Sunday 25 August 2013

Bank Holiday Weekend

Due to an other task that has kept me busy all week, only a quick trip to the Allotment was allowed today.

Here you can see the Peppers in the greenhouse, I have added a tape measure in the pic so you can see how long the biggest one is, they are supposed to turn Red before picking so could get even longer! (currently 8" long).

Still in the greenhouse, here are the Alicante Tomatoes, lovely and juicy sweet too. We have other varieties growing and have been harvesting them regularly, very nice in a sandwich, salad or on a Pizza :)
So we are at the end of August and the Rhubarb is still standing tall, you are not supposed to take any after the end of July, when it starts to die down, but as you can see its in full growth, another sign of the late growing season?
This year we tried a new veg 'Cucamelons' and here is the 1st proper harvest.
The description tells us they are similar in taste to Cucumber with a hint of citrus, each fruit is about the size of a large Grape and grow on long trailing vines similar to cucumbers. They taste as described too, nice just tossed in a salad.
Now that the Onions are fully dry, dried at home on a makeshift Onion drier (a clothes drying rack). I followed the instructions in the August copy of Kitchen Garden on how to string them up and they turned out fine. Stuttgarter White on left, Red Cross on the right.
The Sweetcorn is going from strength to strength still not ready to eat but wont be long, we planted two lots a few weeks apart so the ones in the foreground wont be ready for a while, the ones further back much sooner.

Sorry no end of month video, but as I said been rather busy this week. Planning to spend more time on the Allotment next week, so watch this space.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.

Sunday 18 August 2013

Eat what we grow week.

First job to do today, tidy up the Strawberries, as they have finished fruiting and peg down into pots all the runners, to make new plants. We aren't planning to replace any of our plants yet, but will sell these new plants in forthcoming plant sales etc.
This patch was where the Beetroot were growing, quite alot of it has been harvested, some for Chutney, some to eat and 3Lb I am making wine out of. There are still 12 left in the ground, maybe for more Chutney.
But in the space I have put 36 Musselburgh Leeks, each leek that we started off in seed cells, was dropped into a 4" deep hole made with a 'dibber' each one 8" apart from the next, then watered in well. 
Because we were away for a weeks holiday, our Chickens had not had a trip out to the Allotment for a while, so today, as you can see they came, here they are scratching around the Strawberries that we have cleared & potted the runners from. You can only see Flo & Matilda here, Freda & Maud were both dust bathing amongst the Raspberries!  
You may be wondering why I titled this weeks Blog 'Eat what we grow week' Well we have set ourselves a challenge, to only eat what we grow/produce, exceptions are Milk & Juice,we can even make our own Bread. 
So a good start: Runner Beans, French Beans, Broad Beans, Spinach, Potatoes, Tomatoes and some mixed fruit: Blackberries & Blueberries.
Update: Tonight's dinner was Spinach Rice, followed with Summer Pudding made from mixed berries harvested during the week.

The Marigold Flowers are for some soap my Wife is making, only the petals are needed. The Sweet Peas are for decoration :)
Other jobs done:
Cleared the Raspberry canes that have finished. 
Weeded around the remaining Beetroot. 
Placed boards under Squashes & Pumpkins, so they don't rot on the soil (straw will do, but can still get soggy if it rains). 
Weeded the Greenhouse.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.

Sunday 11 August 2013

Catchup weekend (part two) Sunday

Where I dug up the Onions yesterday I planned to plant some more Potatoes for winter harvesting. 
The variety I chose is 'Ulster Classic' it's an early variety but said to be a good all rounder, having fluffy flesh, so Boils, Bakes & does Chips so ideal for us. 
Can be planted early or late as in this case.
As it's an early variety, I planted the seed potatoes 12" apart in a trench, each trench 24" between. Before placing the tubers in the trench I watered it well with Comfrey Tea added and sprinkled some Chicken Pellet manure over the soil to be back filled. I planted 28 tubers (7 per trench) so hopefully will have New Potatoes for Xmas Dinner! 
But planting this late will mean an attack of Blight will be minimal, even non existent. 
Despite forecast of rain, there were a few showers in the morning, I risked it and was greeted with full sunshine, the Birds were in full song & the Bees buzzing, if you can see my up-cycled bottle windsock (click on the photo to see a large version)  you can see the wind was blowing though, but still warm enough for a t-shirt only (pants a must).

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.

Saturday 10 August 2013

Catchup weekend (part one) Saturday

So after a week away on holiday in Gloucestershire, I return to a task we planned for this weekend. To lift all the remaining Onions, 'Red Cross' and 'Stuttgarter' not a bad harvest, I checked the weight of the 'Radar' White Onions I lifted a few weeks ago, now they are fully dry, they weigh 8.5 Lb (4 kg) !    
After digging all the Onions up, I then dug over the patch removing as many weeds as I could, then dug in 2 bags of well rotted manure, that has been kept in sacks since getting from the local stables a few months ago, so perfect for digging in now.
The other job to do was to dig up some more Beetroot, my wife is making an Orange & Beetroot Chutney/Relish and these look just ready for that recipe. As you probably know we have dug up some already, so know they are going to be good for Chutney.
Top Tip: 
This is the patch where the Beetroot have been dug from, it's best to dig over any site you have just harvested from to loosen & aerate the soil so perennial weeds don't get a hold which will be harder to remove later.
So the next job to do, a rather pleasurable one, was to have a Bonfire and burn all those weeds! I will be back tomorrow, to plant something in the patch the Onions were, so check back and see what.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.