Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Monday, July 30, 2007

Struck down in our Prime!

Oh-oh – I thought that things were going well…

Well it turns out that warm & moist conditions are perfect for BLIGHT on the potatoes, & – sure enough – the tops of the spuds have started to get brown patches on which indicates the onset.

We’re certainly not alone – talking in the Club on Saturday, the blight started at the top of the Hill & like the Grand Old Duke of York is marching its way back down…

It does strike quickly – those on Neat Neighbour John’s plot look really terrible, like brown sticks, & on Neighbour Ted’s – so I’ve spent the last two days on fork duty digging up 40kg (so far!) of potatoes. And that’s only half.

The worst of it is that the spuds all look absolutely FAB – but the big deal is that they will not keep (had a rather graphic & revolting description of this on the GYO Grapevine last night – yuk!) so as there is a limit to how many we can palm off to family, friends & neighbours before they start to avoid us, I’m busy thinking of ways to cook/store all of the potatoes. Cooked, mashed & frozen seems favourite, but I’ve not ruled out parboiling & freezing…but I might need more freezer room…

I can’t even tell which are which as the rows as too close together & I didn’t mark them out properly so I’ve got a number of brown paper bags with 'Nadine?’ & ‘Rocket?’ marked on.

You can’t say that they haven’t been a success, though – I reckon that we’ve had about 20kg rocket first earlies, & 25kg dug up blighty ones, with about the same again to dig – & my back-of-a-fag-packet calculation says that that is about right to keep us all going till March (when you would ‘normally’ expect them to keep).

The good news is that the weekend was lovely & sunny – & the forecast is for the weather to remain fine all week. Just as well with all these spuds to dig up – just call me Mrs Potato Head.

More cheery news is that I have the SHOW SCHEDULE so that I can see what I might venture as an entry to the Annual Hill Allotment Show! It’s in about 3 weeks & I should think that we can find one out of our hundreds of lettuces to enter, & maybe beetroot & maybe radish…& if nothing else, there’s a cakes section. I am really looking forward to this!

And just to show that there is far more good news in the world than bad, I had the most marvellous box of delights in the post this morning from kind & thoughtful Wellie in the Forest of Dean – which certainly deserves a post to itself, so I’ll post some pictures up…after I’ve dug some more spuds up….potato pickle, anyone…?

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