Sunday, 22 October 2017


Not quite the Glass Gem colours we were hoping to see, but there's potential. I probably should have left this on the plant but I couldn't resist as I'm not sure the plants will survive any more of this stormy weather.
They're only little cobs, as you can see. I still hope there may be some fully colourful cobs in a couple of weeks time. So far October has brought the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia and this week's Storm Brian.

We left some of our Lark cobs on the plants too long and, as well as being nibbled by various visitors, the kernels have started drying out. So we missed out on a corn on the cob lunch yesterday.
The photo below shows a section of our allotments which don't have any tenants. Some of these plots have been rotavated and then covered. I think the white covers look awful, but they do keep the plots weed-free(ish) and one of the committee members can get them for us at no cost.

The ones close to the hedge have horsetail which makes them less appealing to new tenants. The middle of those plots will look different when we're back from our holiday as it will have a compost toilet on it - courtesy of the National Lottery. That will save a lot on our annual Portaloo rental!
And, we have another grant which we're going to use for purchase of promotional materials (like display boards and posters). If you're in Hungerford and shop at Tescos please ask for a token and drop it in the HAHA pot in November and December - thanks!
Electronic provide the title track - haven't heard that for a few years! Enjoy (and this may really be the final post before holiday!)

Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Plot and the Ending (la trama y el desenlace)

It's probably our last chance to do anything on the plot before we return to our other favourite place - Tenerife (yay!). So, today I had to clear a space a plant the garlic.
I bought that bulb at the Food Festival last week - French garlic, from Brittany. I usually buy bulbs from the garden centre, but at least 3 people told me that this is what they do, so we'll give it a whirl. There were only 13 cloves so that's not as much as we usually grow, but if they're all that big it should be plenty to use throughout next year.
I cleared the end of the raised salad bed and that's where the garlic are now - I added a little 6x to the compost before mixing in, planting and then gave it a water. Garlic needs a frost to divide the bulb into cloves so I hope this warm weather doesn't stay too long - though it was a lovely afternoon in the sunshine.
The sunshine is helping the weeds grow - those violas are welcome, but the grass and thistles - ugh!!
We didn't get time to clear everywhere but most of the large thistles have been dug up and while Jamie did that I cleared the tomatoes in the greenhouse...
From that... to this...
It's nice to be able to get in the door again, but I still need to clear the remaining redcurrant tomato at the end. They're dropping all over the floor.
A nice little harvest for beet/carrot/sweetcorn salads during the week and a meal with squash and a tomato sauce tonight.
That's the first time for a few years that we've picked sensible-sized beets at this time of year! These are from the seeds we sowed in July.
And the tomato sauce has a lovely smokey flavour because of the Rapeseed oil I bought at the Food Festival last week. The squash was relatively easy to cut and I was going to stuff it whole..
But, because of the way the flesh had grown, I decided to chop it like this, drizzle with oil and roast - I'll just pour the sauce on once it's cooked and I'll add a vegetarian pepperoni for a bit of protein.
And I'm currently obsessed with this song that has provided the title - it's so beautiful, please listen to the rather lovely Jorge Drexler.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Thats Entertainment

Getting up very early on a Sunday is usually frowned upon, but yesterday it was Hungerford Food Festival, so needs must. First we went to the allotments to pick some vegetables for the display and were very pleased to see all these donations waiting for us in the communal toolshed.
Such generous plotholders! There were pumpkins, butternut squash, celeriac, jerusalem artichoke and beets. I could go on, there was much more, as you can see from our Ka, and this was the first of two trips.
So, we got to the Corn Exchange where the other stallholders were beginning to set up some delicious food and drinks stalls.
HAHA had our usual spot on the first floor, with Kerry offering tasty cheese and chive scones and elderflower cordial at the top of the stairs encouraging people up :-) 
We set up a colourful display of all the lovely veg as well as putting out photobooks, leaflets, business cards and a photo slideshow - 30 minutes of photos from 2009 to date. 

Also a selection of photos showing the Nursery School plot at the Fairfields site. 

And posters encouraging people to collect their Tesco's tokens for HAHA when we're one of the 'Bags of Help' candidates in November and December - very exciting!  
We're going to stock up our promotional items with the grant money when it comes through.
The Jeune et vert squashes and marina di chioggia pumpkin were big talking points. 
And, we're very pleased that we have three new plotholders, once we show them round and they choose a plot.
Jamie and I went for something to eat and join the crowds outside with some delicious veggie streetfood from Mrs B's Kitchen.
I love Hungerford when it's bustling and it was a bright warm day so perfect for sitting and listening to the music.
An hour before the end of the festival people started giving small donations for some of the veg. I was pleased to nab one of the huge celeriacs which I'll add to carrots to make soup, I also took a few other veggies as I couldn't resist. 
And I gained this beautiful bunch of chrysanthemums.
Such a busy, tiring day but I have to agree with The Jam.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Forever Autumn

There's no denying it now that it's October, but it's still warmish. A quick visit to the plot yesterday afternoon as it was too wet to achieve anything. So, I watered the tomatoes and picked a nice Autumnal trug of veggies.
Half the carrots and an onion have become soup for work lunches, with a bit of fresh sage and some other dried herbs. I took a couple of the onions home which had been outside in the rain, but they quickly got binned as they're rotten - phewey, what a pong! Luckily I took some properly stored onions home too.
The other carrots, beets and onion were roasted along with some shop-bought potatoes (I know. I know. But I didn't fancy scrabbling about in the mud on the plot). All served up with lovely halloumi, (God, I love halloumi) and sweetcorn. And look!
We removed the kernels from the raw cob using our new corn stripper from Lakeland. Nice to be able to include the sweetcorn in a meal rather than just straight off the cob.
Whilst on the allotment site I took this snap of the grass paths we sowed two weeks ago - the mini-plots are looking like plots now! All they need is some tenants, otherwise we'll need to cover them before the weeds take over. And that may be the last shot of the rented Portaloo - we've got a grant for a composting toilet! How cool is that?!
Aah, Justin Hayward, what a lovely song.