The weather was much better than forecast yesterday (with occasional showers threatening), so I took a gamble, left a line of washing out at home & managed to get a good couple of hours in at the Hill, ending up with quite an impressive list of 'things done'.
Things started well when I found a couple of demijohns left for me by the shed, along with a plastic bag of wine making bits & pieces, for which I presume that I have John Badger (from the bottom) to thank.
On later investigation of the bag of bits, there are tags included detailing the wine maker's racking & bottling dates from 1978 - which might also explain the prices on the equipment packets - 8 ½ p for an airlock!
Soon after, teacher Barry came down from his plot three up towards the clubhouse. "Now, do you make wine?" he asked, "in particular, parsnip wine?"
"I certainly do, Barry!" I nodded.
"Good - then are these any good to you?" & he showed me a big bag of washed parsnips in his car. "When we had some the other day, we found that they'd gone quite woody, so if you can use them, then please do."
I didn't need asking twice. "Thank you very much and I'll bring you a bottle when it's made." Brilliant!
When he'd gone, I turned to the potato beds, dug up the last couple of PARSNIP (hsl guernsey) and SWEDE (virtue) & dibbed holes to plant the main crop POTATOES (robinta & setanta).
I spotted this wonderful peacock butterfly on the shed - I would have thought that it was far too early (and cold!) in the year, but there you go.
Soon after, novice neighbour Jody arrived - with family news, & we worked side-by-side chatting for an hour or so.
He was digging in some manure into his potato patch, whilst I whipped the netting off the brassica bed, hoofed out the done-for Brussels sprouts & calabrese, weeded & gave everything a good feed with some of Jody's blood, fish & bone.
I planted out four small pots of SPRING ONIONS (apache) sown in February, & half a dozen LETTUCE (mini green & arctic king) & sowed a row of PARSNIPS (saved white gem) in the roots bed.
The compost bins are better after last week's bonfire - & after manhandling two of the three gooseberry bushes from the heap to put in the back of the car to take to the tip, the front bin is now just full (rather than two-times its own height), & the back bin is virtually empty.
That just left the rest of the harvesting, in the shape of a few LEEKS (mrs d), & half a dozen foot-long stalks from the earliest rhubarb crown - which were utterly delicious later on when lightly cooked with a little sugar & ginger - yum!