I agree with the opinion that working in the garden or just being outside amongst the greenery is beneficial for us. I think that it must be many times better than medication for depression – only for a reasonably fit person though. No point slaving in the garden and damaging the body, that is not going to improve one’s mental state. However in my case this is a win-win situation. I don’t want to say that I suffer from depression but just being on the allotment like today is a tonic – and it gets a lot done.
Another lovely day dawned so I went down the farm. First did a bit of bramble cutting down – trying to help Dave to clear a neglected plot that hasn’t been visited in months even though the rent is paid up. We’ll get there I’m sure.
Then it was to start some serious digging. The area wasn’t overgrown but just needed going over and tidying up.
Again the ground was nice and soft, quite easy to work. All the same I had a few buckets of weeds and quite a few rogue potatoes. I’m always very careful when I’m harvesting them but a few always escape.
After about 2 hours I have transformed the square of land and it can now wait for the spring to start growing again. It will be sweetcorn I think, it did very well and we love it. You can’t beat a freshly harvested cob, steamed with just a drizzle of butter….
The plan for today was to do more weeding in two of my net cages where I planted the blackcurrants. First of all I had to follow the usual routine – open all my greenhouses and then start working. I had a very pleasant surprise in one of them – my very first red tomato.
The cucumber and radishes were in another greenhouse but I had to pick them to add to our evening green salad. I still have some lettuce in the greenhouse, one is more than enough for the two of us.
My plan for tomorrow’s lunch is new potatoes, broccoli and oven baked fish. The potatoes are very tasty and they were nothing special, just what we had left from last year’s harvest.
I will certainly grow the broccoli again next year, this is the third picking – the little rosettes grow quite fast and soon are ready to harvest.
Of course there were more raspberries, I only picked this one box. I haven’t got any sugar to make jam, this will be just for us two to have as a desert.
I am amazed how many raspberries I have this year, I’m sure this is thanks to the bees we have on the allotment now, thanks to Mary and Wayne.
Only one more week and we shall have the summer solstice – where is the time gone??
After the brief heat wave we had some rain yesterday and I was very glad, because not only the vegetables liked it but the weeds did too, even more. Today in the morning I had another weeding session in the same place that I did not too long ago. On the positive note though I was able to harvest my very first broccoli and enough new potatoes to have for lunch tomorrow.
This is my first time growing broccoli, I grew the plants from seed and they all look very healthy. The potatoes were just some that my friend had from last year, he didn’t have any more space to plant them so I gave them a good home on my plot. I’m looking forward to our lunch tomorrow.
The weather was very good today, just the right temperature for a bit of strenuous digging and potato planting. I didn’t want to plant too many so in the end we have six lines on one plot and two on another one. I think that should be just about enough, we’ve got some very early potatoes in pots in the back garden as well.
It was quite a lot to do and I decided to dig all the trenches first. All I had to do then was to sprinkle in some fertiliser – I’m using a mix of chicken manure pellets and fish, blood and bone. One trench takes 15 potatoes, that gives them enough space to give me some decent sized potatoes. We have a variety from first earlies to main season ones so if all else fails we should have spuds!
My plan is working – I went to the allotment in the afternoon – other jobs got in the way, otherwise it would have been in the morning and planted a few rows of potatoes. The first ones were on Irene’s plot, in the area I cleared the other day.
I had more chitted potatoes that were from my own harvest so I started planted them on one of my plots.
I’m not going to hurry with the planting, I’m still not sure what the weather will do in the next few weeks.
It was a tidy up morning on the allotment – carefully hoeing between the garlic plants and then getting some remaining leeks out of the ground to take home with more potatoes – the result is slowly cooking now. I like leek and potato soup. There are still a few leeks in the ground but I’m not in any hurry to get them out, they’re not in the way.
My friend Dave gave me some chitted potatoes from his own harvest and I had just enough space to create two rows beside one of my net cages. Hopefully we shall have some nice and tasty early potatoes.
The ground is quite rich there, I had a couple of sacks of the contents of my compost so that should help. It is an encouraging sight to have two lines of newly planted potatoes. I’m going to take it slowly, the soil is still rather cold, no need to hurry with sowing parsnips or carrots, I’d rather wait, they’ll soon catch up, otherwise they could rot in the cold and wet soil.
The storm Eunice certainly stopped all work on the allotment. Even without the heavy rain I wouldn’t have been able to get there, it was blowing a gale. I wanted to go and just check the state of the greenhouses but I’m afraid the weather didn’t let me. Today in the morning was the first time I walked there, I needed some of the rescued soil from the canabis farm. I was very pleasantly surprised that all my four greenhouses were completely unharmed, in fact nobody on the site suffered any damage. Just as well we had the broken post in the fence repaired, it could have collapsed altogether. I collected a sack of the compost and on my wheelbarrow got it home. No need to buy compost from a garden centre when I have this. I have four more of the sacks there so I will bring them home as I’ll need them.
The canabis factory clearance also gave me a lot of large pots and saucers, I’m using these for growing very early potatoes. I planted some Sharpes Express potatoes in some of the pots and in the rest I put sprouted supermarket potatoes that my friend gave me. I’ve done that in the past and it worked. Waste not want not……
The next job was another indoor one – some baking. I have been baking my own bread for years now and again today was a perfect day for it. In the end I have two loaves of nice seeded bread and two brioches.
I knew it was just about time to start harvesting my potatoes. Every now and then I picked a few and they were very tasty. I don’t know the variety because this year I didn’t bother buying seed potatoes, instead of that I saved quite a few from my last year’s harvest. Also I thought that I didn’t grow enough – we didn’t last as usual to the first new ones so I planted more rows.
Well, if today’s harvest is anything to go by we shall have enough!
It was a lovely sunny day today so I started nice and early. During the morning I managed to lift the potatoes from three rows and after dinner from another three. They came out dry, not too much soil sticking to them. I had some paper sacks saved from last year and managed to fill four of them. It is a mix of white and red potatoes but as I said, all were our own from last year’s harvest. In the end I have filled four sacks, each containing 12,5 kilo. So far so good, this is only the start. There are about seven more rows. I don’t think we shall go short this year but as I hear on the radio some supermarkets find it difficult to get vegetables delivered.
Should I offer to fill the empty shelves?
The weather has greatly improved today and the forecast is even better for tomorrow; I decided to plant the potatoes. This year I’m just using my own, I chitted quite a lot of them. Not sure why but our potatoes are all gone, normally we manage to last from one harvest to another. Not this year, I shall have to buy some later.
The ground was ready, I just had to get the furrows ready. One half of the job was done in the morning, then home for lunch and bake the sourdough loaf that was rising in the kitchen and after that back to the allotment to finish the job.
I’m delighted to say that all the potatoes are in the ground, I have nine rows this year. That should give me a decent harvest.
I had so many tomato seedlings I had to put them not only in the greenhouses but outside as well. To my surprise and pleasure the outside ones are doing ever so well. I’m bottling oven roasted ones, making them into sauce and bottling them as well, the possibilities are endless. At the same time I am also using them in making tasty lunches – in combination with courgettes.
These monsters are tomatoes beefsteak, very firm, fleshy and very tasty.
The plot keeps giving, I am amazed every time I start harvesting.
The carrots are the very first ones and we had them steamed today as part of our lunch. Same with the potatoes and with that a piece of fish each, done in the oven very simply in foil with a drop of olive oil.
Very tasty indeed.