Allotment noob is 2!
The dark-side of allotments…
It has been a very long time since I blogged about the allotment! Much has gone on but generally too dark by the time I have finished to take any photos!
Latest news on site: Burglaries! Yes unfortunately though having a shed is convenient, it is also tempting and vulnerable to be stolen! Loads of sheds have been cleared… In some cases leaving people with no option but to give-up their plots! This has unfortunately not been the first time for some plot holders, and is the final nail in the coffin, not being able to afford to replace all the stolen equipment to continue.
Very sad times!
I have been up to our plot to take a look, thankfully the lock has been smashed/cut from the shed door but nothing taken!? Very odd!
My shed is now open! If any plot holders who have had their stuff stolen need any tools! Help yourself, just clean and pop them back when you are done!
First full season on our latest plot. Going to start trying to take a leaving photo, every time I am up there in the hope to get a better time-lapse style photo! (easier said than done!)…
But this is a few of the plotshots put together into a montage…
CANT WAIT TO GIVE THIS A TRY!
I’ve still got a couple of marrows (summer squash) sitting in my garage so we’re having one for dinner. You could just top this with grated cheese, but Welsh rarebit is much better. For those of you outside the UK, the beer in the recipe is proper, dark bitter beer, not weedy Budweiser. This is less of a recipe, more like some suggestions, so quantities are up to you.
To stuff one large marrow you will need:
- Brown short grain rice, cooked in vegetable stock with a couple of bay leaves
- A small onion, finely chopped
- Half a pound of mushrooms, finely chopped
- Pine nuts
- Parsley, finely chopped
For the Welsh rarebit topping:
- Grated cheese, Cheddar or Caerphilly
- A spoonful of wholegrain mustard
- Enough beer (or milk) to moisten the mixture
Cut the marrow in half lengthways and scoop out the fibrous core and seeds. Place in a baking dish with a little water in the bottom and bake at a medium heat for about half an hour until the marrow is beginning to soften.
Fry the onions in a little olive oil until soft, add the mushrooms and cook for a further five minutes. Mix into the cooked rice and add the pine nuts and parsley with some black pepper.
Fill the cavities in the marrow halves and pile the rest of the mixture on top. Spread the rarebit mixture along the top of the rice. Bake in a medium oven for about 20 minutes until the rarebit is bubbling and golden on top. Serve with tomato sauce.
You could include some wild rice in with the brown or use red Camargue rice. It needs to be short grain rice as this is a bit sticky when cooked and so works better as a filling.
Haven’t managed to get up to the allotment in a while, either weather has been atrocious or we have had stuff on, or the kids have been snotty… Etc…
Anyway, managed to get a good 6 hours in up there today (kids are at the grandparents!) and managed to do the following jobs;
- Cleared the nettles at the back of the greenhouse.
- Sorted/cleared out all the greenhouses and the shed.
- Demolish one rotten raised bed and fixed another.
- Re-felted the roof of the shed on one side.
- Fitted new plastic into the window for the shed.
- Turned the compost bins.
- Picked the apples and collected a couple of butternut squashes for soup tomorrow.
- Took the two old patio doors to the skip.
- Took 3 wheelbarrow loads to the skip.
- Put up the tables in the greenhouse.
- Cut the grassy paths and edges of the paths.
- Dug over a tiny bit.
… and left when it was pitch black!
Going to clear and then borrow my wife’s grandad’s mantis and till it all over read for winter.
(Got some over wintering onions that need to onion ASAP too!
Bad photo but was pleased with my first ever sweet pepper and Aubergine and orange chillies! Cooked them all up with an allotment onion, garlic and threw in a load of tomatoes from out of the greenhouse! This is now what we call **PASTA WITH ALLOTMENT SAUCE** delicious!
Pumpkins, squash, marrows and more…
Well I guess I started clearing today with Juno. A couple of hours at the plot gave us enough time to dig up 3/4 row of our Maris Piper main crop… Disappointing as they have a bit of scab on them! Will try Sante maybe next year as recommended by Brian on another plot!
We then harvested all of the earliest planted pumpkins and squashes, of which the plants were dying… These can all be seen in pic 1…
Pic 2 shows Juno sat next to the biggest pumpkin on our plot! I have cut away done of the foliage to expose it to the sun so hopefully they will ripen up a bit before too long!
Dug over where the squash and pumpkin were, took down the canes for the peas, put a couple of new panes of glass in the little greenhouse, washed and set out the pumpkins and squashes to cure for a bit! Lovely autumn day spending some quality time with my daughter!
Not many posts as I have been too buy working or eating all this amazing food on the allotment!
Looking forward to the pumpkins that are ripening in our patch!
The first 5 gardeners delight to make it home!!
Couple of beds dug and a path started!
Things are growing nicely:
Sweetcorn! (Best we have ever done!)
Pumpkin/ butternut squash
Some outside tomatoes (doing better than the greenhouse ones!!!)
And more pumpkins!
Also got (not pictured)
Climbing French beans, had 2 lots of these on the trot! So nice!
Some spaghetti squash ripening nicely!
Still loads of main crop potatoes, yet to be dug up!
Drying a load of onions!
Leeks are doing well
Red cabbage is doing well
Purple sprouting broccoli although went to flower, is now producing a small crop of new stems! Harvested the first marrow! It was too heavy for dexter to carry! Going to stuff it tomorrow!
Next year we need a bigger pumpkin patch! They are so much fun to grow!
“ Christmas spuds are in! ”
Had tea on the plot tonight! After a busy day! Cola harvested. Load of black currants and I tied up the tomatoes and planted the Christmas spuds my mum gave me (Charlotte potatoes?) well, we’ll see if I can get any new potatoes for Christmas!
Creepy crawlies and bee stings!
Good day harvesting again with the family! After pulling all the broadbeans, we needed somewhere to compost the stems etc, so I decided to get turning some compost over in the three-section pallet composter! I was temped to dig some out and spread it, but remember from experience that if you do it too early it can just sprout a whole host if seeds onto the plot and quickly form a carpet!
When doing so I disturbed what I think is a bumble-bee nest in between the pallets! (One bee photographed) decided to leave anymore turning to minimise the disruption! Showed the kids they were interested but a bit nervous!
The horseradish has gone mad! I tried to dig it up last year, but obviously didn’t do a very good job! An I turned 1.5kg of shallots into balsamic pickled shallots! Yum!
However later, Dexter (1.5years old) decided he’d try to catch a bee on the oregano flowers, and unfortunately the bee sting him! A kiss and a cuddle and he was soon better, even though his finger was a bit swollen! Poor little dude! Whilst his sister enjoyed holding all the non-stinging insects
What it is with blokes, we just har to learn the hard way!
Like others we came back off holiday to find everything on our plot had gone WILD! After a bit of tidying today and more importantly harvesting, it is starting to look better!
French beans have grown a lot but only have a few flowers on, peas need picking, broadbeans all need pulling! Onions and shallots are ready for drying! Squashes have gone insane! Butternuts are coming, pumpkins are plumping! Red gooseberries look amazing, taste good too raw! It’s looking good! But as I start to harvest more and more, I’m now honking about what I can sow and plant now! Exciting times! Think a morning with an allotment book is in order! ;-) but with kids is wishful thinking!
Had a lovely weekend, and needed to get up to the allotment as apposed to sitting and relaxing in the garden with a beer…
So up to the allotment, stopping at the chippy, for an allotment tea!
My wife cola (pictured) got cracking with some weeding and then planting the extra pumpkin (hundred weight) with the kids! who had lots of fun watering them and us in!
As I prepped the leek rows (so dry!) pre-watered the trench then popped the holes in! 2 rows, one of each variety, I can’t remember now which ones mum sent us!?
We also had some Halloween pumpkins (unwins) - nearest path. the last 2 nearest the greenhouse were Patty Pan squash, and the two on their own are honey bear squash.
These have been in the greenhouse far too long! Hence the yellowness and they were very pot bound! I wonder if they will crop at all? Anyway, not got much else to put in! So might as well!
Everything else seems to be doing well! Removed the netting from the broccoli and cola weeded them! She got half-way through the broad beans as well!
Final plot shot just before I left!
Getting late, warm, kids knackered and so are we!
Watered, but after the hot weekend and going up to Scotland meant that most plants have dried up and are nearly dead! Damn it!
On the plus side, had a tea that was all allotment-grown except the quorn sausages of course! (Baby-beets that I thinned out, broadbeans, potatoes, one of the onions and broccoli: splash of balsamic! YUM YUM!)
So many delicious strawberries too! Kids have gone mad for them!