Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Claire had a go at mowing too - a team effort. Look at that idyllic view she has from her garden. *Jealous!*
I went off to take photos of her lovely cherry tree...
Then we wrestled to get the mower in my car (annoyingly scratching my painted plastic bumper - argh!). Got to the allotment and mowed the grass there. No rest for the wicked! Here is the 'before' photo...
...and the 'after'. Much improved, though it might not look it on these photos!
Hmm, not the best footwear to cut a lawn then an allotment in! sorry about the feet photo!!
I've taken lots of 'what's growing' photos as I've been meaning to do it for ages. I have put them on flickr but will blog about them asap here. Just one before I sign off, for Jo at The Good Life...
Monday, 29 June 2009
I forgot to bring the bbq tools with me so my friend Gary had to improvise...!
Yes, that was last year's Xmas tree.
Here it is aflame!! hehehehe!
And here are some of the delicious bbq goodies and salads. Raspberries and icecream again for pud!
I gave some raspberries and sweet peas to my neighbours as they're lovely and always very helpful. I got some lettuce and rocket in return so this was last night's tea - a salad with black peppercorns, goat's cheese and sweet chilli sauce. Yum!
I followed that with raspberries and vanilla icecream. A very cheap meal! And so tasty too :)
When I went down the allotment yesterday @ 5pm - too hot in the day - I planted out some leeks and dwarf beans. I pulled out some peas as they weren't looking healthy. I also did LOADS of watering! Need to get some tomato food for my tommies and re-net the broccoli as it has grown too big! Spotted some frogs in the pond too which was good to see. Hopefully they're feasting on my slugs!
I also built my new bbq and one of those mini greenhouses, the ones like a wendy house. Not sure how long it will last but thought I'd give it a go. Need somewhere to grow my seedlings as the tommies in the shed are huge now, so no room for seedlings in there! Bbq-ing tonight :)
Monday, 22 June 2009
I thought I'd bring one of my basil plants home for the kitchen windowsill now it is a reasonable size (grown from seed). They're very slow growers so this has taken a while, but hopefully I can keep it going for a long time. I seem to be quite good with basil plants - water from the bottom!!
Lots more sweet peas were ready for picking. Bit more of a proper bouquet this time around. My lounge smells amazing now!
Raspberries picked from under my net. A lot more now than thursday night's less-than-ten crop! Must be over 1lb there. I had to stop picking as my tub was overflowing! Shared some with the neighbours though :) Think they enjoyed them. I also ate a lot as I was picking them! I'm not a fruit person but real fruit beats shop-bought fruit any day.
Lots more strawberries to be picked - they're even still flowering!
Sunday, 21 June 2009
2 lots of strawberries - tupperware lot is half of one day's crop, black tub is another day's full crop, pink pot is a few ripe raspberries i wasn't expecting to find but much appreciated! def got the net on at the right time now the fruit is ripening. black tub's full of big, juicy blackcurrants :)
**Blackcurrant Fluff recipe**
1 lb (450 g) blackcurrants
1/2 cup (100 g) 4 oz caster sugar (superfine granulated)
15 ml (3 level tsp) gelatine
3 tbsp (60 ml) blackcurrant liqueur
2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 pt fresh double cream (heavy cream)
3 egg whites
fresh whipped cream and chopped nuts or grated chocolate to decorate
2. Dissolve the gelatine in 45 ml (3 tbsp) water, in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Stir into the fruit puree with the blackcurrant liqueur. Cool until beginning to set.
3. Whip the fresh cream until softly stiff. Fold into the half-set mixture.
4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the fruit mixture
5. Spoon into individual glasses and decorate with fresh whipped cream and nuts or chocolate. Chill lightly before serving.
serves 6 - er no, I think it serves 5 at a stretch, 4 comfortably
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Monday, 15 June 2009
Saturday afternoon/eve was spent down't allotment with my friend, Eva. I needed a helper so I could get my raspberries netted - not a solo task! - so I was terribly greatful she volunteered her help. There are many jobs an allotmenteer can do solo but sometimes one needs help! It took a while to decide how best to tackle the netting as the raspberries are mixed in with the other soft fruit in a 7 x 5m bed. It would cost a fortune to do the whole thing so I am prioritising raspberries this year as my fruit to protect :) I plumped for a longer-lasting net and went with 2 packs of 8 x 2m 12mm pond netting. Luckily most of the raspberries are at one end of the bed so I could net most of them. Here's some pics - I was quite pleased with the results and, like ever, I did a neat (read "perfectionist's"!) job and more or less sewed the two nets together - I felt a bit like a surgeon!
So, job done :) That was all I'd planned to do. That, and water the plants. However, we all know it is far too easy to get distracted, especially by reduced sale-price plants. Yes, I succumbed to 2x sweet peppers, 1x tomato (will look up the type), 1x pack of 6 cherry tomatoes, 4x pumpkins, 2x leek packs. I also got drawn in by a handsome-looking blueberry bush. Not that I needed more soft fruit but I don't have a blueberry... oh it is all too easy to get sidetracked!
Next, plant out that impulse-buy blueberry...!
Look at me go! ha! However, this next photo will show you why I bought it - it's so handsome!
I am also having a fantastic run on juicy, scrumptious strawberries. I picked about 750g of ripe red beauties. The net I put over them really has protected the crop and more or less all were pristine. There are some real whoppers and the taste and smell is heaven!
The rest of the allotment is coming on in leaps and bounds. Here are a few snaps of what's growing...
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Saturday, 6 June 2009
came back to the expected 2 foot weeds! bit disheartening and scary but a whiz round with the strimmer soon tamed the wilderness! so much has come through and grown in the 3 weeks i was away. all my plantings have been pretty succesful - the charlotte potatoes being the most surprising. boy do they grow fast! no new photos yet but i will get on the case. so much has been done since my last post. my folks and older bro were down to help in the days i still had off from work so we spent 2 days working at the allotment (and i got sunburnt - doh!). dad and col dug a new bed near the shed and having everyone pitch in made such a big difference. lots of weeding was done and the strawberries got a protective net. i have sweetcorn & baby sweetcorn waiting to go in, along with dwarf beans (mum grew these for me when i was away - thanks mum!). i've put in some aubergines and am trying a chilli pepper. i moved some red-skinned potatoes when i was digging over a bed so they must be leftovers! no point throwing them out though. well, i will blog more when i have photos to go with my waffle! hope you're all well and things are growing for you too :)