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.