DECEMBER

I thought it was just about time to make some more strawberry jam – yes, in the middle of December. As we have had such hot summer I decided to freeze quite a lot of my fruit harvest – strawberries, raspberries and all different types of currants. I did make some jam using the freshly picked fruit but the rest was carefully weighed, labeled and frozen. Yesterday’s job was very easy, just selected enough frozen strawberries (2 kilo), got the sugar ready, lemon juice and a bottle of Certo and after defrosting the fruit and a short cooking time…

20181210_122837

It is not just edibles that are making me happy. My two Christmas cacti are looking their very best this year!

 

WINTER DIG

After a few days of rain today was a reasonably dry day. Quite a mild day so after sorting the kitchen out – as quickly as possible – I went to the allotment. I managed to do quite a bit of digging during the autumn and there are only a few patches left. I’m happy with the piece I did today, during this found a good few parsnips and now the ground is ready.

There’s only one net cage to sort out and gradually harvest the remaining parsnips and I’m ready.

Of course, there is the greenhouse to build – a winter challenge. Watch this space!

CARROTS

At last!! I am now convinced that the seeds I have used this year are the best – Flakkee. I know it is not perfect but I am happy with it.

20181129_154743

All of 974g!

I have got a good supply of the seeds ready for next year..

Watch this space.

ALL FINISHED

I put the finishing touches to my new orchard, created small paths between the rows of trees, put grease bands round their trunks and tidied the whole area.

I will grow pumpkins and courgettes in the soil around them so every bit of land will be used. Can’t wait!

 

My new trees are:

Warwickshire Drooper – plum

May Queen and Charles Ross – apples

Louise Bonne of Jersey – pear

 

STARTING AN ORCHARD

I have decided to plant more fruit trees. I have got enough land for growing vegetables so the next sensible thing to do is to plant some fruit trees. I have got a few there already so I had this pleasant task to choose some more. In the end I selected two nurseries, Ashridge nursery and Walcott organic nursery. I am delighted with my new trees. Both nurseries kept me informed about delivery dates and today was the day – both orders came very soon one after another. I had everything ready and as I write all the trees are already in their new home.

Not only do I have now two apple trees, a pear and a plum tree but also another fig tree. Only a small one but from experience I know they grow fast.

I have a large old (about 30 years) fig tree in the back garden and all the other ones are cutting from it. I thin it out every year in February and push some of the branches in soil – at least one roots. Consequently I have four fig trees on the allotment, one of them quite large and I had quite a lot of fruit from it.

TIME TO MOVE

I planted a couple of fruit trees on my allotment a few years ago – in the wrong place. I can see it now, the spot is too dark, very close to a fence. Now is time to move them and I have got just the correct spots for them. They will be reasonably near to a few other fruit trees I have.

 

It was easier than I thought.

I am happy.

MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK

I had a call from my friend as she was working on the allotment – there is a pile of wood chippings here by the front gate. As soon as I got home, after a light lunch myself and Frank went there and between the three of us we shifted it. Used some of it to finish Irene’s path, put some on another path and the rest is in a heap to be used as and when.

 

Great job done!

MAINTENANCE CONTINUES

I thought that the load of wood chippings would last for a long time. How wrong was I!

After doing the main path on the allotment I started on another one, this time between one of my plots and my friend’s. This path wasn’t very good – our site is on a slope and some paths tend to become uneven, one side much higher than the other. In the end it was quite simple – I managed to shave off the higher side, turned the turf upside down and filled the lower side. Then the whole path got covered with the beautiful wood chippings. Immediate improvement!

20181019_155021

 

SCENTED RECYCLING

It is true when we say – it is not what you know but who you know. As it happens I know a guy who is a tree surgeon and he has some wood chips from time to time. Tuesday was the day he brought a truck-load of it to the allotment gates and myself and Frank worked ever so hard to transfer it to the right places.