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, November 19, 2007

Bin there - or bean there...?

The weather forecast for the weekend implied that if I wanted to keep dry at the Hill, I’d better get on with it on Saturday morning.

I had the Hill virtually to myself, & got busy with clearing the late sown French beans, & constructing a compost bin using pallets & strong green garden wire. It looks fantastic, & if I ‘liberate’ another couple of pallets, I think that I’ll put another one up besides it. That way we can have one bin full & ‘working’ with another being filled.

Once the bin was completed, I started to dismantle the bean tent. It took quite a long time as the beans tangled themselves round the poles & each other, & I wanted the bean plants in the bin, any pods still on the plants to take back for podding, & the poles lined up for storing over winter in the garage.

Jane & E arrived & pitched in & we finished the job in short order. Reg-next-plot stopped by & we chatted about the school visit last week, & he gave a few tips on the compost bin – I’d empted a couple of bags of ‘neat’ horse manure into the bin, & Reg suggested some strawy stuff too, to make a better mix, so out with the fork & bucket & into the manure skip to collect the right stuff to add into the bin & redress the balance. The bin’s about two thirds full now – it’ll be interested to see how it rots down.

Jane & E whipped up the land cress (thank goodness for that!) & after a quick hoe, E split the final garlic bulb (which I rediscovered languishing on the back seat of the car) into 16 & we made two short rows & squeezed them in.

I rough dug plot A which will be next years ‘miscellaneous’ (it should be full to bursting with brassicas – better planning for next year, I think!). It only took about quarter of an hour – last year the first dig over of the plot took weeks!

Jane & E left with a parsnip, & once I’d had a final look round & tidy up, I left too with some SPRING ONIONS (white Lisbon), CARROTS (mixed) which although are a reasonable size, look to be chock a block with carrot fly, a couple of LEEKS (mrs D) & a CABBAGE (primo II).

The sunflower head from the tallest sunflower competition has spent a few weeks on the head of billy scarecrow, so when I give him his sex change (!), I bought the head home for further drying, & this has yielded a couple of hundred seeds – so I’ve plenty for next year! Perhaps the school could use some for the children to sow up & take home next year.

I also spent a happy hour in front of the fire podding beans, & now realise that I need to work out the best way to cook runner bean seeds, otherwise I will be in a position to supply not only the school, but about half the county with seed for next year…

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