lunch at home.
I returned after lunch when the rain had stopped, again. 

I managed to harvest the last of the Blackcurrants (5lb, total harvest 10lb 8oz). 

Also some Dwarf French beans, Charlotte potatoes and a Beetroot too.
Well just a light shower in the afternoon, but didn't stop me. 

In a week our Allotment site has its open day, so still a bit of tidying up to do.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Such a hot day today & its getting warmer!

Yes such a hot sunny day, so we had to take care and get in the shade often, good excuse for a cup of tea too. 

Lots of flowers for the bees, we have plenty all around our plot and the Bees were definitely in evidence.  
The Courgettes still producing like crazy, long & round varieties. 

We had lasagne for dinner to use some up. 
Been tidying up the edges of the pond, there was a massive Comfrey growing there, now its gone its opened up the pond. 

We cleared some of the pond weed too, it needs clearing regularly at this time of the year.
So one pond resident appreciated the hard work clearing the pond edges.
Redcurrants almost ready to harvest. 
We have already had lots of Blackcurrants, jam, jam & more jam. 
Just love our Lavender boxes, the Bees love them too. 

Just need to cut the grass path again, by hand with shears, as my strimmer is still not fixed, the part has been ordered but won't arrive until Aug 1st!
Today's Harvest:
French Beans, 
Broad Beans, 
& Sweetpeas.
Our Allotment site is having its annual Open Day soon, so I'm getting it neat & tidy. 
We are hoping for good weather, but whatever happens the open day will happen. So we are hoping for a record breaking year this year. 
Our hens will be attending too.

Last year was wet and miserable but lots still came & it was a great success.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Weeding, Harvesting on our 2nd place plot

 Well the purple climbing french beans have reached the top of the wig-wam, so I've nipped off the growing tips, so all the growth now goes into forming the fruit. 

Flowers are forming, so wont be long.
The Shiraz mange-tout peas are coming fast now. 
We have already had some with our dinner, just steamed over the pot with Charlotte potatoes boiling beneath.
This wig -wam with the Borlotti beans have also reached the top, so their growing tips have been nipped off too.
Plenty of Peas coming now, the frames I made have worked a treat. 
We have had some and they are super sweet.
Sweetcorn all weeded again, getting taller day by day.

I had to cut all the halums off the early spuds, as 'blight' seemed to have taken hold, I did a test dig and most were OK. 

Luckily these Cara potatoes have some resistance to 'blight' and are looking good.
The Redcurrants are ripening fast, we have already harvested the Blackcurrants (see below). 

Wont be long before we can harvest these.
Today's Harvest: 
Blackcurrants (5.5 lb),
Gooseberries (2.25 lb),
Raspberries (1 lb),
Mixed berries (6oz)
3x Courgettes. 

During the week we also picked more Raspberries, Strawberries & Loganberries.
If you remember last week, we were busy getting our plot tidy for the judging on Tuesday, well we had the good news we came 2nd, in the local Lily Jones Cup, wont know the result from the Wirral judges for a month.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

The weekend before the competition.

Well as the title says, its the w/e before the competition judging.

So we have been busy tidying up the plot, biggest job to cut the grass path, my petrol strimmer won't work and needs a part, so I had to do it all by hand with shears!

I'm so tired after doing it I'm celebrating with a bottle of last years Rhubarb wine :)
Parsnips, Carrots & Garlic patch nicely weeded. The Broad Beans to the right are cropping well, see below.
The Sweetcorn patch looking good, both plantings staggered to give a follow on crop.
These Peas are tightly packed in the pod and so sweet, cant get any fresher than picked & cooked within an hour. 
But even fresher eaten raw straight from the pod, like I did :)
The early Raspberries still cropping well, the mid season ones are ripening now, then the autumn cropping ones to follow.
Gooseberries almost ready to pick, will leave them one more week I think.
The apples are looking good too, these Cox's Orange Pippins will be super sweet when they are ready. 
Can't wait, it will be the best crop yet from the trees we put in 3 years ago.
Love the colour combination of Cornflowers & Calendula, just a few of the Bee friendly flowers we grow.
The Cara potatoes doing well, now at waist height & almost all in flower. 
The Harlequin are also growing well and a few in flower too.
Today's Harvest: 
Broad Beans, 
Rhubarb (4.5 lb), 
Raspberries (1lb 10oz), 
Strawberries (12oz), 
Potatoes, Lady Christl (7lb).
So another busy day, the sun was out & it was lovely, lots to do & harvest too. 
We were there for 6 hours and had a pic-nic lunch.

Judging is on Tuesday, so just one more day to check its all neat & tidy.
And to finish with, 3 Frogs on the edge of the pond, we've also seen some very small Frogs, must be from this years tadpoles, so lovely to see they are staying around and I don't blame them, having such a lovely pond to live in.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.