Sunday, 22 September 2013

Off with his head

Things are winding down on the allotment. Well OK, the courgettes aren't. They're still producing like anybodies business.

But most of the other things are dying back. I've already lopped off the heads of the 8 small sun flowers planted outside the shed. Now it's the time for the rogue one just outside the greenhouse. And boy is that a big one.
Loads of seeds in that one. Maybe the offspring of this will come back next year. But in the mantime, I'ce hung it up somewhere dry to allow it to dry out a bit. And to allow the ants which seem to have indfested it, time to move out or just dry out themselves.

I've the meantime, I've started chopping down the old sweetcorn and stuff and generally putting the allotment to bed for the winter. A winter during which I shall be making extensive modifications to the plot after having my first year growing there. There are a lot of things which I need to do better and a lot of lessons learned.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

The end of the Tomatoes

Well it seems the Tomatoes have come to the end of their run. Not that there have been many mind you. I think the problem is the lack of pollination. Keeping them in the greenhouse has meant that the poor old bees haven't managed to get in and pollinate them. So, although there have been plenty of flowers, few of them have set.

Well I stripped out the remaining plants. Leaving just a few of my bigger ones to see if any further ones ripen.

All the ripe, and larger unripe ones were duly collected.

The remains of the tomato plants ended up cut into pieces and now decorate the inside of my compost bins.

Now the weather has turned, the rain is coming down in buckets. Good job I put the water butts on the greenhouse when I built it. Little Butt (further from the camera) is full to overflowing. Big Butt (closer) has a few more inches to go.

But at least the rain seems to have perked up the apple tree. I guess it'll be next week when I harvest them.
But they are going to need a lot of work. Most of them have been munched by worms and such. Guess I could juice them and turn them into apple juice (or cider).

The courgettes seem to have slowed down production. But they still turn out enough for dinner and a few spare for my work colleagues.

And there is even a BIG one for seeds.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Produce Show

Yesterday was the annual MAGA Produce Show.

As has been previously stated, I entered my Chutney, Jam (aka Compote) and Courgette Cake. Unfortunately I didn't win anything.

The day started out early for us volunteers to make sure everything was set up. We put up a smaller marquee along side our big marquee on a vacant plot.

The setup took us a couple of hours to do.

The small marquee was where we dodged the odd shower and eventually sat and ate cakes and drunk tea whilst the judging was underway.
The actual layout inside the big marquee gave us quite a bit of space to playwith. Something we needed as there were a few BIG items... such as a marrow that was nearly 6ft long.

And I managed to give away a whole load of spare courgettes.

But at the end of the day, much fun was had by all. It just goes to show that if you commit to the community spirit then being on an allotment is a very worthwhile cause. Friends and food. What more do you need?

A selection of prize winning produce...