Sunday, 27 October 2013

The morning after the night before.

There's a storm coming.
BBC News headlines.

That means that there is a lot to do to get things sorted on the plot ready for the storm. First things first, we have to protect our major asset, namely the marquee. After last night's party, everything was thrown into the shop or the marquee ready to be dealt with in the harsh light of day.





As to the actual plot itself, well that is pretty much ready anyway. I threw some extra logs onto the mound to hold down the weed fabric now that the courgette plants have been removed. But other than that there is not a lot else to do. Of course if the shed or greenhouse blow away during the storm... well there is not a lot I can do to prevent that. But as I built them pretty sturdily, then if that happens I dread to think what will happen to the rest of Wimbledon.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Pumpkinfest 2013

Last year we held the pumpkin festival in conjunction with a MAGA meeting. This year, we had none of that. Simply a big festival, bonfire and barbecue.

The day started with the usual suspects doing prep work and getting everything laid out and sorted ready. In the days leading up to the event itself we had our handymen (Dom and Geoff) hard at work producing an excellent food prep area to surround our two BBQs. One being the "meat" and the other the "veggie" option.

There are two sets of fairy lights to distinguish which is which.

We also had a small mini BBQ to the side for the pork based products as there are some people who object to those being on the meat BBQ. We guessed we would get about 50 people, and at one point I counted 56, a dog and about 6 ankle biters. So we were spot on with the catering and stuff.

All in all, much fun was had by all and the evening went very well indeed. Since I was appointed the official photographer of the event, I have a whole load of photos. But here are some of the highlights.
Lesley and friend

Drinks table. Lot of home brew.

We had to keep the bonfire covered until the day itself.

Ugly at the gate to welcome people in.

Fairy hanging lights. Sorry, hanging fairy lights.

The Allotment breeds some scary creatures.

Random "man in the crowd" is invited to light the bonfire.

Rain doesn't stop play.

Fire's lit.

And the queue for food begins.

Phil has been at the home made cider.

Conan the Samoyed doesn't seem impressed.

The pumpkin carving entries. Children (front), adults (back).

Winners (walking pumpkins)

Runner-up (a truly demonic witch)

Adult winner. Prize was a hand made scarf from our judge, Madeleine Jude (left).

The Veggie Cook (Alison, left) and Meat Cook (Chris, right) have creative differences.

Somebody give them a hand.

But the food goes down really well.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

The end of the Courgettes

I go away for two weeks and everything goes to rack and ruin.

The courgettes are now well and truly over. The leaves seem to have a mould growing on them and they look very worn and eaten. What courgettes that were left have grown into some pretty decent marrows a lot more seem to have rotted on the plant, yet there are still a few newish courgettes which appear to have survived. But on the whole it's time for the plants to be cut back and cleared.

The chilli plants in the greenhouse have also survived with a decent crop which will now be dried and used in dishes over the winter. Did expect a few more, but then again these were planted from seeds in the spring and it's their first year. Hopefully the plants will grow bigger and better yet year and provide a bumper harvest.

The apple tree has suddenly made a whole load of delicious red fruit (unfortunately many with maggot/worm holes) but they will all be picked and checked and stored away. Some will be made into apple sauce and frozen.

And after that the only growing things left on the plot will be the rhubarb (just a few leaves left now), the grapes (don't think they are going to ripen) and the mint, in it's pot. Time to dig out the fork and shovel and get the plot laid out how I want it for next year.

And on Sunday there was a very strange delivery at the allotment shop. Two Guinea Pigs were dumped (for want of a better word) at the shop. Complete with cage and food. They seem to have been well looked after. But who simply dumps animals at an allotment?
They have now been found a home so don't worry.