Sunday, September 17, 2006

Dandelions and onions.

Busy day's Sundays now the rugby season has started. Off to Shelford with my thirteen year old pet rhinoceros, it managed to drive an assistant coach some ten yards after hitting at high speed, the backup were left some distance behind. The friendly match of four quarters to test out teams was good, sunny weather and he got a try with seven assorted opposition hanging onto him.

On returning home and after mowing the back lawn, I took the dog to the allotment and found that all three new tenants of the old plot 14, now 14 a, b and c, were all hard at work.

Fettled the shed, took some tools home, brought back some dry readymix and set a bit of old dexion as a security post on the corner ready for when I install it. Nigel was halfway through 14a, Kate and friends were making a start on 14c, while Tracey and partner had just about finished 14b. So I offered to put the Howard 350 through the freshly weeded 14b, they accepted, so home empty shed to get 350 out the door, started first time and dug well. Partner impressed that I had done in ten minutes what had taken them days, however as I replied, if they had not done the days of weeding and breaking up the compaction then the 350 would not have done the mincing.

Put the 350 away and decided to put off potato lifting for another week, so dug up my garlic (planted very late) and spring onion sets. Very disappointed with the red onions, lots gone to flower. Also very annoyed that in harvesting the onions I also removed more by volume and possibly also weight of ruddy dandelions. Still thats another couple of rod weeded and cropped.

The rhino has taken on Worral-Thompson pretensions and had dug out our food processor from under the stairs in order to make home-made beef burgers, which he accompanied with spaghetti in tomato and pepper sauce, anyway I was rung and informed that "Dinner would be served at 6pm", missed by a few minutes as I had to put the onions from wheelbarrow onto wooden slatted trays and re-arrange the greenhouse staging to accommodate those.


Here is a photo of my Freecycle shed, before fettling.

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It has now got ;
a door attached with new hinges.
a sub-base of 3 by 2 tannalised timber.
a working padlock hasp.
a first fixing post at its destination.

Just need to see Albert before depositing it on his plot, or he'll think that someone is fly tipping and ask the council to tip it!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

In memoriam.

Last night it was six months since my beloved big sister died.

Be at peace Liz, we miss you.


It only worked.

Well, my faith in human nature has recieved a boost. My sweet talking worked, I went up to my plots last night and sitting on the empty bit of 18 was the shed.
Means I have a bit of work to do now, needs new door hinges and hasp for a padlock, then some treated 2"X2" timber to sit the metal on and secure to as well as cement some angle-iron in and secure to that too. A big thank you to all concerned. Hope Albert likes it.

Last night I also weighed my impromtu harvets with the following results.
Ten Crown Prince
Weights, 5kg, 4kg, 5kg, 4,5kg, 3.75kg, 4kg, 4.25 kg,5kg and 4.75kg, plus one I gave to Chris after he gave me a bundle of cuccumbers.

Six Vegetable spagetti
Weights, 3kg 2kg and four at 1kg each.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Rescue job.

One Peter and his dog went to mow an allotment path and found that two areas of their Squash patch had died and gone crispy. So while the dog got on with the mowing the Peter had to go and get a wheelbarrow for ten Crown Prince and half a dozen Vegetable Spaggetti. The rest of the patch is still lush and green and hiding the fruits from prying eyes, for the moment anyway.

There was a lovely layered mist lying over the site this morning when I went to catch my train, so I guess our frost pocket is living true to type.

Finished the main path and side paths for my plots and plot 14.

Saw Chris and reminded him of my offer of strawberries, showed him where to help himself from.

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

I'm not as idle as my posts may seem!

I have been doing quite a bit of allotment and garden related stuff, but not actual gardening.
I have been doing most of the Site Agents work for some time now, as the actual Site Agent has not been well. He has now given up ten of his fifteen rod's, plot 14 and retained the nice sunny 5 rod plot down by the park, unfortunately this means he is shedless on his plot.
Ian and I have been plotting and accumulating stuff so we can make him a shed, but a complete shed has come my way for free. Corrugated aluminium workmans shed, just missing the night watchman and his glowing brazier! Problem is, its is on the other side of town, too big for my trailer and would need dismantling or lifting over a four to five foot fence to get out of it's current garden. So I have two choices, sweettalk our lovely Landlord into doing their venerable Site Agent a little favour in recognition of his years of hard work and get their workmen to spend a brief hour with their corporate Transit van pickup, or dismantle it with father-in-law next weekend. Will go for both in that order.
Laine has given up 21a, not sure why, but there had been no movement since spring cultivation, no planting, so suggested to the council they contact her and she told them she was relinquishing it.
So at the council's behest I moved smartly into dividing plot 14 and letting it with plot 21a. Would have liked to make plot 14 into four 2.5 rod plots, but the lie of the land conspired against that. So the flat (almost) six rod from the main path was divided into two three rod plots (14a and 14b) by the insertion of two scaffold marking posts. The narrow cross-path followed by a steeply rising two foot bank with goosebrry bushes on top makes a natural divide for the four rod (14c) at the top.
Our waiting list has gone down by five now. Nigel has taken 14a, Paul has taken 21a, Tracey has taken 14b, one lady's circumstances had changed so she no longer wanted a plot and therefore Kate is about to take 14c.
Now there are just four people waiting for a plot on our site. Can be hard to explain this to people when they look at an untended or unloved plot, 'cos they automatically think these are vacant and are then incredulous when told, oh no "Aurthura De-Ville-Masterton-Smythe" has that plot.
A week of weeding and conspiring to relocate sheds beckons.
Oh and work also.

Back on the plot at last.

Am now at last able to pick tomatoes from the greenhouse, detestable things, but the OH likes them. Some nice peppers colouring up well. Melon experiment a bit poor, two plants, two sub-tennisball melons.

So many weeds after the recent rain and warm weather it was difficult to know where to start, so I picked the fruit terrace.

Started at the shed side, weeded around the red/black currants and the gooseberries. Moved on to the rasberries, pruned out this years dead/dying wood, tied in the taller new growths and weeded between the first three rows. Too near tea-time to attack the strawberry infested remainder of the fruit terrace, so I backtracked hoing with a Wolf three pronged cultivator.

The strawberry plants have gone mental, there are more runners than at the London Marathon. Still that is two thirds of the fruit terrace cleaned up.

Will try to sort some photos next week.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Annual Show.

Did nothing much during the week after coming back from Dorset other than prepare for our little Association Show. So Thursday was see what I can show and do the entry form and Friday was haul it out of the plot and clean it prepare it etc, ready for Saturday.
Last year I was an apprentice steward, this year I made journeyman steward.
Did not help set up tables as I was taking the caravan to be serviced.
Tabled my entries after the OH had dropped me off, took a call saying the caravan had galloping damp and would I come and collect it please if I did not want the expensive repairs doing. Sorted that by defering to Monday. Went round with the vegetable judge, quite educating really. Stayed for the afternoon helping Anne, our social secretary, woman the tea and cakes hatch. This was something we had decided to trial and we sold thirty six tea and a cake deals, made the hall seem mutch busier than last year. If you want to see some photo's of our show then visit our association website at and look at the Photo Gallery.
Helped clear up and reset the hall for our annual supper. Went home for s***/shower/shave and back for seven-thirty. A good evening, our charity auction of unclaimed show entries after the meal raised £93 for Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I won 1st's for Beetroot and Squash, 2nd for Apples, 3rd's for Sunflower, White Potatoes and Carrots. Daughter won 1st for flower arrangement in an eggcup, so she got the only cup in the family this year.

Finished the day by sweeping the hall and hauling back home a collection of cut flowers that filled the car boot.