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, October 30, 2008

Bags of Beans!

So, Mrs Clever here thought that by whipping all the leaves off the beans, the rows would be safe from autumn gales while she went off on holiday to the sun for a couple of weeks, huh?


However, Jane to the rescue – she’s done a sterling job of picking ALL the bean pods left on the ALL the plants, & has dug up the plants & tidied away the canes. Hurrah!

With four huge carrier bags of various beans, shelling beans is the order of the day & this is a brilliant sitting-by-the-fire job whilst the autumn nights draw in outside. It now feels very cold indeed – so cold, in fact, that this week we have had snow falling – in October too.

The mornings are bright & crisp which means that the rhubarb, remaining squash & the bedding plants at the front of the plot have all succumbed to the frosts.

On a flying visit to the plot at lunchtime I was pleased to see all the onions sprouting away, and absolutely delighted to see the cauliflowers which are ready to cut. Mind you, I was disappointed to see how little of the green manure has sprouted – I wonder why that is?

I’ll have plenty of time to contemplate this at the weekend whilst I’m planting out about a million young wallflowers at the front of the plot which mum has kindly given us….

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Sorry, Keats...

Not quite the season of ‘mists & mellow fruitfulness’, more the season of 'getting a bit nippy & being rained on'.

However, the beans won’t pick themselves, so it was on with the wax jacket & beanie hat & off to the Hill.

I wasn’t quite alone – Teacher Barry was having a clear up of his plot & told me that novice neighbour Jody had been laid low with kidney stones – sounds very painful, so get well soon, Jody.

I’d promised a couple of orange SQUASH (red kuri) to cheery Brian & Pauline, so I cut the six remaining fruit off the plant & popped a couple up to their plot along with half a dozen of the pomme d’or & a redmolo for a bit of variety.

Jane arrived as I was trying to make some order of the beans – they are not all mature & dry by any stretch so I was a bit loathe to pick them, but with the climbers, the canes are in grave danger of blowing over, so something had to be done. We discussed a compromise, & stripped most of the leaves off the plants, thus making them less susceptible to high winds, & picked off any beans that looked ripe.

The two rows which we did have all the beans off were the FRENCH BEAN (tendergreen), & the climbing BARLOTTO (lingua de fueco) from Jody. The latter do not look remotely like the other barlottis as they have long round pencil like pods & smallish mauve seeds, but that’s what it said on the packet. Either way they have been fabulous to eat fresh & have cropped like mad – definitely one for next year.

With the beans in better shape, we turned to the SWEETCORN (tender & true) – it’s getting past its best now, so we had the last of the cobs off & pulled the plants up. This has been another excellent crop – lasting ages & we’ve both had loads of gorgeous sweet cobs. Whilst we were in chop-down mode, we felled the sunflower (easier said than done!) as it was starting to shed some of its seed & I brought the head home to dry off.

Today’s star prize is this CALABRESE (Waltham) – a total surprise as I’m sure it was no where near forming a head last time I looked – and it tasted just as good as it looks! Yum yum!
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