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, November 07, 2011

*Ahem* - Where Were We?

Obviously, apologies to any purple-faced readers who have held their breath for exciting news of the Hill Show.

My silence is due neither to being swept away on a wave of euphoria through sweeping the board and winning all 72 categories available, nor being cast into the pit of dispair due to dismal failure, but the intervention of real life, primarily WORK. Times is tough, belts have be tightened, hours have to be extended, output has to go up.

Oh, and I went away on holiday for ages too.

Of course the longer the gap between blog posts, the more there is to say, and the more daunting the task, so let us skim over the last few weeks thus:
  • I had 14 entries for the Show - first place for the dwarf beans, fruit cake & chutney; second place for carrots, lemon drizzle cake & the collection; and third place for rhubarb - hurrah!

  • I have discovered (and MUST REMEMBER) that four courgette plants are TOO MANY - I picked the first of the courgette in mid July, the last ones yesterday. Over three months, I would guess that I picked nearly a hundred courgette.

  • Beans continue to be terrific value - I'm picking them for drying now, and there are bags and bags in the freezer.

  • Mum's friend Chris is more than generous with her spare plums - 'a few pounds for making a batch of wine' translated at her end to 'please innundate me with enough plums for making three batches of wine, eat until I'm almost ill, and to make jars and jars of plum chutney'.

  • Mum's friend Chris is also generous with her quince - although I only got twice as many as I said I could sensibly use for a batch of wine. I've given half to Julie - I'm hoping that she makes some quince jelly and we can do a swap.

  • Half a dozen red kuri squash are all cured and in the mini green house, along with a foot-diameter pumpkin - NOT a prizewinner this year. Although the idea of planting the pumpkin plant where the compost heap had been was a good idea in terms of richness of the soil, the fact that it was behind the shed & therefore somewhat shaded meant the plant did not thrive.

  • The second early and maincrop potatoes are all dug up & stored (the earlies all eaten); garlic and onions dried and strung; three or four dozen sweetcorn cobs all picked, distributed to people I like and eaten.

  • The pea wigwams have all been replaced with brussels sprouts and purple sprouting seedlings bought in the Focus closing down sale. The enormous apoplexy-inducing fight that I had with laying out the netting to cover these brassicas has paid off - I was surprised to discover shoots on the purple sprouting just last weekend. Mentally, I'd had them down as being ready after Christmas, but then again I don't know the variety, so perhaps I shouldn't be surprised

  • I've started the Autumn tidy up, forking over spare beds ready for either manuring, liming or sowing with green manure. The raspberry canes have be cut down either to the ground (autumn variety) or tidied up with last years growth cut out (summer variety)

And what's to do next?
  • cut down the asparagus when it starts to go yellowy

  • turn all the more-or-less rotted down chippings from the paths into the beds and organise fresh chippings.

  • finish getting the beans in & taking down the frame

  • Paint the toolshed - a job made all the more pressing by the erection of a smart brand new shed straight across the path by neighbour Jody
And that's where we are.

Hopefully fine weather at the weekend - and the AGM next week...


  1. I'm exhausted just reading all that! I need a few pointers, my beans and courgettes were over a good few weeks ago. But hey, you did good! Congrats on all the prize winning, will happily swap quince jelly for quince wine! :) Today, medlar jelly on the stove!

  2. Hmm, long comment alert:
    Much Congrats on show successes.
    Chris sounds like a fabulous person to know. Lucky you with all those plums (yum yum)

    Courgettes: how about doing yourself a blog post scheduled for April 2012 (or whenever the urge to plant too many might strike) and publish it. You might be surprised when it pops up on your blog but at least you'll be reminded!

    Plot is looking Exceptionally Good, is that Jodie's new shed in the last pic? Very smart.

    And finally, you have the CHEEK to moan about the amount I do. Kettle, Black , Pot. Re-arrange into a well-known phrase or saying, Madam!

  3. well that was an update worth waiting for :o)
    I'd be so chuffed if I won a chutney award but for veggies and cakes too... you must have been pleased as punch.

  4. It might look a lot, but really it was 10 wks worth of work squashed into one blog post, Trudi.

    You're on if you are happy to wait a year for the wine to mature - near enough FoQ time 2012?? I may get a pot of quince jelly from Julie, but I'll happily do you a swap you for medlar jelly...

    Now I no longer have my little plum tree in the courtyard, Bilbo, (a casualty of last Summer's work) I have been vary greatful for Chris' generous plum & quince input!
    Good thinking on scheduling a courgette warning!
    Yes, that is Jody's new shed - it has put the toolstore very much to shame!
    And if you had put your last 10wks work in one blog post it would have outstripped this, in no uncertain terms!

    Thank you, Nic. :) You should find your local show for your home produce - you'd sweep the board! Mind you, I think you'll have your hands more than full soon enough!


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