Saturday, 19 September 2020

Breaking the 4th wall

In the Film or Theatre industry, breaking the fourth wall occurs when the actor turns to the camera/audience to say something directly.

Down the allotment, the fourth wall has been broken by a delivery of manure.

Whilst it's nice to get a manure delivery, I think they've gone a bit overboard in off loading it. The fence posts have been pushed over and many of the slats making the bays have been broken with the sheer amount of straw and other "stuff" that's been deposited.

Well I can certainly use a lot of it to re-fill the courgette beds over winter. I just need to wear wellies, climb up that mountain and start shovelling. If I make sure the beds are covered overwinter, I should be ready to go in next year for more Crown Prince.

We've decided that we really, really like the CPs so we're going to make sure that we plant more of them, and less of the normal courgettes. We will plant some of course. But this year we've had way more than we really need. Even so, today we're still getting a load of them... and a big "George".

I fear though, that we are at the end of the Tomato run. We might get the odd one or two over the next few days, but we're pretty much done with them now. We've started getting rid of some of them to that we don't have an issue with blight in the not too distant future.

But tonight, it's going to be a salad for dinner. And tomorrow... back to courgettes.

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Traffic lights in the Kale

We have a rogue load of tomatoes growing in the kale bed. Now the kale is looking a little the worse for wear as most of the leaves have been duly lunched upon by various critters, and it also seems to have a bad case of white fly at present. But the toms are doing OK. In fact they are producing some decent vines of fruit. The colour cascade looks like loads of little traffic lights.

Meanwhile, it looks like the poor old courgettes are on their last legs. The leaves are starting to look a little tired and have a covering of mildew.

But they're still churning them out. We're still collecting loads of them for dinners. Soups, stews, grated, baked, or fried. And we expect a few more yet before they finally give up.

We have harvested the two big "George" marrows. These will become our seeds for next year. One will stay in the shed over the winter, the other will sit on top of the cupboards in the kitchen.

Time to start planning next year's bed rotations and crops.

Saturday, 5 September 2020

Coming to the end of the season.

It's coming to the end of the summer season on the allotment. That doesn't mean that we're out of produce as the plot is still pretty plentiful.

Firstly we have the classic courgettes which are still putting out a load of fruits. I've totally lost track of just how many we've had, there have been so many. We also grabbed a few beetroots. The big beetroot at the front was a rogue one which must have self-seeded from last year.

Loads of tomatoes too. The yellow ones are Ildi which have also self-seeded from last year. A few chillies which are ripe enough to pick (still more to come) and a Crown Prince which we are going to try out. We have a few CPs which managed to survive the cold snap earlier in the year, so hopefully they will last us a little while.

We're not really planning on growing anything over the winter. But we might plant a few turnips just to see if they come to anything. We planted a whole load back in April, but the incredibly hot spring forced them all to bolt to seed so we didn't get anything. Hopefully slow growing over winter may produce results.

Saturday, 29 August 2020

Another bucket'o'weeds

The recent rain has done two things. Spurred the weeds into growth, and softened up the ground so that it's easier to pull them out.

So, like recently, it's all hands to the weeds.

My tool of choice for digging them out is a three pronged thin fork with downward facing tines. It's easy to loosened up the soil around the weed in question and then grab it and pull it out. So I've been gradually working my way around the wood chip paths and goat paths between the beds digging out the errant growths. Mostly they're weeds, but on occasion I have found strawberry runners leaving their confines and trying to escape to adjacent beds. The definition of a weed is any plant that is growing in the wrong place. So out they come.

I've lost count of how many buckets were emptied. but there always seems to be more to do.

We're still getting courgettes. And Tomatoes. And we've now started to harvest the apples form the tree before they all fall on the floor. Of course we have to eat the apples by using a knife to cut them as they all have a maggot inside. There is only one thing worse than biting into an apple and finding a maggot inside.

And that's biting into an apple and finding half a maggot inside.

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Sweet Sweetcorn

Looks like once again we were slightly late picking the corn.

We've trying a different variety this year, as in previous years, although they have done really well, the corn is not really suitable for eating directly. But they did produce excellent pop corn. They still do, as we have loads of the popcorn left.

But this year it's a little more organic and it did really well. We've already had some of the corn and it is really tender and sweet. But today when we went to the plot we noticed that the stalks were dying off so it's time to fully harvest them. However a lot of them appear to have rot or insect damage.

The ones on the right seem pretty good. Maybe just a little damage. The ones on the left have significant issues. So these ones we will dry and try to use for next year.

We also are still getting loads of courgettes (of course) and we also grabbed some of the runner beans and Tomatoes. The red toms are from our mass of Tumbling Toms, but the yellows are rogue plants which appear to have sprouted from last years attempt at growing Ildi. And to top it off we harvested our first three chilli fruits grown this year (still more to come) and some less maggoty apples.

Now, does anybody have a good corn chowder recipe?