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...........

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Why didn't anyone tell me...?

I so want to get to the Hill & plant out the celery seedlings, not to say the swede & ropey looking spring onions that I have growing at home – and kohl rabi, turnip & celeriac seeds – and yet the rain continues day after day…

However, having run out of potatoes & other vegetables last night I donned a cagoule & squelched up with a trug to gather some tea. Having dug up some POTATOES (rocket) – how fabulous the soil looks – & picked some PEAS (kelvedon wonder) & a load of SPINACH (hector f1), I then turned my attention to the gooseberry bushes.

I’ve noticed that the gooseberries are getting to be, well, rather bigger than I would have expected & are turning from bright green to a purplish colour, & when I give them the ‘soft centre test’ they do give a bit, so I picked just three & put them in the trug.

I didn’t trip over myself with enthusiasm as I don’t think I like gooseberries – tart little monkeys, as I recall from the bowlful that next door gave me from their bush a couple of years ago – but I thought that they’ll cook into chutney, or something.

So when I got home and dried off, I gave them a wash, topped & tailed and gingerly had a nibble expecting a real sharp kick. Well – I could not have been more wrong! The gooseberry was sweet & juicy & tasty & very, very more-ish! I would have posted a photo, but I ate them – yum, yum, yum, yum, yum!

Curious as to why I had been so badly misled for all these years, I asked the clever folks at the GYO grapevine who tell me that apart from the traditional sharp green gooseberries, there are ‘dessert’ varieties – normally brown or purple when ripe – which are, indeed, very sweet (rather like grapes). Well you live & learn! I can’t wait to get back there to pick a load more – they are so delicious!

So to keep me busy back at home, I’ve sown some jiffies with SPRING ONION (white Lisbon), a couple of CUCUMBER (marketmore), a COURGETTE (black beauty) – as the plant in the pot here at home is looking a bit under the weather – & a dozen sunflower (velvet queen) which I thought would jolly up the front of the plot once the potatoes are out of the way.

Perhaps it will perk up for the weekend? Surely it can’t rain all summer long….?


  1. Bet the blackbirds make the same discovery as you have, BEFORE you get back to The Hill.

  2. I'll be eating bloody blackbird pie if they do!

  3. ooooohhh... you've given me flashbacks to the gooseberry bush at my parents' old house! They were huge, purple (eventually) and sweet. Must get one!

  4. Thanks for your comment, HJ! If you talk really nicely to Pigletwillie, he's striking some cuttings of his Pax variety - which he says are as sweet as grapes - and I'm sure that he'll be delighted to post one out to you...


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