Monday, 24 November 2008

collapse! ... and a breathtaking rebuild

weekend before last, kim and i walking along the path to out plot and the conversation goes something like this:

kim: uh... where's our greenhouse ?
me: b*$$*£#s!

this weekend, in the FREEZING COLD and with a heavy sense that it could all be too late, we set about unfolding the 'parts that were formerly a greenhouse'

we lifted and re-errected it on next door's plot ... not looking too bad, only the roof part had become detached

here's mark, or as he shall now be known - 'supermark' carefully measuring and cutting timber for the base

spilling blood in the process

though it didn't stop him for a second

mark, ashley and colin were all astonishingly brilliant while kim and i mostly stood around holding bits of frame, passing spanners, offering words of encouragement and (me) complaining about the cold.

and then finally, as if by magic, it was all fixed and beautiful.

i'm so excited about all the things we will grow in there.

having walked the thing from bekesbourne it just would have been to sad to have let it fail. next stop fitting the glass.
thanks you guys, you rock.

oh and i mustn't forget to introduce our new neighbours, this is the very beautiful ella (who will sit for a biscuit)

and sadie, who is toothless but also beautiful

and their humans deborah and george, who have already offered us access to their free manure supplier. say hi if you see them.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

a sunny monday morning spent building fortresses for our treasure,

rabbits have been spotted nibbling at the rye and the pigeons will soon be hungry

tess has very kindly offered us some of her jerusalem artichokes, either to plant or eat, thank you tess.
and hello to isobel who who'll be joining us from this weekend, it's lovely to have you.

Monday, 29 September 2008


sprouts #1
ta dah !
the rye we sowed last week as a green manure

it's lovely and red. we sowed the other half of the bed yesterday.

sprouts #2
colin made me be in this photo, but check out those brassicas, and hardly a nibbled leaf amongst them. we are totally convinced of the magical powers of the rosemary plant that we installed at the end of the patch.
we won't be spraying for nasties, oh no, not us.

and here's the two eastern european builders we got in to do the greenhouse base.
they did a very good job indeed, thanks jules and mark.
can we pay you in broccoli in march please ... ?

Monday, 22 September 2008

it was a beautiful day on sunday and i had been looking forward to getting to the allotment all week. it was so lovely to see akram, begona, isabel and aysha again, and with such enthusiasm!

we all worked together to clear the first bed ready for a green manure crop of rye grass.
kim and i were thrilled to find that the beds we weeded last week had remained pretty much weed free, hurrah ! this feels like a real achievement .

here's ashley sowing the rye over the beautifully clear and raked soil.
he's also expressed an interest in sowing some oats (!) watch out ladies :)

the girls were drawn to the beauty of this allium, we've picked it and will see if it'll be our first bit of seed saving ... kim took it home to investigate

the brassicas are comtinuing to astound us, despite no ground preparation at all they appear amongst the most handsome of all the plots. the purple sprouting broc should be ready to harvest feb - may and the brussels sprouts - hopefully ready for christmas.

hope to see you next week !

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

so kim and i made a tactical decision to meet for tea in the rain this sunday and go to the allotment on monday instead. it proved to be a good decision.
we got to see the poo that jules has kindly delivered, it looks mighty fine.
we lifted a LOT of comfrey ( comfrey is good for composts and making fertilizer ) and so perhaps fortunately we have tonnes of it.
we weeded around the brassicas, which are now looking magnificent, in preparation for sowing a green manure crop sometime in the next few weeks.
then we dug up the last of the treasure.
now we'd like to think about what to grow next year and we'd like there to be a good variety of interesting and unusual crops. and most importantly there must be something that even the fussiest eater ( that's you mr. may ) will want to greedily devour.
please take a minute to vote in the poll to the right here ............................................................. ta

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Victor Veghead

kim and i met at the allotment for the second, very pleasant, friday afternoon in a row yesterday. it was sunny, and calm and just what we both needed.
we enlarged the brassica enclosures,
fed the tomatoes
weeded a little
dug up potatoes and onions
stuffed ourselves on raspberries and blackberries
generally shot the breeze
we think one of the bext big things to tackle must be removing as much bindweed as we can from the softfruit, before it's too late !
and i'd like to get a pond in somewhere soon.
then it was home and roast tatties for tea.

Monday, 18 August 2008

back on track

making good progress, this weekend we cleared the space for the greenhouse:

built compost bins

and felt good that we've done so much so soon

Sunday, 17 August 2008

free food

now harvesting at the allotment

Saturday, 16 August 2008

the plan

(click to enlarge)
we're getting sorted, we've made some decisions.
and we would still like to meet some more enthusiastic people.
if you don't have a garden but would like one, fancy an allotment but not a whole one ... would like to learn or would like to teach ... we try to meet there on sunday mornings but folks pop in during the week too.

Monday, 21 July 2008

the march of the greenhouse ( or, why did the greenhouse cross the road ?)

the great March of the Greenhouse 2008.
donated by someone kind and marched all they way from bekesbourne by mark, ashley, geoff, jules, jo, nick and lisa.

great job everyone, and sorry i doubted the plan!

tim, tess, kim and i kept up with the necessary tasks on the plot and welcomed zoe on her first visit while we awaited.

we thought this meant that the fennel was ready.
it wasn't.
but we did have a handful of mangetout for dinner and picked more berries for jam.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008


tim collected these beauties at the allotment on sunday.

i jammed them yesterday
and ate them today

800g of blackcurrants, 400g of sugar and a squeeze of lemon.

boil the fruit for 10 min in a little water ( just enough to cover ) then add the sugar and boil for another half an hour and keep stirring.

the only fiddly bit is getting the jars really, really clean and making sure that you dry them in the oven, filling them when they are still hot.

alchemy indeed, kim saw my face when i ate one of these currants raw at the allotment ( it wasn't pretty ) the cooking transforms them to something quite different.

kim, i'm saving a jar for you, how were the gooseberries ?

Monday, 7 July 2008

Sunday 6th July

By the time Hattie and I arrived, there was already plenty of activity: Kim, Colin, Ashley, Matt and Jo were all busy away at their various tasks for the day.

The top end of the allotment is really coming along now, with the brassicas looking particularly healthy under their new protective cages. Further down, however, the news wasn't so good... some of the donated fruit trees, which had really just been healed-in, were looking a little sorry for themselves, so Matt and Ashley decided to move the healthiest ones to more permanent positions nearer the shed. Hattie helped water them in and Matt is going to take the weaker trees up to the university where he can give them more daily tlc - they should be fine.

On this allotment there is now only one un-cultivated area between the raspberries and the fruit trees and I got stuck-in, digging it over and weeding. I asked Ashley what we should plant and we agreed that a fast growing crop of salad (principally lettuce and radish) would be most satisfying - donations of spare seeds would be very welcome.

Jo pointed out that the gooseberries and redcurrants were ready for picking but the recurrants haven't got a home to go to yet. A good crop is available to the person with the best idea for a recipe, or perhaps a jam-making demonstration...? Matt reminisced about his mother's gooseberry fool and is going to have a go at making it, so he and Hattie picked pounds and pounds, some of which came home with me, destined for one of Rachle's crumbles! I can't wait!

About then, the rain started and it was time for home. Hattie collected-up some tiny potatoes that emerged from my digging and we left, a little cold, a little wet, but immensely satisfied.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

end of june round-up

last weekend things started looking pretty good down on plot one.

tidy, ordered, weedfree rows

and the currants are looking juicy...

then we covered a bit of plot two with some heavy black plastic to save on some digging... clearly we're going to need a bit more - let me know if you can help

today: kim and colin built these beauties to protect some of the brassicas...they're taking no chances with the rabbits

colin demonstrates the hose that he successfully fixed up with the correct attachment

and those of you who say you're coming and havent ...

if we don't see you soon then we're sending ashley round to find out why ... and he's pretty fierce

later taters