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, November 15, 2007

Hello Belinda Scarecrow!

Things really are looking ‘year end’ now – which is rather appropriate as we will have had custody of our half plot for exactly a year tomorrow. I’ll do an ‘end of year report’ at the weekend, as we’ll need to do some planning for next year…

There’s still plenty to do, though, so on Saturday I went to the Hill in the sunshine & raked over the rest of plot B (misc as was) & sowed the rest of the green manure.

Once that bed was ‘put to bed’ – ha ha – I turned my attention to plot C where there are still a lot of the ‘roots’ in situ – mainly parsnips, but also celery, a few odd spring onions & quite a few rows of late sown carrots, the success of which I do not – frankly – hold out a great deal of hope for.

The parsnips are an absolute success – although they are in the ground a long time (sown in Feb, & likely to be there for more or less the whole year) they more than earn their keep. They have had a good germination rate (they are reputed to be a bit ‘tricky’), strong growth & huge roots – & whether I’ve roasted them or mashed with swede & potato, they have tasted fantastic!

This bed will be the potatoes next year, & I need to have the ground clear in order to stick a load of manure on, which given a bit of a lack of logic when it came to sowing rows of seed, this is not proving that easy – I’m just having to sneak the manure on as the parsnips are eaten.

The bean poles are driving me crackers with the plants getting tattier by the day, but I’ve wanted to leave the pods on the plants for as long as possible to mature. I think I’ll have the rest down this weekend though. I did take down the barlotti bean wigwam, & dug that small patch over. I took the green mesh tent down too which the late sowing of peas climbed up. The peas suffered with an extreme case of mildew – but the peas once podded look fine & are all drying out for sowing next year.

I’ve left the late sowing of black turtle beans in situ for the time being – again I want to give the pods the best chance to mature. I soaked, boiled & ate some of the beans in the week & I must put aside more room for growing pulses to dry next year – they’ll be a great winter food, & of course as they are dried they can stay jars & be stored in the garage if necessary.

Once I’ve cleared the ground there I will construct a couple of compost bins – I’ve now got the necessary pallets, & as we’ve had notice that we are going to shortly lose the green waste skip there is a pressing need to have somewhere to put biodegradable waste. Something else to learn all about!

I spotted about half a delivery of manure sacks which needed emptying into the skip, so I did my community duty there before harvesting a small CAULIFLOWER (all the year round), CABBAGE (primo II), the first couple of LEEKS (mrs D) & a magnificent PARSNIP (white gem) & took that little lot home with me along with Billy Scarecrow who was in great need of a makeover. He got more than he bargained for - he's ended up with a sex change….!

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