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, February 16, 2009

When Pain Stops Play...

Although I am having considerable difficulty today in moving my head without the rest of my body following suit – what with my incredibly stiff neck, brought on by over exertion in the construction department – that does not mean I have just been idly feeling sorry for myself, no sirree!

It might be only the middle of February, but there are seeds to be sown, so I’ve put the first two varieties of PEAS into loo-roll-inners (hsl newick & hsl Gladstone). Now I don’t quite know how this has happened, but I do appear to have eight varieties of peas to sow this year, but I’m sure that they’ll all fit in somewhere!

I also sowed four pots of SPRING ONION (white lisbon) – the Plan is to put a good pinch of seed into each pot, then the whole lot can be planted out as they are for a ready-to-dig bunch in due course. It worked really well last year, & I do find pricking out a bit fiddly – although mildly therapeutic.

Apart from sowing (& I am running short of windowsills), I have been busy bottling the pea pod & the Jerusalem artichoke wines. A taster of each means that I’m hoping that the pea pod will improve with maturity, however I have very high hopes of the Jerusalem artichoke – which is wonderful. Thankfully, it tastes nothing like Jerusalem artichokes!

With plenty of parsnips dug up at the weekend (their plot having been bisected by a raised bed), I’ve started this year’s parsnip wine. I’ve just finished the last bottle from last year, & I’m disappointed that I didn’t do more - hopefully this year’s batch will be as good a ‘vintage’!

I took mum to the Hill at lunchtime in order for her to have a look at the raised beds – & I showed her how Julie (2nd best plot) & family are doing with theirs – which is very well indeed, thank you.

Actually, they have done a brilliant job with weed suppressant fabric which she’s using for paths, & has the fabric tucked underneath the board of each raised bed & stapled to the inside of each bed leaving no room for stray weeds to sneak round the edge of the paths. Damn - I wish I’d thought of that!

Not to worry – I was enormously cheered by seeing John Badger at the bottom who had brought me along a couple of pork pies he had made – how fabulous is that? Mum even more pleased – she’d only come along for a look at an empty plot, & went home with one for her supper…


  1. Take it gently with that stiff neck Hazel. I had one that lasted 8 weeks once! Thought it would never go, but it did.
    Hmmm - home made pork pie! My son - no mean cook - makes his own pork pies. Nothing like them.

  2. Isn't it wonderful when someone brings you food and drink when you are hard at work on the allotment! Pork pie is just the ticket!

  3. I've had a bad back for two weeks now ...Though i think the stiff neck would be worse...

    like the idea of the home wines my start some of that myself ....


  4. I think that I will have to barricade John B in his shed until he agrees to make me more pork pies - delicious!

    I'm more mobile in the neck department - thank goodness - but the test will be wielding tools at the Hill tomorrow!

    Wine is such fun to make, Dinzie - you should have a go! Rhubarb is the easiest (if you have a couple of crowns growing) and makes a lovely rose style. I'm just starting a grapefruit wine, but that's a tale for another day...

  5. OUCH, get well soon and do as Mrs Flum says - take it easy until you are better.

  6. I must have a go at the wine ..While our rhubarb isn't up to it yet we do have a good farmers market locally that I can get good quality fruit etc ...

    RYN - Well this proved interesting as I got the cucumber seeds through a NZ Local trade site where a lot of home gardeners swap/sell seeds ..The cucumbers we just labelled as heirlooms ...However, I made contact with the seller..She believes the round ones I grew are called lemon cucumbers (by look not taste. The ones in the picture are thought to be "Chinese Yellow cucumbers" ...There is a long history of Chinese immigrants where she lives... Well worth a try and produces many fruit ...



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