Thursday, August 20, 2009

Zoom Zoom Spud.

Sunflower have either zoomed for the sky or snapped off, tallest is about eight feet and yet to bloom. The large bloom looming over the dog is over six feet tall and dripping nectar.

The squash have spread magnificently and hiding under the leaves are a number of steel grey Crown Prince.
The later planted Hubbard do not yet seem to have set decent fruit, but I'm not going to search and end up trampling the stems.

The onion patch has now been cleared and hoed.

This is a sample single plant of Charlotte spuds.
I have now harvested six of my eight potato rows, five Charlotte and one Desiree, sadly the biggest and best Desiree, almost without exception, had occupiers, multi or zero legged occupiers.
Dog and I spent all day Wednesday 18th and Tuesday 19th August spud harvesting, well I did, she hid in the shade most of the time, where I joined her when I got too hot. Took a while as I was having to clear the inter-row gaps of weeds before digging.
Two old fashioned metal dustbins with cheap potting compost now contain the three barrow loads of potatoes and I'll consign today's harvest to a pop-up nylon fabric weed bag/bin and order some paper potato sacks from Edwin Tuckers.
Just two 30' rows to dig now.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Scotland & Weeds.

Last week I are mostly bin being in Scotland.
Very nice in Lundin Links, went and climbed Largo Law, an extinct volcano plug down the road with the top about 290m above sea level. Strange up on top, like wandering round on a human molar tooth, several high points and a channel across the middle. The farmer whose land it is in seems to have directed access to the steepest face, but a damm fine view all round and an OS trig point on the highest bit. The Ordnance Survey mapsite shows it neatly here.

Yesterday I are mostly bin harvesting and then processing greenhouse Tomatoes into frozen sauce base with undivided Garlic cloves.

Today I are mostly bin harvesting onions and shallots.

Started by clearing the coldframe of bolted Cos lettuce and an undercrop of creeping weeds, before digging it over.
A week away and weeds had flourished so well that the crop was half hidden, so weeding as I harvested I spent a nice afternoon in the sun.
The Banana Shallots (Pigletwilliensis) produced a level barrowful which filled four of those blue latticework plastic supermarket trays in the workshed and the rest of the various Onions produced a heaped barrowful which filled four wooden trays in the workshed.
Breathing in the workshed is now a trifle difficult if you do not like your air strongly onion flavoured.

As I have the rest of the week off work I hope to do much more at the allotment, so wait and see.

Tea was:
Sweetcorn from plot to pan to plate with butter and sea salt.
Streaky pork slices, chunked and pan fried before adding to the sauce and heating through for fifteen minutes and serving with fresh Charlotte chips.
Two red Chilli Peppers from the greenhouse, two undivided Garlic cloves, a bird-pecked Catshead apple, a huge Banana Shallot, six small Tomatoes from the greenhouse, one medium Patty-Pan summer squash, four mushrooms, all diced and fried in a generous glug of Olive oil, a squeeze of tomato puree and a glass of water

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Pick-n-mix bar.

On Friday 31st July my intention to spend the whole weekend was intercepted by a request to assist with an un-scheduled "make do and mend" at the Rugby Club. So Saturday 1st August I welcomed the new month in by digging out missing sections of paved paths, mixing concrete and filling in the holes with concrete and paving slabs. Finished it off with a convivial viewing of the All Blacks getting stuffed by the Saffies.
Sunday 2nd August up the allotment for a mega-picking of Purple French Beans, two carrier bags full, gave some Alan and more to three neighbours at home.
Also picked:
  • twenty-four Patty Pan Squash lurking under the leaves, where there were also a number of immature Crown Prince Squash.
  • enough Calabrese from the second planting for three to enjoy for tea.
  • Potatoes dug a carrier bagful of Charlotte, sorted the largest and smallest into seperate bags for use later in the week, then used the intermediate sized ones by following a recipe posted by Primrose at Kitchen Garden Forum with amendments, I used fresh Rosemary from outside the front door and fresh Garlic from last weeks picking, a large marble sized buld that had not "cloved", delicious.
  • the first outdoor Tomatoes, just a handful mind.
  • two Cucumbers, from the now rather sad and devasted plants, leaves all shrivelled up.
  • a 2.5lb Cos Lettuce.
  • six Sweetcorn cobs.
In the herb patch the Elecampane is reeking of honey scent and I counted six different types of bees on it, as well as Hoverflies.
Got a compliment from Verity on my bedding Dahlias which are covered in flowers today. The Asters are looking good, but the Gladioli have suffered from the wind and rain.
The weeds have thrived and I pulled quite a number.
Greenhouse Tomatoes are picking consistently, a handful every other day, which is good as my beloved does not really want to eat much more tomato than that. I suspect I am maltreating these plants in some way, perhaps my cordon pruning is too restrictive as many of the flower trusses are mutating into new stems at the tip.
Picked my first Greenhouse Chilli Pepper today, a hot green finger one to go into a chicken dish for tea.