The best kind of meditation and relaxation for me is working on the allotment. I know to truly meditate I should sit still, close my eyes and empty my mind. Well, I do empty my mind when I’m working there, like today when I was tying all my tomato plants to their support sticks. It is not just a few tomatoes, I think I have close to 80 plants there (there are a few special ones in the greenhouse at home as well). This way I get the tedious job done and sort my head out – usually when I’m bothered about something.
I’ll have a little operation on my back on Friday so this is my way of getting ready. Nothing will need doing there, only watering all those tomato plants and I have friends there who will step in. I will return the favour when they need some help.
I have been picking rhubarb and making a very tasty compote using just the rhubarb and a couple of oranges. It needs just a small amount of sugar and after an overnight wait it is then very gently stewed in its own juice. I put it in Kilner jars and bottled it in a water bath. Great to have that ready for the winter.
I have also found a nice way of preserving strawberries. I decided not to make jam this year, I will use my other fruit for jam making, like raspberries, all the different currants, blackberries and gooseberries. The strawberries have such a delicate flavour and this way keeps it, like summer in a jar. It is very easy to bottle them, again using the Kilner jars. Fortunately I have a great supply of them.
I have got a number of rose bushes on the allotment, most of them were rescued from gardens that were being cleared or freebies from gardening magazines . They all flower beautifully and the scent is amazing. Of course I have grown some from cuttings and one lovely red peony again rescued from the front garden of Lisa’s brother as he was moving.
Of course there have to be a few rows of potatoes on every plot, these will keep us going in the winter. The same goes for climbing beans, I grow them every year.
As every year I have got a number of courgette and squash plants and the fruit they produce not only keeps well for quite a long time but can be used in a range of very tasty recipes.
I’m hoping they’ll climb up on the supports, it makes it easier to look after them, the fruit doesn’t get attacked by slugs and snails.
Thanks to the bees my fruit trees are laden, this little apple tree is a perfect example.
This is a variety called Elstar, which produces lovely tasty apples.