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...........

Sunday, September 21, 2008

More fruit & new faces...

What a summery, sunshiny weekend! What a shame that it’s about two months too late…

At this time of year, it is mostly picking & clearing – I remember the same from last year, & being concerned that it was all ‘take-out’ of the plot with not much ‘put-in’ – of course this is just the other side of the coin on which ‘sowing & weeding’ is written.

When I arrived on Saturday, the first thing I wanted to find out was if there were any blackberries around the back of the Club building – I’d spent a lovely evening on Thursday out with Jane & E picking blackberries over by Hillwood Farm, however the evening was rather more notable for the country walk & chat rather than the quantity of blackberries, & if I want to make wine, then I need 4lb, rather than the 1¾ which was the evening’s bounty.

I found myself rather wishing that I hadn’t scoffed all of last weeks raspberries that I had from cheery Brian & Pauline & kept them to add in – & wondered if they still had plenty to go round…?

In the event, there weren’t any blackberries of note behind the Club building, but I did see Brian & Pauline who were busy painting their bench & small shed, & in exchange for half a row of my CARROTS (gonsonheimer), they invited me to help myself to more of the raspberries. Hurrah!

I was busy picking when Jane arrived, & shortly afterwards, her husband Paul & the dog. After introductions, a guided tour of Brian & Pauline’s plot for Jane & some further raspberry picking, the three of us moved back down to our plot & had a real harvesting session, starting with a taste test of the various bean varieties (this was before I read today that ON NO ACCOUNT should you ever eat raw beans as they contain toxins – I’ve not spoken to Jane since but trust that they are both ok!).

It was lovely to meet two returning allotment holders who came by to say hello – having recognised us from our photos here. Mike & Chris live a few doors down from Jane, & they used to have two half-plots at the Hill years ago – they’ve been on the waiting list & have now been offered the front half of one-arm-David’s plot down the bottom next to John Badger.

Jane & Paul went off laden with plenty of SWEETCORN (tender & true), RUNNER BEANS (reg-next-plot), FRENCH BEANS (tendergreen) for shelling & some SQUASH (pomme d’or), & I finished by pulling up the rest of the FRENCH BEANS (early warwick), taking the pods home for shelling - to be used in stews over winter & for sowing next year - along with some runner beans, BARLOTTI BEANS & some ripe tomatoes which I then made into salsa.
The rest of the green ones, showing signs of blight, all wanted picking off too, but that was a job for another day…


  1. Good trug-full there Hazel. Isn't swap and barter under-rated - except amongst allotment holders? I find people are very generous.

    That salsa looks good. Hmm - breakfast hardly gone down and I'm hungry again!

  2. You're quite right - it all stems from the allotmenteers' tightwad attitude of prefering to give away rather the surplus than to see waste, I reckon!


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