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, May 07, 2009

Wine Tasting!

Now that we are into May, I can get the next batch of seeds sown, but when I looked at the rapidly diminishing bag of compost, rather than going for bean sowing which I really should be getting on with, I fished out a heap of brassicas seeds from the box instead.

I'm experimenting by sowing in modules – previously I have sown half a dozen or so seeds in 3” square pots & then pricked them out into individual pots which is a bit of a fiddle, but does make for really easy planting out; but maybe by sowing a couple of seeds in each module (note to self to be stern & hoik out the weaker seedling!) I will be able to skip the pricking out & still find planting out a doodle. We shall see.

So I have a 40 module tray with five modules of each of CABBAGE (negra & greyhound), BRUSSELS SPROUTS (Falstaff & Bedford filbasket), KALE (Sutherland), BROCCOLI (late purple sprouting), CAULIFLOWER (romanesco) & CALABRESE (Waltham). I also sowed a couple of the 3” pots with LETTUCE (little gem & mini green) before putting away a very meagre bag of compost – must buy another at the weekend.

I finally got round to bottling the parsnip wine today, then racked the rhubarb wine which is astonishingly clear given that it was only three weeks ago that I started it off. Whilst putting the parsnip wine away in the garage (not to be drunk until Christmas), I took stock of what I had in store, then chose a bottle of the ‘most mature’ to bring in for chilling & opening this evening.

It happened to be the first bottle of the pea pod wine, & I have a glass besides me as I type. I can report that it has a somewhat distinctive ‘nose’ – quite earthy, but not unpleasant, & with a definite hint of pea. That’s P-E-A before anyone starts making up their own jokes. I think that another 3 or 4 months in the garage will benefit it – it is rather robust – but it’s not bad though, & rather better than I’ve made it sound!


  1. Hi hazel long time no see! Was hoping for some advice. I have grown some of your dwarf french beans from last year and was wondering if you grew them up canes or short sticks or just left them to grow on the ground?

    speak soon!
    PS. Ive taken my blog offline until I get chance to start up again.

  2. Hi Jody! Although they are supposed to be self supporting, and only grow to about 18" to 2' high, I found that they could do with a bit of a hand to keep upright.

    You could either put in twiggy sticks, or short canes at each end of the row and make a string enclosure (think that was how Neat Neighbour John did it?)

  3. Hi Hazel - I just put one brassica seed per module - tight as a fishes bottom! I don't get many blanks and I haven't the heart to chuck a growing plant.

    You know what I think about vegetable wines. I don't reckon pea-pod ever tastes of anything but peas! Have you tried parsley though? That's GOOD!

  4. Vino sounds lovely, between you and Flummery I shall definitely have to start brewing again.

  5. Darn - I've just put all my parsley seed in the seed swap - I would never have thought of parsley wine!

    Do make a little wine, Bilbo - but take no heed of Flum with regard to vegetable wines {grin} - parsnip wine is brill (although admittedly the celery rather less so!)

    And rhubarb still the best fruit wine I've made so far - so get yourself a crown!

  6. In the days back when I made wine my faves were strawberry, elderflower and gooseberry .....

    I too must make a start again ... :O)



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