Help on the plot

It’s been a crazy week this week, lots going on everywhere, barely a minute to think. I’m just not happy if I don’t get to my plot in the week, on Wednesday I couldn’t get my wellies on, so instead I just went to get a couple of courgettes for tea and see what was what.

Brilliantly the parents were there giving it a pretty thorough once over. I had weeded up to the fruit cage at the weekend so mum took over from here and tackled a job that I started at the weekend. Pops took care of the edges and I have to say they are super neat 🙂 thanks parents 🙂

View up the plot

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Kale! Now weed free!!!

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Looking to the end of the plot

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More lovely weed free space

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Sweet corn update. Looking great but still a little way to go 

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Kale Kale and More Kale

I’ve been unsure of what to do with all of the Kale, there’s such a lot of it. I was pondering the thought at work last week and my friend next to me suggesting putting it in a soup. She loves anything green and anything in soup. So I set about this on Sunday.

The soup turned out ok – so I thought I’d post the recipe – it’s worth a go if you’ve got a lot of things to use up – if you’re on weight watchers it’s also wicked on points.

  • 450g potatoes (from the plot)
  • 1 clove of garlic (from the plot)
  • 1/2 small onion (from the plot)
  • 225g curly Kale (from the plot – I mixed my varieties – it didn’t matter)
  • 115g spanish chorizo
  • Chicken Stock

Peel and cube the potatoes, put in a plan with chopped onions and chopped garlic. Cover with the chicken stock and boil until the potatoes are cooked. Once cooked, blend to a smooth soup consistency, add more water if you like it more runny. Then add the shredded kale and the chorizo – I chopped this into small cubes. Simmer for another 10 minutes. When cooked blend again.

So far, the soup has kept me going all week – I reckon there is plenty to get me through the week!

This weekend will be 100 ways with courgettes!

 

 

 

 

A Blooming Summer

I cannot believe the plot this summer. Weeks of really really hot weather the heavy downpours have quite literally created a jungle.

It looks so green

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The first courgette… this Sunday will be focusing on 100 ways with courgettes

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Potatoes, many rows including Setanta, Arran Pilot, Desiree, Pink Fir, Charlotte, many more

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Sweet potatoes, these have come on loads since this photo was taken, they are now stretching out like vines, i’m glad I put the bottles in to help with route watering.

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My first ever cauliflower

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Stripy beetroot, my new love

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Beautifully stripy and very sweet raw

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Ready for pickling

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In the jar

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On the plate 🙂

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Runner beans – going crazy

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Kohl Rabi!”

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Purple Cabbage growing nicely

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How about sweetcorn, I didn’t think this would do very well, but I think we have around 20 corn on cob on the way – this is the most exciting

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Cherry Belle Radish… aw they are so shiny

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The first bumper harvest, an apple crate full of allotment specials

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In the Greenhouse:

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Whats Growing Now

Rhubarb – Timperly Early

Strawberries

Raspberry

Blackberry

Black Currant

Gooseberry

Blue Berry

Pink Berry

Water Melon

Radishh, a range of varieties

Tomatoes

Leeks

Potatoes

Carrots Nantes

Courgettes

Sweet Potato

Horseradish

Celeriac

Onions

Shallots

Sweetcorn

Swiss Chard

Italian Lettuce

Brussell Sprouts

Turnips

Swede

Parsnip

Carrots – Rainbow

Carrots – Chantennay

Beetroot, stripy, boltardy, golden

Kale

Green Cabbage

Savoy Cabbage

Purple Cabbage

Cauliflower

Purple Sprouting Brocoli

Kohl Rabi – White and Purple

Borlotti Beans

Runner Beans

French Beans

 

Whats Done For Now

Pak Choi

Broadbeans

Whats Happening at the Free Range

Egg Laying Malfunction

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No herbs left!

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Beautiful Butterflies on the plot

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One of the best weekends of the year so far!

Well it’s been a brilliant weekend. Loads of time with my besties, lots of pimms and plenty of sunshine!

Got down to the allotment today, after mammoth weeding task last week it was mostly ok, pulled up the obvious ones. I was amazed though at two things,

1) the amount of change from last week

2) my husband is still alive and kicking after strimming the plot with a petrol strimmer with a fuel leak!

so. Change.

Its looking a lot like a kohl rabi!

 

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Beetroot – pink and white striped, they are all coming on at this size

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It won’t be long till we are eating courgettes…. End of the week I reckon!!!

 

 

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broadbeans have been actually amazing this year. They look incredible and the best thing is that they are still going. This weeks experiments will be with broadbeans

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Lots of other things still going strong, strawberries are going crazy, vodka making this week, haven’t bought lettuce in a month and the potatoes are going to be up next I reckon. Looking fab.

Egg laying has slowed down this week, but the chicks spent Saturday posing for pictures

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Hope to spend more time on the allotment this week mostly to keep on top of the weeds!

Weeds, weeds, weeds

I no longer know where all these weeds are coming from. No sooner do I dig and pull up roots there they are again, but the good news is that I am getting there after a couple of hours hard weeding this afternoon.

My allotment is next to a milk farm, I’ve been watched all afternoon by an interested looking cow. I’m not sure what to make of this, but in my head of funny situations its caused me much amusement,

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Anyway. It’s been nice on there this afternoon, it’s rained on and off so it’s been quite quiet. I got 3/4 of the plot weeded, just up to the second row of broad beans and got my new blueberry bushes (blueberry and pink berry in) happy days. Of course I got to do some harvesting too which is by far the most exciting bit.

So here is today’s progress, beautifully weeded courgettes, hoping these are going to be epic.

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Strawberries, potatoes and broadbeans

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Much painful weeding done, here we’ve got carrots, parsnips, turnips, kale and swiss chard

 

 

 

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needs weeding, that’s for another day though, this is all beetroots, pak choi, radicchio, broccoli, cauliflowers and cabbages.

 

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Exciting bit, things that are done or very nearly done 🙂

Broadbeans…. I am actually amazed at how much these pods have grown. I’ll be feeling them each day to see if they are nearly ready!

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My new bushes…. Look like sticks at the minute but so did everything else once

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Lettuce and perpetual spinach, of course the lettuce has been raided because its just lovely. Spinach will be done anytime soon which it’s great, it’s just so expensive to buy

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look at this… I reckon it looks a most perfect pak choi. One for mum she raised them from seed!

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Shiny strawberries, the second lot we have had this week and there are plenty more to come, love love love this time of year

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News from the 3 range… After an iffy week on egg production we seem to be back on track after providing treats and bribes

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Exciting Times

It’s all happening now.. feels like everything is off to such a slow start but with all this sunshine, rain, sunshine, rain things are growing out of control and the plot has filled up nicely.

Got a massive task on with weeding this week, hoping to get there tonight and make a bit of a dent in it.

The most exciting thing is that there are loads of bits getting to the point of being ready to eat which is just the most brilliant bit.

Super Strawberries

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Beautiful Broadbeans – these have shot up and out over the past week – amazing

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Mixed Munchies, Pak Choi, Cabbage, Beetroot – this looks even more impressive now everything is booming

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Pak Choi! What can you say these are just bursting. google search: 100 ways with Pak Choi will be a job for later!

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The husband is saying, not another crumble – hard to resist really when the Rhubarb is just gorgeous.

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So hoping the weather will hold out for a bit tonight so that I can get on and do some weeding in the evening peace. 🙂

 

 

 

No time to blog. It’s June!

 

Finally, time to catch up. It’s been non stop on my little plot…. The usual fun and games to report on, y’know ending up face down in the mud after tripping over a rogue rake…. It’s all happy days. So, there’s loads growing and there’s little space so now I’m on a waiting game… No wait…. I’m on a weeding game….

Pretty little radishes…. Hailstone

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Rhubarb, so many crumbles, elephant garlic and radishes

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View up the plot..

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Garlic, broad beans, potatoes, Charlotte and Aaran pilot

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strawberries, gorgeousness.. Loads of them

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Horseradish, sweet potato, courgettes, squash and pumpkin… Do not ask me which, I dropped the tray 😦

Celeriac, onions and garlic at the back

in the fruit cage: raspberry, blackberry, black currant and gooseberry

sweetcorn in front of the raised bed

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Cut and come again lettuces and spinach, perpetual green and reddy varieties

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Wow, ok this is a crazy row which needs attention but we have, turnips, swede, lettuce, carrots, parsnips, carrots rainbow, kale, Swiss chard rainbow, and a few more broad beans

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The broadbeans, potatoes, setanta and pink fir

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This is where it gets mad and row OCD takes over,

beetroot, red variety, radicchio, pak choi, beetroot red and white striped, beetroot golden, white cabbage, red cabbage, more pak choi (it did well from seed), more beetroot, red variety, broccoli, kohl rabi

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one last row of carrots in the gap and then on the canes, borlotti beans, climbing French beans and runner beans

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View back to the other end

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Still to plant, more beetroot, tomatoes and more kale… Exciting times!!!

 

Such a lot going on!!

With this good weather there is a massive amount of activity on my plot. Saturday, mum and I whipped through it weeding and digging, trying to get it in a good place, we did a brill job, I’m so pleased with it.

On Sunday Rob and I got down there. I needed his help to build a fruit cage, above head drilling is really not my thing, I can tell many funny stories of drilling, cutting and most importantly, measuring disasters. Ive had one just this week infact, my mission….. to procure a light to go over the kitchen table, I tell my husband, he needs to be more specific and caveat size. A 60cm wide lampshade did not look that big in IKEA and much to popular belief it is NOT the bottom part of the boosters from a NASA space rocket.

I seem to have no concept of size whatsoever. Anyway, the fruit cage looks mega – and it’s home to gooseberry bush, raspberry bush (apparently didn’t do well last year, this is because I would eat them as I went round) and blackcurrant bush. Thinking of getting some more to go in the oversized cage, maybe blackberry, Loganberry and something else, but I’m not sure what. Part of the 2 for 1 deal and while I’d got husband there I got a raised bed out of it too- bit of a bonus.

I of course was most amused watching rob cut his wood with the chicks running around, love how he chats away to them when he thinks I’m not listening 🙂

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Brilliant. Spent the rest of that day going backward and forwards to the tip to get rid of the edges that I dug up.

its been a lovely week so far, mum got some time on there yesterday and continued to weed for England, it does look very brilliant.

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Garlic and broadbeans

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More broadbeans

Today I’ve not had the best day, so I’ve been back there and finished off the edging at the top- so this is major digging done, now it’s keeping on top of it

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Bit wonky but it’s a start. Didn’t measure it.

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Usual fun and games going on in the coop today. I sit out there with them having a chat, they won’t leave me alone, I thought it was because they know that I am the beholder of meal worms, but no…. think they might actually be fans of fosters! I was most traumatised when i heard Mavis laying an egg, she seemed really proud when she came tottering out, maybe it was because she knew she’d laid something a little bit random!

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going to have a bash at giving the coop another paint tomorrow, I still have an in camouflage khaki Mavis, but it needs doing. X

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Is this summer?

I was wide awake and raring to go this morning. Mum and I were going to have some time on the allotment. Lots to be done. Mum had already weeded the strawberry bed and was half way through the old brassica bed. I’ve been trying to define the edges and get rid of the long grass. Which I must be honest, I struggle with.

Progress has been pretty amazing..

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As well as clearing the whole plot we’ve been able to do some planting. Broad beans were raised in my greenhouse ad so are already underway. Rainbow carrots, swede, turnips and parsnips have gone in. Today I was able to plant out the Swiss chard, first sprout plants and sweetcorn.

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It all looks completely brilliant. We have success. Next jobs include:

  • Building a fruit cage
  • Clearing that last small bit of grass
  • Clearing around the pallet raised beds and setting down some stones to prevent the grass from growing back
  • Get growing in the greenhouse

so the allotment looks fab can’t wait for full steam ahead on it!!!!

News from the 3 range…..

very exciting! The chicks have got a new coop!

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Oh they are so pleased with it. robin and I were out there on the Friday we got it and they were angelic! Unusual for a bunch of chicks. Especially while the paint tin was out.

So on Saturday I thought I’d give the coop another coat of paint. It was a nightmare. I turn around and Mavis is beak first in the cuprinol garden shades country cream!!!! Oh my god!!! She came up looking like she had a face mask on but missing two slices of cucumber!!! I begin chasing her around in an attempt to pin her down and clean her up, when uh! Oh! She flies into the coop sideways. mavis now has a cuprinol garden shades sage green(!) wing and bum. Double oh! no! Finally I pin her down and get her in the sink to wash it off. No hope. She is now a khaki mess!! I know I am the only chicken mum who’s chicks are in camouflage with their residence!

never a dull day 🙂 x

Easter Weekend on the Allotment

It was a novelty to wake up on Friday morning to the sun in the sky….. It was freezing but as there was sun and no snow in sight I knew that it was finally time to get going on the allotment. Yes!!

About time. I’ve been desperate to get going for such a long time, there are seedlings growing everywhere and chitting potatoes had taken up residence on my kitchen table. But finally. I am go.

The allotment has been getting me down over the last couple of months in between dodging the snow showers I haven’t been able to keep on top of the grassy edges which at times feel like they are an overgrown out of control mess..

Time to man up and get on with it I thought. So I’m digging down on all of the edges now to prevent grass and weeds from making the edges hard to see. I don’t know if this is a good idea and I don’t know it’s going to work, but I have to try something.

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It is here in these newly edged, warmed up patches that I’m going to grow the potatoes this year. I set to work getting them in, it wasn’t until I started making holes that I realised how epic an error I had made when I was ordering the seed potatoes. I know I get carried away on Thompson and Morgan, this is a problem that I have yet to find a way of dealing with. I can only hope that trying to keep on top of 80 (yes 80) potato plants should sort me out.

 

In went the potatoes, nothing pleases me more some days than to see things in rows. How satisfying.

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Lovely.

The broad beans are in too. Didn’t buy the dwarf variety this year, I’m hoping they do as well as the dwarf variety though, they were brill last year.

 

So after a good 7 hours on the allotment on Friday I actually felt like I had made some progress.

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Also managed to successfully overcome a problem that I’m sure must be on a lot of minds at one time or another. How do you stop snow getting in your beer?

 

 

 

 

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