Sunday, 25 September 2011

Not everything on our plot is purple, but...

While we were pulling one of the Kestrel spuds I found this lovely little purple centipede.

Mmm, sweetcorn

Picked our first two sweetcorn today. As you can see, one was far better than the other (sorry Jamie!). They were deliciously sweet and worth the wait. We've watered the rest in the hope that there's more time for plenty of kernels to develop - but may be a bit late in the season.
Still picking courgettes to stop them turning marrow-sized - and have got away with it so far this year, though we have given a lot away!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

A bit of clearing

Spent a bit of time clearing up some of the plot today. Pulled the patty pan plant - there were just a few small squashes but others that were just going mouldy.
Pulled out a lot of the calendula - we've collected seeds but pretty sure the whole plot will be covered in them next year, given the number of seeds that we're finding everywhere!
Nice to see the rhubarb chard out in the open and glowing in the sunshine again.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Extreme rain!

We decided to walk up the allotment yesterday afternoon to pick a cabbage and some carrots. We badly mis-timed it! We had to shelter under a railway bridge for about 10 mins because there was a torrential downpour. We got to the site just as the skies opened again and ran for cover in the container - the sound of the rain on the metal roof was amazing!

The sun came out soon afterwards and the site looked beautiful, so we quickly picked our veg and went home! Sploshing through the huge puddle that is Marsh Lane after a rain storm :-)

Sunday, 18 September 2011


We're a bit concerned with the broad bean we planted as a test in the horse manure. The leaves are really curled like reported with Aminopyralid contamination. Jamie's doing another test with 4 more broad beans. We haven't got too much manure and haven't spread it across the plots yet so it won't be catastrophic if it is contaminated, but obviously we don't want this additional problem!!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Still growing

We pulled our second purple spud and got a whole trugful. Also pulled the biggest turnip and ate that raw as a snack. It's one of the Oasis ones that are meant to taste like melon - not sure about that, but it was lovely and sweet. Also picked some sage to add to a baked potato. All the herbs have gone a bit mad and generally won't survive the winter so I'll use what I can before they're chopped right back or before the frosts come!
There are a couple of little peppers on our pepper plants. I can't think that they'll go red but hopefully they'll still be edible sometime soon.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Definitely Autumn

It's been cold the last couple of mornings but the days have been pretty warm. The leaves are all turning and quite a few leaves are down because of the recent windy weather. The hedgerow alongside our plot is covered in berries - hawthorn, rosehips, blackberries and sloes.
Jane picked some of our remaining raspberries and is going to make some raspberry jam with them so I'm glad they're not going to waste - the birds and anyone walking by is welcome to them!
Our courgette plant is still in flower but the courgettes seem to be appearing one at a time now.
I added today's small one to the carrot and parsley soup that I made. I made it with more carrots and only half a stock cube - it was really tasty so will remember that for future batches - and as we still have lots of carrots there will definitely be more batches!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Giant Patty Pans

Picked a giant patty pan to have stuffed for my dinner and picked one for my friend at work - they weigh about 1kg each! I'm having mine stuffed with tomatoes, spring onions, mushroom, cheese and sage
The plant is looking a bit sad though there are still lots of little squashes left on it. Some of the leaves have wilted and some of the tiny squashes are going mouldy on the plant. Hopefully I'll still get a few more little ones to eat.

It's been quite windy over the last couple of days but our runner beans are still standing! There are a few round site that are leaning badly but maybe they've had their fill of beans anyway :-)

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Purple Cottage Pie

Had lovely veggie cottage pie for dinner. Instead of browning on top it went a deeper purple - really beautiful!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Green Tomato Chutney

We made the chutney using this recipe:
We only used half the amounts specified as we kept lots of the tomatoes for salads. Looked good enough to eat as soon as the apple, tomato, onion and sultanas went in the pan!

About 21/2 hours later it was finally reduced enough for packing into the jar. Looks delish!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Purple mashed potato

We had our first ever purple mash - looked amazing, maybe some would find it a little off-putting, but I like purple!!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Spuds and Tomatoes

The Congo potatoes are still looking amazing with their lovely white flowers. However, either blight or some other mould has got some of the leaves, so we chopped some of the foliage down.
And, because we weren't convinced that there would be any actual tubers we dug plant up. It was amazing! Really nobbly long spuds and lots of them. They were mainly growing pretty close to the surface but the roots spread a long way either side.

We couldn't wait till dinner time so had some boiled for lunch. The water that came off them was a fabulous green! Some lost a lot of their purple colour but plenty were purple throughout and you can see some have a great greeny-type skin! They look fab and they tasted good!!
We decided to pull the tomatoes (Gardener's Delight) because the foliage has blight and we wanted to save the toms to make some green tomato chutney. We had lots of fruit on the two plants - some we'll be able to ripen up at home. We've eaten some of the tomatoes and they're super-sweet, such a shame the site always succombs to blight - we need to try and get our tomatoes fruiting earlier next year...
So, we had a lovely trugful of goodies to take home! Obviously including a courgette which had grown too big and runner beans (cos it's September!)

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Growing, harvesting and preserving

The weather is making it feel like it's later in the year than it is, but things are still growing on the plot. Our little turnips are looking good, though pigeons (or something) have eaten quite a few of the leaves on some of the plants.

Our Rocky cucumber is going off at right-angles to where we wanted it to grow, but it's got lots of little cucumbers appearing and we've picked 3 in the last couple of days.
A bit disappointed that the crimson broad beans didn't actually produce crimson beans - though the flowers were very pretty. We've got our first harvest of these for dinner tonight along with Kestrel spuds. Still picking loads of carrots (living on carrot soup most of the time for lunch!) and patty pans are for dinner tomorrow.

We also picked masses of runner beans. We're making chutney this afternoon with 1lb of them (using our usual recipe, but with red onions and the runner beans) and the rest will be for Jamie tomorrow and for me to take to work.

Weird Sweetcorn

Our sweetcorn has been struggling a bit this year. Initially it was slow to grow but has reached about 4 foot tall now and the cobs seem to be growing ok on some of the plants - just hope there's enough sun for them to actually mature in time for us to eat some! The tassles are beginning to go brown but there's still more padding out needed by the feel of the biggest husk...

Today we noticed something odd though... a couple of the plants have kernels growing on the male flower bits at the top...
Have had a look on the internet and have only found one possible answer here - "Before corn was cultivated this is how it originally grew in the wild. It is simply reverting to it's roots!" Well, we'll see whether it's actually edible!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Colourful food

We picked salad bits for lunch, just to have with some humous. Lovely colourful trayful - 3 coloured carrots, 2 coloured mini-turnips, radishes, spring onions and cucumber. We also had some of our own tomatoes which eventually went red in the window.
There wasn't much happening on the plot, we did a bit of weeding and just chatted to people.

Blight has finally reached our tomato plants and the Congo potato plants. We've been waiting for it to strike - it's been around site for quite a while and the weather has been starting to get misty in the mornings.. We're going to pick all the tomatoes and redden what we can or we'll probably make some green tomato chutney.
We're also going to make some runner bean chutney when we pick the beans tomorrow.