Saturday, 24 October 2009

Poetry and potatoes.

I'd put potatoes on my new plot as they involve a lot of digging opportunities to come across and pull out bindweed. It always amazes me how bindweed can regrow from any tiny bit of root left in the ground. My potatoes did have more scab than I've ever seen but it was a dry summer and i didn't water them . One of the old hands told me that there often is a lot of scab in ground uncultivated for ages. As the scab is only skin deep and does not affect the potato I'm not too concerned. Have not been to allotment for few days as son's birthday party preps took over and the accompanying panic over somehow inviting 17 kids to our small roomed house. it passed very well thanks to my sister. The kids loved it. I loved their dancing.
I went to a poetry reading locally which involved 4 published poets reading from the floor then people were invited to read from the floor. This was the second time I had read from the floor and it was worse than the first time. I could hear my voice tremble and had to slow down which was good as I often race through my poems wanting to finish asap. I got a great round of applause and two of the published poets said what a v good poem it was. Members of the audience also gave me very positive feedback. I have been walking on air.

Monday, 12 October 2009

More harvest and autumn planting

My carrots and parsnips have done pretty well this year. My first year my carrots were tiny - once you peeled them there was nothing left to eat! Parsnips take ages to germinate and I thought I'd keep the weeds down while waiting for them. Unfortunately I weeded the only two that germinated as I didn't know what their leaves would look like. My friend had told me they look nothing like carrots but not what they look like.

Autumn is not normally thought of as a time to plant but there are some things that can go in now. I've bought Japanese onions sets, broad beans and peas from the allotment shop. I haven't tried growing onions from seed yet - I just buy the sets(tiny onions that grow into big ones) but maybe next year. The onions that you plant in autumn have to be used pretty quickly as they don't store well-unlike the ones planted in spring which store well. The broad beans can go in up till beginning of November. Last year the birds had most of mine -very upsetting as I was looking forward to the boiled beans being fried with garlic and onion. A fellow allotmenteer recommended letting the weeds grow up round them once the pods start to form as the birds don't see the beans. Peas - now I don't really know a lot about them so will let you know how I get on with them.
Today I had a whole morning at the allotment- first time in ages. It was a perfect day for it -sunny and not too hot. Lots of bonfires - I love the smell of bonfires- makes me smile. I drew a plan of my plot as I need to rotate the types of veg to stop a build up of pests and diseases. Lucky for us the allotment gets free deliveries of houshold compost recycled by the council and manure from the local stables. I did a bit of hoeing -trying to cut down the weeds before they get big and cause more of a problem. Then I dug a trench lined it with compost then filled it with soil from the ground next to it making another trench then so on till whole row had compost added to it. I do a bit each time i go so I don't wear my joints out too much. I feel so much calmer for spending time working there working.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

My produce

This tomato (yes it is just one tomato sliced up!) grew outside in my garden. It's called Big Boy and I will definately grow it again next year as it's so tasty. The onion's from my allotment. I put a few golden marjoram (yes from the garden-oh dear sounds like I'm showing off.) leaves on it and drizzled some olive oil over it all.

Sexy photos of my borlotti beans. Can eat pods lightly boiled when young or when get to this stage can shell and put beans in soup casserole etc. Or dry them and store. If you want to cook them from dry you need to soak them overnight covered with an inch of water. The next day boil till tender.

Some of my desiree potatoes harvested from the allotment. My father-in-law planted them as my arm was in plaster. They have a bit of scab due to dry weather. It's not serious - you can just peel it off and cook as normal.