Thursday, 24 January 2008


Sorry I've been quiet over the winter but hey - the allotment has too. Here's a quick recap of the few things you've missed.

I did plant a whole load of winter/spring cabbages, kale and calabrese (broccoli), but the slugs got them all despite my best efforts! I managed a small patch of turnips, which we're harvesting now, but they are a bit slug-nibbled too. I need a better strategy this year...

Our row of leeks are still developing nicely. I should have marked the parsnip row, because the leaves have all died and now I can't find them! Whoops.

We harvested the onions in September and stored them in string bags in the kitchen - we're still using them now, though I think ideally they should be somewhere colder, as some of them are starting to grow!

I need to find a better storage solution for our potatoes too, which we are still eating. I kept them inside the house in boxes but they're sprouting much too soon. I'm afraid the mice will get them if I put them outside... Suggestions welcome!

We picked our pumpkin in October - a fine specimen! Yes, just the one, but it fed us for about two weeks! We had pumpkin and potato stew, lovely pumpkin and rosemary pasta, and 'lantern soup' which has pumpkin, sweet potatoes and haricot beans. I wanted to try a recipe for pumpkin gnocchi too, but didn't have the time.

We dried our 'Canadian Wonder' kidney beans, and a handful of borlotto. The harvest wasn't great for either because of the rather large bramble that came up in the middle of the patch, so we only got a jarful, but I wanted to see the experiment through anyway. However, I checked on them after a couple of months to find THIS!

Blasted bean weevils ruined the whole lot! (Then suffocated slowly to death in the closed jar - haha!) I'm not sure if it's worth trying dried beans again. My only hope is that a different variety might be less attractive to them - they went for the red ones but not the borlotto...

It's January now and I'm planning for the year ahead, having learned plenty already from experience over the last ten months! I'm glad I can get an earlier start this year, and I'll be writing all about it again from now on.

For now I'll leave you with a couple more pictures from last year:

A sleepy bumblebee hiding in one of our sunflowers in late September.

And the one and only truss of tomatoes that grew on our blight-infested crop. They're 'red pear', hence the shape. Sadly though, they never turned red!

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