Sunday, 26 August 2012

26 Aug 2012 - Our first ever Artichoke!

Here's today's crop - a hellava lot of garlic, some turnips, rainbow spinach, 4 raspberries, 2 plums and our first ever globe artichoke!

We nibbled on the raspberries while trying to work out what to do with the artichoke!
 Two bags of cut turnip for the freezer, one for soups, the other for steaming.

Unfortunately, it looks like we've missed out on using the middle leaves for a salad, but the outer ones look okay (to us beginners, anyway).

Mike sets to with cutting the tips off, and we just put it in the oven with some oil and the potatoes.

(We did find a really cool recipe, but it looked a bit much for our first attempt!)

....and not much left, it was great!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

23 Aug 2012 - mostly tidy and check up

One path needed to be covered up, we managed to get hold of some offcuts of carpet - weeded then black plastic bags, then the carpet - that should do the business!

Happy bee day!
Here's how the carrots and scorzonera are doing - we use the Bushy's beer glasses from TT's gone past - with the bottoms cut off, to protect from predators (looks like it's working!)

The turnips are doing fine, check out the size of this one!  As you can see the leaves are quite tasty, but at least they keep away from the veg.
Here's how the Jerusalem artichoke and sweetcorn are doing.  Our corn is a bit behind others at the allotment, but still, we've got 10 plants and 3 ears showing!

Very happy with that because we never even got the seeds to take at the old plot!

Friday, 17 August 2012

17 Aug 2012 - Finally....there's bean success

 After 3 attempts at growing any kind of legumes this year, we have finally got signs of life!  Our persistance has now paid off!   Therew are broad beans and generic peas on the rows by the stake-ends, and nasturtium in the middle - quite easy to see which  leaves they are!  Very happy!
broad beans
broad beans & nasturtium
peas & nasturtium
There was a visitor to the neighbour's potato patch.... running away when I started taking photos, but I was quicker this time!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

12 Aug 2012 - next year's new bed area

Mike spent the afternoon re-preparing the new plot, since the old potatoes overwhelmed the new strawberry bed and the strawberries didn't stand a chance.   Here's where the new bed started, it's more like a work in progress now.

Can you see the pitch fork?

 there it is!

Here's how easy the stinging nettles grow round our way.... along with the bracken and blackberries.

 Didn't he do well!

The idea is still to have the new strawberry bed here, but have had a wee bit of insiration for a cunning plan, so it really is a watch this space!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

2 Aug 2012 - success stories

Today was a very successful, but hardworking day.  I had a day off so I spent 5 hours pottering at the allotment in the sunshine - be rude not to!

I mowed some of the lawn, turned over a new bit of plot and planted out some more beans and peas and changed the protection of the cape gooseberries.  I also put in a rose plant to attract bees (and hide a wee gap under the mesh). 
potatoes & raspberries
The newly dug plot gave us a few potatoes, which was a nice surprise - I swear the guy before us planted nothing but potatoes!  Also managed to rescue a few more raspberries (raspberry fool, anyone?) and 4 redcurrants - see if you can spot them..... I guess any redcurrant jam on our shelves will be bought this year!

brocolli & sprouts

There were some other pleasant surprises - in the row of brussel sprouts is a very nice looking brocolli!

flowers on squash

There are also some flowers on the squash plants, although most of them are ornamental gourds, which is something I'm going to have to learn to dry out (or whatever it is I'm supposed to do with them (afterall, you never see one in the shops with a giant hole in it where the seeds have been taken out!)

Apart from that, everything else is coming along nicely, if not a wee bit behind schedule - but we have had a pretty wet summer. 

I've been impressed with the fact that the sweetcorn has grown - something that never grew for us at the old allotment.  It looks like one is definitely going to produce, not sure about the others, but fingers crossed!  We'll be freezing sprouts till the cows come home - that's the best crop we've got so far, and it looks like turnip wine might be on the list of things to try soon!  The garlic is doing well, but it looks like something had a nibble at one - will need to watch for that next year.  The carrots are coming along now as well, we were using up old seeds, so it's going to be a colourful Christmas dinner - there's samurai red, purple, orange and who knows what other carrot seeds we put in!

2 Aug 2012 - Not giving up on beans!

 So far this year we've had absolutely no success with beans.  I will not give up on them!  I've narrowed it down to what's not wrong:
1) Other people on the same land are growing different types of bean plants
2) We've tried 4 different varieties - broad beans, mangetouts, generic peas, dwarf beans
3) We've tried 2 different areas on our plot
4) We've tried starting the windowsill at home
5) We've bought new packets incase they were old seeds
6) We've tried different suppliers 
Therefore, it must be that the universe does not want us to have beans for Christmas dinner!

Here's the 3rd area we're trying (before pic) - I'm hoping that the wet summer we've had so far means that we're going to have a bit more sun for the rest of the year and it's not too late to try again.....

Same view, with most of the lawn mowed, the cape gooseberries have new protection and there are canes of broad beans and generic peas put in (with nasturtium in the middle so it looks pretty and at least guaranteed something will grow!)

Here it is from a different angle.  I'm eagerly anticipating some seedlings coming up soon!

The empty tyre in the cape gooseberry enclosure is because next year I'm going to have 3 tyres full and I thought it'd be better to cut the mesh to the right size now.

2 Aug 2012 - Carnation update

Here's how successful the carnation cuttings were!  If you want to see how to grow your own from cuttings - here's where it started - both versions worked!

A year in the life....

2 Aug 2012 - main plot
2 Aug 2012 - new plot
8 July 2012 - new plot
8 July 2012 - main plot

13 May 12 - whole plot
13 May 12 - original plot

29 April, new section

25 Mar 12
29 Feb 12

1 Feb 12
27 Dec 11

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Raspberry Fool

As usual, what I used is in italics because you just know that I tweaked the recipe ..... again.

2 punnets raspberries (1/3 of what we picked last time - defrosted)
150g custard (440g tin because there was alot juice)
150g Greek style natural yoghurt (plus 2-3 dollops to thicken)
1/2t caster sugar (none, we're sweet enough!!)
Blend the raspberries and sieve out the pips (do you really think I did that!?)

I blended everything together in the real recipe and then added the extra custard & yoghurt to thicken it, because there was alot of raspberry juice and it was a bit runny.
Got a decent bowlful, which will do nicely for tonight and leftovers for tomorrow's picnic!  I don't know if it would freeze, I guess it would separate on defrosting - better to just eat it over two days!

Took about 5 minutes to make!