Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!

Well we needed sprouts so we had to venture out, but soon wished we hadn't walked! The rain was tremendous - we were drowned rats before we reached the site and hid in the container for a while. However, the rain continued to fall steadily and heavily so we ventured out, picked our sprouts, fed the robin and soggily walked home! A fitting end to the wettest recorded year! Even the canal had overflowed over the towpath and to the river the other side!

Here's to 2013! Happy New Year Everyone!!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Sage for soup

We braved the persistent wind and rain to visit the plot today.

We only needed to pick a handful of sage leaves and drop off some kitchen waste for the compost bin. I used my new pot (thanks Carolyn!), ingeniously made from a plastic drinks bottle, to hold the sage leaves.

The sage is to be joined by the remainder of the chestnuts for soup a la Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's Veg Everyday book - another Christmas pressie (thanks James!).

The sprout cage had done its usual trick and was at a jaunty angle, so we re-secured it but its on it's last legs. It's been useful but it's just not strong and sturdy enough; the home-made cages made from the blue water pipe are more resilient.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

We visited the plot on Christmas Eve before visiting our relatives. We were the only people on the soggy site but our little robin was flitting about - Jamie took some cheese up for him and he seemed very happy with it!
We picked sprouts and lovely leeks for Christmas Day. The leeks were from under the enviromesh which really paid off; the leeks were perfect.
The Christmas meal, cooked mostly by me (for the first time in 24 years) was delicious (even though I say so myself!).
The Cordon Vert recipe for the filo parcels was lovely. Shame there were no parsnips but the leeks, sprouts and rosemary from the plot made for a delicious meal.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Will be at the plot picking sprouts and leeks tomorrow but don't expect to be blogging, so Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Weather and Birdlife

Not sure if that's a pigeon or kestrel
At the beginning of last week the weather was really cold (-4°) with beautiful frosted trees, but unfortunately I didn't get a chance to get to the site to take any photos. Since Friday it's been rainy and temperatures have been a balmy 8°. Not good - we want the weeds and bad pests to die off, which they won't do if it stays moderately warm :-(

There had just been a torrential downpour when we got to the plot this afternoon after posting Christmas cards - look at all that rainfall since last Sunday!! Shame it hasn't been cold enough for snow - I could have had a snow day from work :-)

The ground was really soggy and everything looked saturated, including our garlic bed...
There were lots of birds about; robins, blue tits, blackbirds, pigeons and pheasants (eating the tops off people's unprotected brassicas). We've noticed that there are no berries left on the hedge, apart from a few rosehips. I was hoping to see some redwings as I saw a whole flock of them eating berries along the A4 the other day - beautiful looking birds. I'd never seen them before but they're apparently a common Winter visitor.
Herbs (and weeds) are the only things growing on this part of the plot

Sunday, 9 December 2012

To the allotment via the Christmassy High Street

We popped up the allotment to add some kitchen waste to the compost bin. No-one else around as it was already beginning to get dark. We left the walk up till later in the afternoon so that we could enjoy Hungerford's Christmas lights - they are so fabulous, with christmas trees on every lampost and shop!

High Street in all its Christmas glory!

Whilst on the plot we checked how the few growing things are doing - it didn't take long!:
No sign of the garlic yet - maybe rotted as it's so wet :(
Leeks are looking pretty good. The ones under enviromesh (Oarsman F1) are certainly happier than the ones out in the open (though we're not sure what variety these are). I hope they continue to grow over the next two weeks because they're having a starring role in our Christmas meal - leek and chestnut filo parcels. Mmm, they sound soooo good!!
Happy protected leeks
Fairly happy unprotected leeks
The broad beans are still there - still very small but the mouse hasn't nibbled them yet. Suprisingly, given that we found this hoard under our storage area!! That's all our marigold seeds!
All nice and dry under a plastic cover!
Back home via more Christmas lights over the canal. Lovely! And all ready for Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza on Friday 14th December 2012.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Sprouts for dinner

Time really is flying - December now and it feels like it! Brrrr, lowest temp over the last week has been -5°. All the water on the site is frozen and the ground is solid though squelchy on top because of the torrential rain we had before the last few days of frost.
We weren't the only ones on the site; the cat was stalking something and was a bit indignant at being disturbed! Not too sure where he lives but he thinks he owns the site as he's been around since day1 - there's another tabby who's been around recently though so he's got competion!
Our poor broad beans probably shouldn't have chosen last week to pop their little heads up :-(
Far too cold for them to start growing at this point, we think. They look a bit yellow at the moment...
We picked sprouts to have with dinner - Jamie picked the poorest quality ones but they tasted delish!