My plots were judged for the second time early in September, the usual in the city allotment competition. Now I can try and forget all about it as we won’t find out the result for some time. Today was one day that we didn’t have rain so I went down the allotment, just to see if there is anything else I could harvest. There always is!
My beetroot is just amazing – I can’t remember what I did to prepare the ground but it worked. This is certainly the best harvest I have had in all my years growing veg there.
Not just the beetroot, it is everything else – the last of the sweetcorn, runner beans, giant carrots and the best of all – raspberries! These are the autumn fruiting variety and they keep on giving.
Getting the second greenhouse certainly was worth it – another generous picking of tomatoes.
The weather was rather uncertain today so I got busy harvesting as much and as quickly as I could. Difficult to choose where to start as everything is doing so well. I must have done something right at the start of the year to get this kind of harvest – in just a few hours in the morning. Not only in the greenhouse in the back garden – the aubergines are amazing, the very first time for me.
They made a delicious aubergine parmiggiana. The allotment is producing huge amounts of beetroot, courgettes and other goodies – the fig tree there is only a few years old but has some tasty figs.
For the first time I have so many tomatoes I have been making tomato soup every few days.
It is rather busy now, everything seems to be ready almost at the same time. I wasn’t sure how well will my tomatoes or courgettes would do but I didn’t have to worry. All is doing very well and I started making jams, chutneys, soups… you name it and I make it.
Not only courgettes but beetroot, tomatoes, potatoes and all the soft fruit – the allotment is giving and continues to give.
At last! The weather seems fine – I know a change is coming and I hope it won’t be too great but I thought it was time to plant my potatoes.
The ground was prepared and it took just a few hours in the morning to get the job done.
I didn’t buy any seed potatoes, just used my own from last year. They were really tasty so I shall have them again this year.
Also I sowed a number of lines of beetroot, one half the usual round ones and the other one the long cylindrical ones. That’s just a start, I shall continue in a few days with more beetroot. You can’t have too many!
…is here again. Even though we didn’t have much rain my harvest was great. I kept picking courgettes all the time, then carrots started. Now tomatoes are something else – I haven’t had a harvest like this yet and all of them are growing outside, in net cages. Amazing. I made passata, tomato soup, bottled chopped tomatoes for the winter, you name it and I made it. Even though beetroot didn’t germinate very well, I am picking some great ones, my Asian pears are delicious.
My little greenhouse on the allotment is well worth the money – never had so many cucumbers!
For the first time I managed to grow aubergines – I have a couple of plants in the greenhouse in the back garden and I have fruit on them! For the first time.
One evening on a walk we saw some black grapes hanging over a fence, we picked some and the result is delicious jelly
The only downside of it all is that I don’t have enough hours in the day. I’m feeling my age too.
It looks like the spring is finally here and work on the farm is getting done – bit by bit.
Even though we had a lot of rain our site drains quite well – there are a few clay patches but on the whole all is fine. It was a pleasure to sow my seeds today – 2 lines each of beetroot Boltardy, Chioggia and Detroid 2 and also 2 lines of Salsify. This will be interesting as I’ve never grown this vegetable. One of my plots is finished.
Another plot has 7 lines of carrot Flakkee but some space remaining, yet one more plot has 7 lines of parsnips and a bit more space. All will be filled as soon as I can plant all my potatoes.
All seems to be growing well and I’m busy harvesting some fab vegetables. This must be the first year I managed to grow some decent carrots – I said that before, the variety is called Flakkee and I am delighted!
Not only carrots are doing well but also the beetroot – a mix of types, all very tasty.
The pigeons on our allotment are so desperate that they peck at anything, even lettuce seedlings! The only thing to do was to grow almost everything vulnerable in a net cage – garden peas for one. This is the first year I managed to pick a decent amount – only because I put them in one of my net cages.
…makes a delicious chutney. This year I managed to grow some decent-sized beetroot and as every year made some chutney. I’ve got tried and tested recipe by Nigella, it doesn’t go wrong and the result is just so.
I managed to harvest a lot of produce yesterday so today was to be a day at home, cooking.
I brought home a lot of courgettes, of course, some beetroot and another bag of little apples. I followed the advice of Bob Flowerdew who said – thin the apples on the branches, go and have a cope of tea and when you come back to the tree, thin some more. I did just that and the result was a full carrier bag of reasonable little green apples – perfect for making jelly.
I was reminded also yesterday morning by my friend that she just finished my jar of garlic jelly. I quite forgot that I made it last year so this glut of little apples was just on time.
I used the recipe for chilli jelly from my favourite book of preserves and use crushed garlic instead of chillies. The result is delicious.
The next on the list were the courgettes, apart from those I also picked some french beans and cauliflower, so I decided to make Piccalilli. This time the recipe is exactly as it appears in the book. Of course I had to start yesterday in the evening, soaking the veg in brine. It is quite a lengthy job but well worth it. Everybody says that my piccalilli is much better than the bought one.
It took a bit of organising to fit it all into one day; the courgette chutney needed to start with sprinkling the sliced courgettes with salt and draw the water out but as one lot was cooking the other was waiting to be rinsed and drained. Beetroot was cooked last night and peeled so all I had to do was to make the chutney. These two were made using the recipes I already used, they’re very popular so I didn’t see any reason to look for new ones.
All in all I made 26 jars of preserves, managed to run out of turmeric (fortunately a nearby corner shop sells it) and the hose smells like an oriental spice stall.