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, January 11, 2015

Winter Work

I went to the plot over Christmas to pick some kale, but that's about it.  The older I get, the less keen I am to get cold and wet for the sake of a jobs which can just as easily be done when it is not freezing or raining.

I went to the Hill yesterday, though - despite cold and sleet - because I was making an Irish Stew for tea and that called for a parsnip.

It's a good job that the recipe only called for one parsnip, because - disappointingly - that was the entire extent of the parsnip harvest this year.  Boo.  I picked some kale too - the nero cavelo has been good this winter, and robust enough to stand a light scrub with a brush in the sink to dislodge the whitefly.

Unsurprisingly, given the weather, I had the Hill to myself.  I made some running repairs to the netting tunnel which the weather has blown about a bit before considering one of the winter jobs - and not a fun one - which will need doing before the new growing season begins.  To empty and move the dalek composters up a bed.

I was already on site, cold and miserable, so thought that I might as well get one with it; so I did the dalek dance and jiggled two of the composters to empty them; spread the useable stuff over the beds, moved them up a bed apiece and refilled them with the uncomposted portion aong with a couple of bags each of horse manure. Because if you are going to be cold and tired and rained on, you might as well be dirty and smelly too.

My fingers were numb by this time, so I went home with my single ood-like parsnip in a cloud of whitefly for a warming cup of tea and a bath.

The stew was really good. 


  1. Poor you and that weather. I've never tried Kale, but they are starting to sell it over here in the Supermarkets, so maybe should try some, before I think about growing. We've just had the most rain for one day in over two years in Ballarat, so that should be good for my garden. Looking forward to more posts as Spring approaches. Take care.

    1. I was very cold and grumpy by the time I got home! Do try kale - it's quite similar to cabbage; stands all through the winter and you can pick leaves off as you want them.

  2. Oh dear, I just don't get the sense you enjoyed that. Why do you think the parsnip yield was so poor?

    And drat - I placed a veggie seed order yesterday and you've made me realise I meant to try growing Kale - and guess what I didn't include?

    1. The germination was dire this year, Jayne - I tried 3 or 4 times over the course of a couple of months, with different seed each time. Hopeless - I'll have to take better care with prep of the bed for the seeds perhaps this year.

      I'll see if I have some kale if you wish? But if you're ordering, go for a dwarf curly kale, which will look after itself and is surprisingly pigeon proof, I find too.

  3. Your trip to the allotment does not encourage me to visit mine, to see the damage done by the gales etc. I hope to pick some Brussels sprouts and broccoli, no kale this year. It is a very wet plot in the winter and try to keep off it as much as possible.

    1. No point in going down for the sake of it - but I'd be tempted by the brocolli - I have none on my plat this year. I didn't have sprouts either - must get better organised with my brassicas this year!


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