Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Ooh La La - Ail mariné

Or, marinated garlic, which is what I've been making this afternoon. There it is, it's got to wait in the fridge for a couple of weeks before I can have a taster. The authentic french version is apparently delicious...
I used three fresh garlic bulbs, which didn't go as far as you may think - these are only very little jars.
I added salt, one of the jars has this Smoked Cornish salt, and red wine vinegar.
I also picked for my dinner this evening: our first beetroot of the year, this one is in surpisingly good condition; fennel; first carrots of the year - these are thinnings so they're only little; a courgette that's getting a bit too big. I'm roasting the veggies (although I haven't got any garlic left at home - duh!). I'll shallow fry the courgette so it's a bit of a different texture, I'm removing some of the water from it first, using salt.
And raspberries for pud.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Mostly Green

But starting with a bit of colour as the raspberries are doing pretty well on Plot7 this year, obviously leaving them to do their own thing is the answer!
We're disappointed with our 3 grafted pepper plants. We expected them to produce a whole string of peppers... At the moment they're all green but they should colour-up when they're ripe.
Milena - the orange one
Perhaps the colder weather mid-growth stopped them in their tracks.
Britney - the red one
Or maybe it was just not warm enough with the greenhouse door open - but it gets stifling in there during the day if it's shut.
Chelsea - the yellow one
Well, hopefully these five peppers will grow big and tasty, even if they don't produce the 'abundance of tasty peppers' the plants are meant to.
At the end of the greenhouse the loofah is growing tall. It's rather straggly with just one flower and no fruits yet...
The pumpkins on Plot7 are spreading as intended - we want them to grow over and around the sweetcorn as the small pumpkins then hang and stay nice and clean.
The Minicole cabbages on Plot3 are looking more like cabbages now. We weeded most of the plot today and it's looking much happier - though the spuds still look awful!
This ringlet butterfly was in the greenhouse, reminding me that I need to do the Big Butterfly Count but want a nice sunny day to do it on - today wasn't sunny, but was warm. 
And for dinner we have our first runner beans - Benchmaster. They have a red line along the edge. I'd take a photo but they're in the cooking pot right now!

Sunday, 24 July 2016

The Next Evening

Well! I'm glad we weren't planning to watch stars this evening! It's grey and drizzling - quite nice to see a bit of rain actually, as long as it stops by the morning!
We had to go up to water the potato bags and greenhouse. The pumpkin on Plot3 definitely doesn't need help growing - it's gone crazy!
And there are a few pumpkins which look pretty good for the competition in October...
The Rocky cucumbers are flowering and we should be eating cucumbers daily quite soon...
The potatoes on Plot3 are a sadder tale...just hope there are some tubers under there..
We had lunch out, so a little light tea using up the last small Annabelle potatoes cooked in oil and garlic.
And 3 yellow courgettes with cheese and spring onions...mmmm. Needed more by the time it was cooked!

In the Night Garden

It was my birthday yesterday - such a beautiful hot, sunny day, just how I remember most of my birthdays. I love being a July baby!
We had a late night on the allotment to watch bats, stars and enjoy a bottle of wine. The swifts and swallows entertained us for an hour or so before sunset at 9:20. They were swooping so low over the bean poles.
The pigeons and a distant peacock(!) were the last birds to go to sleep and then the moths and bats came out. Our bat detector provided the evidence that there were more bats around than we actually saw, probably mostly the common pipistrelle.
It's nice taking night photos - you don't notice the bugs till you get home!
The stars and planets were shining brightly in the clear sky. Jupiter was, as usual, the first to be visible. The star app on my phone showed that it's just below the Leo constellation - I prefer to have Leo as my star sign, though I am on the cusp of Cancer - I'd rather be a lion than a crab :-)  Mars and Saturn were really visible as part of a triangle to the South of the allotments.
The night-scented stock provided us with a highly fragranced evening and the moths were enjoying them as much as we were. 
There's a moth on the photo above ...
  We walked home to the sound of hooting owls. Aah, I love Summer!
Macrame by my sister

Friday, 22 July 2016

Hot, Sunny, Hot, Hot, Hot!

It's still sweltering and pretty sunny. Lovely! But the plants need a LOT of watering, especially in the greenhouse. The Indigo Rose tomatoes are blacking up, only on the side facing the light at the moment.
The loofah has its first flower, but we think this is a male, unless that's a loofah and not just a stem... Time will tell...
I'm drying the garlic outside as it's so hot. I think I'll be giving some away, but want to pickle some in wine vinegar as it's apparently delicious.
We walked home under screeching swifts. They are amazing and gather on the power lines over the allotment. I'll put a video on my wildlife blog, if it's any good when I've uploaded it.