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, December 19, 2010

Bah, Humbug mk II

After a few normal days, it's back to snow & bloody cold weather again.

The five day forecast shows all the temps - night & day - in blue, meaning below freezing, so it looks like the couple of inches of snow which fell on Friday & Saturday will be hanging around for the foreseeable. I'd show you, but I can't work out how to copy & paste the screen shot thing - the formatting comes out all funny when I try.

So that means being confined to barracks again & not being able to get to the Hill - but on the plus side, the tree is up & looking good ready for Christmas next weekend, & Oliver cat has taken up timeshares between my lap & being in front of the fire.

It's not so bad, really.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lucky Birds & Monster Veg

Nothing lasts forever - although that snow & ice seemed to, I must say - & so with a thaw late last week we can all get out & about & back to normal again.


Sorry Chris, you can keep the white stuff.

With big sister Helen up this weekend, we did some garden centre shopping (& tea & toasted teacake eating, naturally) - my Christmas tree now bought from the wonderful Pacific Nurseries, to be delivered tomorrow, & whilst we were browsing, this chap caught our eye.

Like most garden centres, Pacific has a sales area under cover, but unlike other garden centres it cordons off the part of the sales area where the robins decide where they would like to build their nest in Spring, so they can raise their youngsters in peace. What nice people.

The robins know that they are on to a good thing here - it must be heaven - this one was very much at home here by the bird food display.

Home via the Hill to dig a couple of parsnips - one was rather forked, but this one is a cracker - can't wait to roast all 2 and a half foot of it!

I might not be getting many veg from the Hill at the moment, but when you grow parsnips this big, that doesn't seem to be a problem!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Bah, Humbug

The whole country, it seems, is in the grip of Winter, & has been for a good couple of weeks. That's proper snowy, icy, temperatures-down-to-minus 10, schools closed, transport grinding to a halt, check-on-your-neighbours WINTER.

On the plus side, it has been extremely pretty; I work from home, so don't have to brave the elements; the shops are but a short walk away, I have a freezer & plenty of supplies; & plenty of warmth.

But I really have had enough of it now. It is still lethal underfoot with ice, freezing cold, & the reward that I have had for being Mrs Sensible & not driving? A flat battery.

I have not been to the Hill for three weeks - and then only for the AGM - as the chances of being able to do anything or to dig up any parsnips is nil. Fortunately the cabbage the-size-of-your-head which I cut at the beginning of November is quite happy keeping in the fridge having portion after portion of crisp white tightly packed leaves sliced off each day.

And yes, I know we'd all be bored of the same weather all the time, & it is extremely festive - but really.

Bah, humbug.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Blackcurrant Wine - Step 4, Week 3

Step 4: ..... then let it stand until fermentation ceases & the wine clears, usually in about three months.

After a couple of weeks or so, the blackcurrant wine has stopped noticeably bubbling through the airlock and just sits not doing much, so fermentation has pretty much finished.

It's time to take it from its nice warm spot by the radiator - where I keep tripping over it - and up into the attic room out of the way in order to clear. CJJ doesn't say to do this here, but elsewhere in the book he says to move wines to a cool place to clear, so that's good enough for me.

I've angled the demijohn (by resting the back edge on a handy inch-thick notepad) so that as the sediment settles, it will all be piled up in the corner rather than a thin layer over the whole bottom area, which will mean it'll be easier to siphon off more of the good stuff later.

When I do siphon off the wine from the sediment, I'll make the level back up with the extra in the milk carton, but there is surprisingly little sediment which means that I might not need all of the extra.

Meanwhile, I can forget about it for a few weeks until it looks clear.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Autumn Plot Clearing

It's not all wine making at the mo - although given the heavy frost last night, last week's strong winds, I've been quite happy with some indoor activity.

But it was nice enough to whip up to the Hill for a couple of hours last Sunday, & an hour yesterday to go some autumnal clearing.

The beans are as dry as they are going to get, I think, so I took lots of carrier bags with me (one per bean variety) to collect the pods. Some plants had grown in a wayward fashion & had escaped to climb up other poles, but after a while I could tell the differences in the pods & detect any strangers in each batch.

I stripped the plants off the poles, untied the cross wires, put the coloured ball cane-toppers back in the bag in the shed & the poles into the back of the car for storing at home in the garage for next year - a good job well done. Well, almost - the T-uprights at each end of the bed are screwed in to the bed sides for sturdiness, and I didn't have the drill with me to undo them.

I dug over one of the fruit beds too - I need to do further tidying and tying in of the raspberry canes too, but that's a job for another day.

I bought the beans home to spread on newpaper up in the attic room for final drying, & also dug up a couple of parsnips & some Jerusalem artichokes for roasting - they taste wonderful!

How bare the plot looks - I do have some brassica seedlings at home with I have somehow not got round to planting out, and it seems a bit late now. Mind you, they've got two choices, haven't they - so that's on the List for next weekend.

Much excitement this week, though - it's the Hill Association AGM tomorrow evening in the clubhouse!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blackcurrant Wine - Step 4, Day 9

Step 4: Then strain into a fermenting jar, fit an airlock then let it stand until fermentation ceases & the wine clears, usually in about three months.

Sploshing buckets of blackcurrant wine into a demijohn via a sieve & funnel is potentially pretty messy, & blackcurrant is likely to stain - so it's on with the pinny. All the kit sterilised (demijohn, sieve, funnel, jug, sample tube, hydrometer & airlock), then first up is to measure the SG to see what all that frothing has been about.

At 998 already, the yeast has romped through the sugar, and an SG this low implies that we will have lip-puckeringly dry wine - so now is the time to add some more sugar. Another 4oz goes into the bucket, and then the is SG taken again.

The reading this time is a more reasonable 1006 - the SG will drop further as the wine continues to ferment, & we're aiming for a final SG of about 1000.

I put the wine through the sieve & funnel into the demijohn (there's some leftover which goes into an old milk carton for the minute - we'll need this for topping up once the wine is siphoned off the rest of the blackcurrant pips & sediment) and an airlock fitted.

It's back into a warm room for a few days to carry on fermenting - then I'll put it up in the cool attic room to be forgotten about for three months or so until it starts to look clear with the sediment in a layer at the bottom.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blackcurrant Wine - Step 3, Day 6

Fermentation is the magic bit of wine making - sprinkling fairy dust yeast on a bucket of fruit juice & the juice turns into wine.

As CJJ says, 'when the yeast is put into a sugary solution, it begins to multiply vigorously & in the complex chemical processes which ensue, the sugar is converted roughly half to alcohol ... & half to carbon dioxide...'

And just a day or so after adding the yeast, not only are there warm & yeasty smells coming from the bucket, but there's a constant shifting in the surface froth as bubbles burst & new ones break to the surface & listen closely & you can hear the fizzzzzzzzzzz of all that yeast furiously multiplying, feeding on the sugar & exuding alcohol & gas.

Actually, examining the process in that much detail makes it all sound rather mundane & more than a bit grubby.

We'll stick to the magic fairy dust, I think.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blackcurrant Wine - Step 3, Day 4 - addendum

In all the excitement of adding yeast to start off the fermentation of the blackcurrant wine yesterday, it slipped my mind until later to take the initial Specific Gravity (SG) which measures how sugary the juice is.

When the fermentation has finished & the yeast has transformed all that sweetness into alcohol, the SG is taken again & the strength of the wine can be calculated, which is useful so that you know how much respect it deserves - some of the parsnip wine that I have made has been nearly as strong as sherry, so I serve it in a sherry glass.

If mum came round for Sunday lunch after church & I gave her a wine glass full, although it would slip down in a most agreeable fashion, I suspect that she'd fall asleep before pudding was served, & she'd certainly lose at Scrabble in the afternoon.

Measuring the SG is simplicity itself, assuming that you have a jug, a hydrometer & a sample tube (or a tall glass). As ever, sterilise these (DON'T use boiling water on the hydrometer! It will break! Use a tsp of sterilising powder in a big mixing bowl full of water and put the jug, tube and hydrometer in for 10 minutes before rinsing off with cold water).

Dip the jug in the bucket, fill the sample tube with the hydrometer in until it floats. Give the hydrometer a whirl round to dislodge any airbubbles & to make sure that it floats freely and read the SG off the scale.

The wine measures 1086 at the mo (the aim is for 1080-1090 as a start) so that's fine - and off it goes.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Blackcurrant Wine - Step 3, Day 4

Step 3: .... & a day later a wine yeast, & keep closely covered for five days in a warm place, giving it an occasional stir

Now for the exciting stuff - getting the yeast to do it's stuff to metamorphose the sugary fruit juice into delicious wine. And another easy step too, but - no - what's this? In the text CJJ says to add a wine yeast, but makes no mention of the nutrient that is listed in the ingredients section.

I have to say, that excellent tome his 'First Steps in Winemaking' is, it could have done with the services of a better proof reader - it has all sorts of inconsistencies & changes of style within the recipes that the beginner could well do without.

However, ploughing back through all the introductory stuff in the book - 'to obtain the best possible fermentation....it is wise to add a nutrient to give the yeast a boost'.

So the two go together & I add just under a tsp of yeast & the same of nutrient to each of my buckets, which are stirred, covered & will be left alone for five days save for an occasional stir with a (sterilised with boiling water) spoon.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Blackcurrant Wine - Step 3, Day 3

Step 3 - When it has cooled to about blood heat, add the pectic enzyme...

The blackcurrant wine has cooled down overnight, & it's time to add a tsp of pectic enzyme. Well, that's pretty easy, isn't it?

According to CJJ:

'It is a great help to extraction to add 1tsp of a pectin destroying enzyme to hasten the breakdown of the fruit (and incidentally, ensure a clear wine). '


'It is particularly important to use a pectin destroying enzyme with fruits high in pectin e.g. blackcurrants.'

If the pectin is not destroyed, then a 'pectin haze' might form, which looks like 'tiny jelly blobs rather like frogspawn surrounded by haze particles.'

Well, that's vile (I have some experience of this with last year's apple wine), so I've added a tsp of Pecotlase to avoid problems later, & given it a quick stir with a metal spoon (dipped in boiling water first to sterilise) & I've covered it back over and will leave it for 24hours for the Pectolase to do it's stuff.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Blackcurrant Wine - Step 2, Day 2

Step 2 - Boil up the sugar in the water & pour, still boiling, on to the currants.

I've reached Step 2 in the making of the blackcurrant wine - I've a maslin pan which is ideal to boil up 8 pints of water & to add 2lb 12oz of sugar (rather than the 3lb that CJJ uses - he's got rather a sweet tooth, & sugar can always be added later on).

The sugar added isn't an exact science as the amount of sugar in the currants will vary depending on variety & ripeness. I'll be measuring how sweet the mixture is (the SG) before the yeast is added by using a hydrometer, & extra sugar can be added then.

At this point it is important to make sure that the bucket is big enough! A gallon of water, the sugar & the fruit will be 6 litres or more in total volume, so my weedy 5 litre bucket is not big enough - the mix is split into two buckets.

Then it is covered & can be left to cool down overnight, ready for Step 3.

Blackcurrant Wine - Step 1, Day 2

Step 1 - put the currants into a plastic bucket or bowl & crush them.

The blackcurrants for my batch of blackcurrant wine have defrosted overnight & are now ready to be crushed, per CJJ's first step.

Except that they are not are they? Close inspection of the bucket reveals that there are leaves & stems still on the blackcurrants due to lazy fruit picking back in July.

Actually, I'm not sure if leaving these in the mix will do any harm - after all, they will all drop to the bottom with the rest of the sediment in due course, but conscience dictates that I should pick out any stems and run a fork down them to ping the currants back into the bucket, & to fish out all the 'extra' stuff to leave just the blackcurrants in the bucket.

Well, what a tedious job that is, but it leaves a bucket of plump blackcurrants waiting to be crushed.

I've experimented with a number of methods of pressing soft fruit to extract the juice, & find that you can't beat using a potato masher (remembering to run boiling water over it first to sterilise). If I had a metal colander, I'd probably press the fruit through that - but I haven't, so the potato masher it is.

Once I'm happy that I've mashed every little currant, it's on to Step 2.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Blackcurrant Wine - Step 1, Day 1

The golden rule with wine making is to keep everything clean, so even before the first step of making our batch of blackcurrant wine, the kit is sterilised.

This means that 1 teaspoon of steriliser is put in the bucket, & water up to the litre & a half mark, then let it stand for 10 mins or so, giving it a swirl round every now & again. Give the bucket a good rinse out with cold water, and away we go with step one.

The first instruction from CJJ is to put the currants into a plastic bucket or bowl & crush them.

Well, precisly 1 second into the wine making process, I have hit a hitch. I have 3lbs of blackcurrants, but they have just come out of the freezer, so although I can put the currants into a plastic bucket or bowl, I cannot crush them just yet.

They will defrost in their bucket overnight - covered with a lid - & I'll carry on tomorrow...

Blackcurrant Wine - Step by Step

I'm getting fed up with not being able to get anything in my freezer as it is rammed full of grapes, redcurrants, blackcurrants & elderberries, so it's high time that some of that lovely fruitiness was turned into something tasty.

In this case, something tasty will be blackcurrant wine, so turning to the trusty CJJ Berry's 'First Steps in Wine Making', he suggests the following:

Black, red or white currants 3lb
Sugar 3lb
Water 1 gallon
Yeast and Nutrient
Pectic enzyme

Put the currants into a plastic bucket or bowl & crush them. Boil up the sugar in the water & pour, still boiling, on to the currants. When it has cooled to about blood heat, add the pectic enzyme & a day later a wine yeast, & keep closely covered for five days in a warm place, giving it an occasional stir. Then strain into a fermenting jar, fit an airlock. Let it stand until fermentation ceases & the wine clears, usually in about three months, then siphon off into fresh, sterilised bottles.

I'm going to interpret the above as I see fit - ha! - & I'll try to set down what's happening without any shortcuts - like assuming that sterilising stuff is a given, or thinking that how to do this or that is obvious. After all, you're reading my blog, not reading my mind!

So, being in possession of all of the above ingredients as well as a bucket, sterilizing powder, a demijohn, an airlock, a tube for syphoning, a tall sample jar & a hydrometer (all off the shelf from Wilkinson, or from a brew shop) & a funnel, we're off....

Monday, November 01, 2010

End of British Summer Time

After a welcome break in the sun, it was back home to frosty nights, & the leaves off every tree within half a mile of the house piled up outside the back door.

I did my bit with the leaves, filling 10 green bags for the 'green' collection & lugging them to the front of the drive (I have more than enough compost material at the Hill without adding these) - it's just a shame that the collection chaps haven't done their bit & come round with the green bin lorry today as per schedule.

This weekend has been mild, although grey & gloomy (not helped by the clocks being turned back an hour on Saturday night - so that was Summer, then), & so I headed off to the Hill with my List reading:

- clear the misc. beds of toms/squash/cucumber/courgette
- plant garlic instead
- dig parsnip for tea

Clearing the beds was easy. After collecting three 'butternut' (?) squash (well, they don't look like the ones you buy in Tesco, do they?), all it took was a few armfuls of frosted greenery & a tickle over with the fork & they were ready. I found a last perfect courgette amougst the collapsed leaves - a final taste of summer.

The squeak of a wheelbarrow approaching heralded Jason (bethind retired Maureen) & his dad.

"Did you know that I've moved to a full plot up the top end?" he beamed, "I'll soon get it to how I want it - I've been moving some of my fruit bushes - and guess what! It's got a greenhouse too!" Well this is a terrific move for Jason as it is a well cultivated full plot, near the top compost bin, and away from the hedgerow.

We'll all have to up our game - he picks up so many prizes at the Show already, with a full plot, there may be no stopping him!

I got waylaid by the pea frame - a failure of a structure which was inadequate in nearly every way, but you live & learn - & spent a bad tempered half hour untwisting wire tags to dismantle the bamboo poles from the netting from the dead peas.

I rescued a few pods which I am nearly certain are from the 'ne plus ultra' for next year. I confess that the netting will not be used again next year, what with being stuffed in a wild tangle in the dustbin when I got home.

Back to the List, & I planted out 36 plump garlic cloves - twelve from each of three of the biggest bulbs from last year (the smaller cloves from each bulb will be eaten) - as I know that Big Cloves planted grow Big Garlic bulbs.

The bean frame will be the next to be taken down - but this is a job for next week's List - but I did pick great handfuls of drying bean pods 'hunter' for shelling, then I dug my parsnip - big & Ood-like - some small but respectable carrots & the final cabbage (bigger than my head), then loaded the car & came home when it got dark. 4.45pm. Boo.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Halloween come early?

Horrendous rain on Friday & Sunday, but dry on Saturday so I spent a satisfying hour at the Hill.

On my List was:
- pick Bag End pumpkin & clear patch
- make good the bed & plant onion sets ('shakespear' bought from the Kings Heath show a few weeks ago
- indicate competition pumpkin so that kind Jason (behind retired Maureen) & John Badger (from the bottom) can take it up for weighing as I won't be present
- clear more ripe beans for drying at home

I suspect that it was no coincidence that there was both no one else at the Hill & I made swift progress - I completed my List within the hour.

I also picked a few more courgette (including a big beggar which I had clearly missed last time round, & maybe the time before that too), & the head off Ollie's sunflower so I can save the seeds for next year.

Back home, I weighed the Bag End pumpkin (18lb) & measured its circumference at 37" - & at that size I need to think about what it will be used for, apart from being a convenient prop with which Oliver can play a convincing game of Being Witch's Cat.

Mind you, if I think that finding a use for the Bag End pumpkin is tricky, I'm really going to be taxed by the huge competition pumpkin which will go up for weighing this weekend...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


John Badger (at the bottom) has been wanting to have a bit of a get together - possibly a barbecue - with the plotholders for some while, & I had an email through on Monday saying, 'It looks like tomorrow evening 5.30 till around 7.30 and all you need is bring yourself.'

In the event, I took along a bottle of apple wine as well as myself (which might seem a bit miserly, but then it is 15%, so was served in very small glasses), & found things in full swing.

Brilliant catering abounded of a prawn-&-everything stir fry, courtesy of JB; yigandes plaki (a greek starter consisting of big butter beans slow cooked in tomato with garlic, oregano, tomato & basil), courtesy of returning allotmenteer Christine & Mike; greek yoghurt & honey - ditto - & beer, courtesy of Rhubarb Brian.

Obligatory mug shot of the assembled here - and comment of the night goes to JB who, on sampling the apple wine said, "ohh - this is lovely, really tasty - cracking that! D'you know, it smells just like - now don't take this the wrong way - just like paint thinner!"
Not sure if that says more about my wine, or about JB's taste in tipple...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mrs Potato Head

Autumn is certainly here (but I guess that it is allowed to be, at the end of September) with the nights drawing in fast & much cooler weather - in fact, a frost this morning at Bag End in Cumbria.

Nothing like that nonsense here, yet, but I was armed with a jumper when I went to the Hill yesterday. On the List was:

- dig the final eight maincrop potatoes & sow green manure in their stead
- get rid of the horrible collapsed pea frame - save some pea pods of each for next year
- clear another variety of dwarf french beans, saving pods
- pick courgette + anything else for tea

Well, that all look fairly achievable, & I got off to a great start by forking up the potatoes. The variety is Setanta - 'a floury allrounder with red skin & excellent blight resistance'.

It also yields - although this was not referred to in any of the info that I read about them - absolutely MASSIVE tubers. About 8 to each plant, all about football size. This does cut down on potato peeling, of course, as you only have to use a single potato when you are preparing a shepards pie for - say - ten people. I weighed them later when I'd put them in a sack to store - nearly 40lb of potatoes from just eight potatoes sown.

I cleared the early warwick dwarf french beans from where they were nicely dried out on the plants, then was having a half hearted go at trying to work out which peas were which from the tangle of dead plants on the collapsed frames in order to save a few pods for next year when I was happily distracted by John Badger (from the bottom) coming by.

We admired the luxuriant growth of the green manure in the front bed - photos of this bed taken mid Aug, and now, 4 wks later - and JB suggested that I don't leave it overwinter, but dig it in now whilst it is young & sappy & will rot down easily.

"It's nearly a foot high now, it'll be a devil of a job to dig in if it gets much bigger," he advised.

Well, that is where he was wrong - it was a devil of a job to dig in as it was. Much too tall to neatly turn in, & the rows I'd so carefully sown to make the digging in easier were grown over & virtually non existent. It was a hateful, heavy going job which I did badly - with sticking up bits and blades of grass scattered everywhere.

I ended up a slightly strange colour in the face, & was completely not happy with the job I'd done - if the rye grass is not turned over properly it was not rot, but regrow where it can. I scowled & muttered & stamped over to the manure skip to haul muck in tub after tub across to cover the bed over - right, rye, grow back through that if you dare.

Having learned a valuable lesson about green manure, I roughly raked the two old potato beds & sowed more rows of rye seed to leave in over winter - or until it makes a bid for world domination, whichever is sooner.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Look Over Your Shoulder...

At the Hill the Sunday before last, when I was vainly trying to whack parts of the plot into some semblance of order, I chopped down the haulms from the potato plants to stuff onto the overfull compost bins.

Along with these, I cleared one or two sunflowers - which had all but blown over - some nasturtium & calendula, all of which had self seeded from last year & sprouted up in the potato beds - great armfuls of green leaves, flowers and stems.

I stood back when I'd cleared the growth from these potato beds, ready for digging up the crop (this weekend for some of them), and gave a nod of satisfaction, then a shrug in the direction of the heap of compostable rubbish waiting for a new bin to be made & turned to come away.

I don't know what made me turn back - but I'm so glad I did. The flowers on one of the branching sunflowers discarded on the compost heap had seen better days, but I thought that they might cut & keep for a day or two in a big vase, & wielded the secateurs.

A week later, they are still adding sunshine to the kitchen - wonderful.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good Deeds All Round!

After a brilliant day out with mum on Saturday which involved kitchen shops, garden centres & a very fine Italian coffee shop called Corleone's, I was all set with a car full of pallets to go to the Hill on Sunday with my List reading:

- make compost bin
- weed neighbour Jody's plot
- dig up potatoes
- harvest courgette/runners/beans for seed etc

I haven't gone crackers with the item 'weed neighbour Jody's plot' - he was off this weekend doing the Great North Run in aid of the Birmingham Children's Hospital Children's Heart Appeal, as they did such a spiffing job with his young daughter when she was so poorly earlier this year. Helping to straighten his plot was the least I could do whilst he was going about this madness up in the frozen (actually, rainy) North.

As I was unloading the pallets from the car, Reg-next-plot came by, & as well as having an exchange of information on various plotholders, he helped me collect a big bucket of elderberries from the tree in the hedgerow between his & David-other-half's plot (3lb it turns out - exactly a batch of wine's worth!), told me to help myself to his runner beans & beetroot, & pulled me a swede.

Providing that you pass some sort of acceptability test (criteria known only to Reg), you wouldn't actually have to grow anything yourself - maybe one of the criteria is that you do grow things yourself.

After he'd gone & I'd wired together pallets to make a new & bigger compost big adjacent to the two existing ones, I had a brainwave which consisted of turning the contents of the 'nearly ready' bin (in actuality, still full of last years sweetcorn & sunflower stems along with nice composted stuff) into the new bin, then taking out the partition between the two older bins away giving me two big sized bins.

This was heavy going (understatement - there was much going-purple-in-the-face), & the photo reveals a certain crudeness of the project, but after an hour or so, I did achieve a functioning BIG two bin system.

If you want to see how clever beggars do a proper job of constructing compost bins, go up to the Bag End blog.

I christened the bin with a great deal of green stuff which had been growing round Jody's parsnips, but decided that virtue only went so far, after some tremendously sneaky nettles had stung me once too many times.

I cut courgettes, and a few tomatoes and a handful of raspberries, then dug up the eight main crop potatoes 'robinta'.

Whilst they rested on the soil to harden off the skins, I walked down to the bottom to go & pick John Badger's grapes from the greenhouse - he's offered the lot to me for wine making again this year, which is jolly d of him considering that we haven't seen what last year's tastes like yet.

Returning allotmenteer Christine was working hard next to JB's, & we had a lovely chat about all sorts before she sent me off with a bijou lunch-sized squash from her plot.

I went home with my haul & put JB's 5lb of grapes safely in the freezer - they will be added to the grapes from my vine in the Courtyard which are a week or two away from ripeness yet, for this year's wine making.
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