Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Food, Glorious Food

Hot crumble and custard!

( Not the original words, but more appropriate in our circumstances!)

Well the produce keeps coming. It's a daily battle with the soft fruit bushes to keep on top of picking. We have huge amounts of Raspberries and Blackcurrants. I've actually got a blackcurrant and apple crumble in the oven right now, so it is an ideal time to sit down and write a blog post.

The rain hasn't stopped in recent weeks but admitedly the weather is starting to ease and believe it or not they are predicting that we might have a week long summer next week. I'll certainly be getting my shorts and wellies on to get up to the allotment. Due to the weather the only visits we are making is to harvest fruit and vegetables for dinner. The weeds keep growing, but there is little chance to do anything about it until we get a break in the rain. We had planned to have a whole day down at the plot on Friday but due to the weather it turned in to a solitary hour, but we managed to weed the onion bed in that time.

Aside from soft fruit, we've been harvesting lots of vegetables too. We are harvesting potatoes every other day and each plant is giving us a good amount and is plenty for just the two of us. We are getting between 7-10 potatoes off each plant and they range from golf ball size to just under the size of a tennis ball. Some of them are the biggest charlotte potatoes I have ever seen. When I have grown them in the past they have been small and kidney shaped, but these have completly dwarfed all of my previous efforts.

The courgettes keep coming and you could say we are beginning to enter the glut period. One of my favourite times of year! The other cucurbits doing well are the pumpkins, their plants are almost 10ft long now. They are running away from their patch and encroaching on paths and other beds. We're really hoping for a giant pumpkin this year but at the moment we'll settle for a giant marrow and giant lettuce. The rain must be good for something. Although this marrow isn't a giant, I read that you shouldn't let the first one get too big and then pick it and this will encourage more growth. We're not growing for the show bench, but for the dinner table so this is a very good size.

I was about to sow some lettuce seeds about 10 weeks ago when a fellow plot holder came over to me offering me some of his spare lettuce seedlings, not only did it save me a job then but it has also provided us with lettuce in the kitchen. We have had it in salads, in sandwiches and on top of big juicy burgers in a bun and it has been great. He didn't know what variety it was and I still don't know exactly either. It looks like a cos, but what variety, who knows? I've decided to call it Jumbo Gem and you'll see why...

Other things we are picking include broad beans, strawberries and other varieties of lettuce. The runner beans and dwarf beans are flowering now so it can't be long until those. I must remember to take pictures of the allotment. You can just about see it behind Amy, but the weather never really does it any justice when we take pictures of the whole plot. I'll try it tonight after dinner, we'll be making a flying dash to pick some more soft fruit and courgettes to top our pizza for tomorrow night.

It's an absolute delight being back on the allotment site after a 2 year absence due to studying. It's fantastic to be picking and eating delicious food again, and great to see Amy's enthusiasm continue to rise every time we pick something new.

If you're lucky I might upload some more pictures tomorrow. I was busy at a job intereview today for next year's placement year at university, I was amazed to see their fantastic grounds and gardens. It is located in Selly Oak and the manor was owned by George Cadbury who was of course the founder of the iconic chocolate brand. They also had an allotment area and polytunnel and ran gardening courses. I would be deligthed to get the job there and contribute not only to the business function side of it but also get in and amongst the gardens too! Paradise!

Will be setting time aside tomorrow to catch up on my favourite blogs, have not had time to read them for well over a week.

Hope the sun shines for you!



  1. It's great to see you both and your flourishing allotment. You are way ahead of me with your produce. Our plots have been absolutely sodden and the weeds are so disheartening aren't they. The plots go from perfect to shabby in a couple of weeks of rain. I lost heart with the weeding - it's silly to tramp on our soil as it's so wet

    Still - the sunshine is bound to make everything romp away -then we have a glut!

    Not posted anything on my allotment blog - so no need to pop over. Hope to do so next week though

  2. We had no rain for five weeks, and now we have had rain for over a week with more predicted. My asparagus died before I could get the seedlings in the ground! It's a hot summer here in the southern US.

    Your enthusiam is delightful. What you are picking to eat sounds delicious.

    How far are you from your garden?

  3. What a wonderful time of year on the allotment! Your lettuce reminds me how wonderful they are when you grow them yourself. Those anemic icebergs in the supermarket taste of nothing! You just can't beat a home grown lettuce.

  4. Similar problems here Marti, so much rain, so many weeds. We've been busy harvesting fruit, but it isn't as swert as it normally is as there hasn't been enought sun. Nearly lost our garlic crop, we've lifted it now and have put on racks in the sheds - no garlic scapes of wet garlic this year. Very much looking forward to the promised warm spell. All the best, Hazel

  5. Sorry the missing "n" in your name was a typo, not a presumption of familarity :-) H


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