We love potatoes, they are the earth's buried treasure, there is nothing quite so satisfying as turning over a forkfull of soil to find, who knows what? The boys have taken the job of digging them up as their own and mutiny when I suggest we limit ourselves to just one row at a time. This ungency has it's advantages though as space is still at a premium. Today I planted pak choi, beetroot, onions (too late?) and four, yes count them, four brussel spout plants. Only another 56 brassic plants to find room for then - and that's not counting the lacey ones which I fear will go straight to the compost, without passing go.
Rather a lot of weeds in the background again - honestly I do try.
The local town made the news this evening. Apparently we have had 170mm of rain today, although it all seemed to be in one shower around lunchtime. We went up to the allotment first thing and did our harvesting so while the rain fell we had a surprising amount of fun plaiting our onions, shallots, garlic and my hair, although not together. These are the shallots that I am saving for next year.
The plants I had put in the paddling pool so I didn't have to water them whilst I was away in the week have had to be rescued. Their pots were entirely under water, the plants were all trying to snorkel. The wormery also had to be rescued as the worms were having to swim, hopefully they will recover - I feel very responsible for them.
One of the least sucessful things this year (apart from carrots) have been my brassica seedlings which grew well and then suffered from terminal neglect. They have become lace curtain like this week and the boys spent a happy 10 minutes relocating caterpillars around the garden. I will try to salvage something when things dry out a little.
Mornings are usually a chaos of people needing to get somewhere quickly and small boys climbing into my bed at unearthly hours. This morning was different. Last night I took the small boys out to the opening ceremony of the special olympics. It was a late night for them. So this morning I woke up and went to the allotment, all the harvesting had been done yesterday so I weeded the strawberry bed, planted some lettuce, weeded the beans and still manged to get home in time for breakfast. Which was a lovely relaxed start to the day. Which makes a change.
I even had time to contemplate the dahlias, I'm quite proud of them, from a packet of mixed seed from Wilkos I have splashes of colour all over the allotment. Which is also good for lifting your spirits in the morning.
Here they are, the "peeps". We have been in charge this week as the neighbours are on their various holidays. So we get to look after the peeps, Peter the confused, and the Ladies who lunch. Boy the peeps are serious eating machines! Feeding twice a day, cleaning out every evening - and they don't even lay eggs. But they are undeniably cute, as most creatures are at three weeks old. I'm sure by the time the summer is over they will be being ushered from the kitchen with the broom like the rest..
Living near Leicester with its high Asian population, we love a good curry in these parts. The kids get fed curry at nursery and at school and my work canteen always has it as an option, but we had curry for dinner tonight. Hurrah for you, you might cry, but the point was it was made with love with stuff I grew. Garlic, from the allotment. Onions (I'm using up those that bolted) from the allotment. Corriander from the pot in the garden. Cauliflower, from the allotment. Courgette (one of those bad boys) from the allotment. Carrots - yes well as I've mentioned before they have always been my nemisis. Rice - looks like a crop for the future based on this weeks weather! We'll gloss over the cheats curry paste. You get the picture. I had four clean plates and it was so satisfying. Lots of chat, "This is the courgette I planted", "Did I dig this onion up?" and even "Isn't Mum clever Daddy?". (They all agreed I was). I'd give you the recipe but it was grab what's ready in the garden, cook until the broad beans are podded and in the freezer. Fix the rice and nan and serve.
Pigeons, don't you just hate them? Tonight I was planting kale where the onions used to be and all I could hear in the tree was a pigeon cooing. I swear he was calling his mates and saying, " Dinner's at my place lads - be ready about 9.30". Poor kale I will go and read it the last rites tommorrow evening.
Yes I know I could net but all the nets are in use and the plot is in danger of being mistaken for some kind of spider web.
Oh and while I'm on the subject - squirrels - leave the raspberries alone!
I've always had a passion for plants especially edible ones. We have a young family so it seemed the ideal time to get an allotment in rural Leicestershire and get them involved. We have a small half plot and aim to make it productive and fun. If I can do it you can too - get digging!