Sunday, 19 January 2014

Leeks and not much else

Just a quick visit to the plot for me this afternoon. Another sunny day today compared to yesterday's rainy one. There were a few plotholders about, doing a bit of tidying, planning and, great to see, people are still harvesting.
Our leeks are looking ok but we want them to get a bit bigger before pulling any more. There should be a bit of cabbage and more sprouts too but there may be too much wildlife involved for Jamie and me to risk eating! The other vegetable that's still in the ground is my salsify. It looks like it's grown pretty well. Need to give that a try in a week or so...
There wasn't much to photograph. All the birds seemed to be in hiding, even though it was warm. Hope they're back for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch next weekend (25/26 Jan).
So, just another cloud photo I'm afraid! Both these pics are taken with my new camera.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Coming out for the sun, leaving with the moon

Blue sky! How lovely to see!

That's the last of the Christmas Quality Street scoffed. 
I love that their plastic wrappers are made of corn starch. It means they can be composted and disappear totally. Our compost is surprisingly looking rather dry - all the runner bean stems in the bin probably should have been chopped up a bit before bundling them in.
The cat was making the most of the heat from the stonepile and keeping an eye on the coal tits in the hedgerow.

It was lovely to see other plotholders around too - we emerge from hibernation as soon as the sun shines! It is still too wet to do any work. Good job! as I really just wanted to play with our new Fujifilm X-S1 camera which we got as an Amazon bargain. 
This is my first ever non-compact camera, though not a full-on SLR (apparently) so bear with me as I've no idea what I'm doing if I move away from the Auto options! I'll be keeping my trusty Olympus SZ-31R on hand for a while yet...
Meanwhile, Jamie was checking the measurements of plot 8B, as the potatoes are going there this year to give Plot 7 a rest. We've got lots of planning to do. We're thinking along the lines of nematodes to protect our spuds from slugs. One thing we've decided is that we won't grow as much of everything, which ends up wasted....
... Did I say that last year?!

Ps. We did leave with the moon, but not because we stayed out for hours; the moon was on show all day.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

It's Wet; It's January

Looking back over the blog, I see that 2012 started with a drenching and last year wasn't much better, and I'm happy that we're mostly just planning at the moment. However, we had a quick visit to the plot to see if the robin was about - there were two, but, so far, not friendly ones like last year :(

This photo shows two things 1) We've had a lot of rainfall 2) We should have cleaned our pots, tidied and sealed them away like good allotmenteers - groan, what a mess, but it'll wait a while longer!
The River Shalbourne, that we cross on the way to the site, was looking rather full but I was pleased to see the giant puddle under the railway bridge wasn't there, so that saved our feet getting a soaking. The river was at 0.26m, just 4cm above average high and way off the record high of 1.08m.
Marsh Lane has surprisingly good drainage and, although soggy in places, isn't a quagmire or underwater like some other allotment blogs have shown recently - my sympathies are with those plotholders. 
We wish we'd protected the manure from the rain, though I guess it's still acting as a weed suppressant and the blackbirds are having a field day with all the worms escaping the waterlogged piles.
I'm looking forward to having some more leeks and sprouts plus there may be a couple of cabbages that are still edible, but yesterday wasn't a day for hanging around!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Welcome to 2014!

I thought I'd add a quick New Years message to my blog. As we haven't really got any news from the plot I thought I'd find a nice picture on line... so...

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and veggie-filled
 new year!
A rather odd-looking spud I think you'd agree - but we've all grown one of them :-)

And, this one obviously attracted the eye because of the beetle, and brings me to another fave subject - astronomy...
The Quadrantids meteor shower should be at its peak over the next two nights. So, if the rain holds off we may just be lucky... This sentence in particular is of interest....
"Early viewing on the evening of 3rd January therefore might just bag you a spectacular haul of shooting stars"