Sunday, 25 May 2014

Something Achieved

At last! I made the chive vinegar that I've been thinking about since last August when I saw it made on The Horticultural Channel.

The first jar I made up with white wine vinegar, using the chives which I picked last week and whose buds had opened in water at home. The colour had already started seeping into the water at this point and the flowers weren't so vibrant as the freshly picked ones.
Later, after a visit to the plot, I made another jar using some lovely fresh, and more richly coloured, chives and normal distilled white vinegar.
We also had some delicious stewed rhubarb, plucked from the plot today.
Lovely colourful ingredients to work with!
Try to ignore the doughnuts!!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Two Weeks Later...

My niece's wedding was a fabulous affair - such a beautiful location in the Berkshire downs, in the sunshine with delightful company. Always lovely to catch up with the cousins and more distant family members.

Recovery on Sunday included a few hours of weeding and more tidying. Jamie chopped and manual-mowed the path (not a nice neat path) between the hedge and our plots - {nearly killed him, on the hottest day of the year so far 25°!}

This is a photo from 5th May:
Two weeks away from the plot is a long time - look at how the hedge has grown!
I was very pleasantly surprised to see my seeds had germinated and not dried out or been nibbled - lucky some things can take a bit of abuse!
And the spuds have obviously been up for  a few days.
And, I picked some chive flowers for my vinegar. I picked a lot of buds and hope they'll open at home before being popped in the jar (will it ever get made?!)
Then we left as the helicopters were circling the site!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Still catching up

We finally managed to get some time on the plot today. We joined the many other plotholders who were taking advantage of a lovely warm (18°) Bank Holiday. 

As with most visits, it starts with a quick plot inspection. The rhubarb is attempting to take over Plot 8 and I'm pleased to say that some of the broad beans and onions have sprouted. The grass paths really do look good at Marsh Lane, but certainly add to the workload; the edges had nearly grown a foot! Look at those lovely strawberry flowers - I really hope they don't get hit by a frost this week!
Finally I got to clearing the brassicas from last year. They grew really well, as you can see among the weeds. But we just didn't get round to picking them - isn't that dreadful? Such a waste, but they do get composted - by the Council, not in our compost bins; compost doesn't like too much brassica waste added in one go.
Jamie dug over the quarter with the manure pile, which we'll use for brassicas this year. 
So, we got a lot of tidying done, we took 6 bagfuls of green waste away with us!
And, we got our little greenhouse up, so I sowed a couple of seed trays - just Boltardy beets and half trays of lettuce Red Fire and Tom Thumb - at last it feels like a real start.
Oh, and +SueatGLAllotments, no flowers on my chives yet ...

But so close ...
so I haven't missed the boat with making my chive vinegar yet...