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...........

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Happy New Year ...

…to all our readers!

The start of 2009 has been cold, cold, cold. Down to minus 5ºC or less at night for over a week now – so there will be no excuse for an abundance of whitefly or other pests to be around this coming year! No wonder I slipped off for week or so in the sun…

The weather being as it is, I’m glad that we put the plot to bed at the end of November with our compost spread from the bin, & forthcoming potato bed liberally covered in manure.

Although there is not much happening at the Hill – apart from digging up the odd PARSNIP (white gem) – now is the time for planning & seed sorting, so I spent a happy hour playing with seed packets, & making our choice of six from the HSL catalogue. With so many peas & beans saved from last year, I’ve gone for leek, parsnip & celeriac, although I couldn’t resist a couple of mange tout pea varieties & just one climbing bean…

Having run out of seed compost at the end of last year, I went to the garden centre today for a bag. All the compost had frozen solid & I made my way home with a bag the consistency & weight of a paving slab. It’s been thawing out against a radiator, & I’ve made the first sowings of the year of a few CAULIFLOWER (all the year round) & ONION (red long Florence) which is about all I can put in at this time of the year.

I’m going to try harder with successional sowing this year, however I must remember that not everything benefits from the ‘little & often’ principal. It’s ok to sow half a dozen lettuces or cauliflower, as these don’t stand for a long time when they all come ready at the same time, however, things like leek, onion & parsnip can be sown with just an ‘early’ & a ‘late’ sowing & they will be fine as they will either sit in the ground until we’re ready for them, or they’ll all be harvested together anyway.

Must remember that.

It might be quiet on the plot with just parsnip, kale & Jerusalem artichokes for eating now, but I’m still eating broad and runner beans out the freezer, squash are stored in the mini green house, along with the garlic & there are loads of potatoes still in the garage. Before we have anything ready for this new season, there will be the leeks, red cabbage & Brussels sprouts fresh from the plot too, so plenty there to feel rather pleased about!


  1. We don't have the space to enjoy a lot of vegetables either in the freeze or stored for use though the winter ..However we do have broad beans nicely bagged and frozen and are making chutneys and pickles ...They will be nice through the winter ..


  2. Yes, your broad beans do look very tasty, Dinzie - and I notice from the mouthwatering pics on your blog that you have the room to grow some monster strawberries too! I hope that we can get our soft fruit better organised this year!

  3. Recognise some of those seed packets Hazel! It's nice to have a few of your friends' bounty for next year isn't it? Thanks for yours!

  4. I thought that you'd spot those, Flum! I love every seed packet to tell a story - it gives the plants a personality too!

    It tickles me that seeds I've grown and sent are going to be grown by other gardeners all over the country (and beyond)- it's all about interconnectivity or something - you're never alone!

  5. Hi Hazel,
    I work on Market Kitchen (Food Programme on UKTV Food), and I came across a website you were chatting on, about celery wine.
    We are doing an item on celery on this weeks show and I would love to feature some celery wine! Do you have any left or know where I could get some??? If you could let me know asap that would be great.
    Cheers, Rebecca.

  6. I do have a couple of bottles left, Rebecca, but quite honestly, unless it has seriously improved in the last couple of months it really is, well, vile!

    You could feature it as 'cautionary tale', I suppose!

    Let me know what you think, and we can get in touch properly...

  7. Hi Hazel,
    Great! Despite the taste, it would be great to get hold
    of some. It has a long history and is possible interesting!
    If you could email your number to me at rebecca.davidson@optomen.com I can give you a quick call to discuss.
    Cheers, Rebecca.

  8. Amen to the successional sowing thing Hazel. I always have a glut of something or ever. I am still trying to get through all those Brussels sprouts and there's only so much cauliflower cheese a body can eat!
    Looks as if you might be getting your 15 mins of fame too - you must let us know how you get on.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...