Saturday, 2 November 2019

All quiet on the Eastern Front

It's a little quiet round here these days.

No I haven't been ill again. I'm really feeling a lot better. The pulmonary rehab that I'm doing at the hospital these last few weeks has really helped. I'm feeling so much better now. And the change of medicines has done wonders. I've gone from using my sulbutamol two or three times a days to two or three times a week. At my last assessment I managed to blow 500ml on my peak flow test. So yes, I am really feeling much, much better.

No, the reason why it's so quiet is that we just don't have anything left at the allotment that's worthy. The only trips we do is to empty the weeks bio-rubbish into the compost heap. So today's little trip was a quick flying visit during a break in the rain.

We had a frost at the start of the week, and that killed a lot of the remaining plants. The Morning Glories are now sadly done for, and the high winds we've had a while back has ruined the arch.

The rest of the plot is now rather a damp bedraggled mess. If this rain ever lets up for a weekend I might be able to get round to clearing it up a bit.

In the greenhouses the frost has ended some of the chillies. But you might just spot a bit of red in there of a couple of the chillies that have actually matured. I don't know whether you can use green chillies in the same manner, but there are quite a few of them still in there.

Other than that, there is not much to do at this time of year. Maybe if I wasn't so ill during the main part of the year, then there may be something worth having. Still, there is always next year. Time to hit the online seed shops and dream of a better tomorrow.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Murder at the Allotment

So when we arrived at the plot it was a scene of utter carnage and devastation.

Firstly one of the Foxes had murdered a pigeon and left a load of feathers everywhere.

Secondly the Tomatoes had been murdered by Blight.

Thirdly the Courgettes and Patty Pans had been murdered by time.

The biggest issue was of course the blight. We had to rip out all of the tomatoes and bag them up. They cannot be put into the Green Waste or into the compost bins. Fortunately we had a few bags from compost lying around so we chopped up the stems and roots and put them in along with most of the fallen tomatoes. Then we dragged them to the waste area for collection by the Council.

The blight has come about because of the amount of rain that we have had recently. It seems to have affected most of the site as there are other plot holders who are also in the process of ripping out their plants. Fortunately for us, the plants in the greenhouse seem to be unaffected. But I still don't think that they'll produce any more fruits.

The courgette plants we simply pulled by hand and threw them into the green waste bins. The feathers....? No those we just left in place as a testament to our guardians of the plot. Pigeons, Rats and mice. Foxes are welcome to any or all of them on our plot. I just wish more people saw the usefulness of them clearing up the vermin that eat our seeds and produce.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

It's all rotten

Not the produce... the paths. This last week has seen heavy rain, and as the temperatures are dropping at the end of summer that can only mean it's mushroom season. And boy are they coming out in force. Almost every path on the plot is sprouting little brown conical caps.

That's the reason I use woodchips for the paths. Well at least one of the many reason. I hate grass. You have to keep cutting it. You can't eat it. (OK technically you can but... meh). The wood chips rot down and make the nutrients available to other plants that need it. ie. the veggies.

Not that we have much veggies left these days. We "cleared" the old sweet corn bed of the stalks that we harvested last week. Well it's not fully cleared as there are some rogue Cape Gooseberries that have sprouted in there, and also buried somewhere in the middle is probably a whole load of potatoes.

Back in June I simply threw a whole load of potatoes into the middle of the sweetcorn bed because I was simply too exhausted in trying to do any kind of work. Threw them in and hoped for the best. There are some down there. But I won't dig them out just yet. I may end up regretting that and I'll probably end up with rogue potatoes in the bed for many years to come. Ah well.

But we did manage to scavenge a few last minute goodies from the plot.

Grapes from the vine (at least the ones which weren't stolen) and the last of the cucumbers. The sweetcorn was from last week. I thought I could leave them at the plot but the damp weather has started to rot the outside leaves so I thought it better to strip them and take them home to dry out a bit. And I still have to get round to making that cornmeal and cornbread.

Maybe this weekend? Nah. Don't think so.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Strawberries in September

I think our strawberry plants are a little confused. Some of them think it's the middle of summer and are producing a few plants. Mind you, they're not as sweet as the summer ones.

But the heat has certainly had an effect on other parts of the allotment. Most notably the poor neglected tomatoes in the greenhouses. They have certainly dried out through the lack of watering.

Mind you, it's their own fault. They haven't turned into the promised glut of tomatoes. Probably because of the lack of watering, so it's kind of a circular argument. But at this stage of the season it's not really worth while trying to do anything with them.

But we are still getting some decent produce. We decided that it was time to pick the sweetcorn. We'lk leave the corn a few days to dry out a bit, but then it'll become part of the glut of corn ready for making cornbread.

If I ever get around to it.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

A hot day for weed pulling.

It's no secret that the plot has been neglected over the past few months. Ill health has meant that I just haven't had the strength to keep on top of it all. But today we had some of our neighbours visit the plot and lend a welcome hand in clearing the pathways of any infesting greenery.

They also managed to take the time to tour around some of the plots, and I do believe that they were particular impressed with one of our fellow plotholder's archway of hops. I think there were thoughts of beer in the making.

Our popcorn seems to be coming to fruition. We've tried picking them to eat as a normal corn-on-the-cob, but it seems we don't have the right variety for that. However it does work superbly well in the popcorn machine. So we've come to terms with that. Although we have still to attempt grinding it to cornmeal and baking corn bread. I think I mentioned that at one point. Still not got around to it.

Today also happened to be the MAGA annual Produce Show. We didn't enter anything not having anything worthwhile to enter, least ways not show quality. But we still got a reasonable harvest which we gladly donated some to our erstwhile helpers.

But there were some impressive showings at the show.

There was even some rejoicing from one of our old bread club members who won a first for their Kashmiri Apple and Date Chutney.

Last time I entered something was a couple of years back. Again Bread related. I'm spotting a theme here. Definitely have to get around to making that corn bread.