Tuesday, 24 June 2008
Take runner beans. Please take all the runner beans you want. They're over there with the French beans which you can also keep. Our runner beans are in full flower and growing fast enough to give Dwain Chambers a run for his win bonus.
Are these beans getting special treatment? No.
Are these beans taking vitamin supplements and cold and flu remedies? No.
Do these beans have Linford Christie as a trainer? No.
My Borlotti beans are in the same trench and on the same frame and they are a shadow of the French and runner varieties.
It's the same with my Italian black cabbage. Nothing. Stoically refusing to grow.
On Sunday I saw a round head cabbage slap a pigeon that tried to peck at it. The cabbage is in rude health.
So has the bubble burst on my quest to grow more "fancy" vegetables? Will I have to make a trip to Borough Market every time I want to make home-made minestrone soup? Am I doomed to grow spuds and strawberries and runner beans?
Say yes to wafty Italian cabbages;
embrace the shiny pink Borlotti bean;
pour over the Asparagus; and
play Mariarchi band music to Tomatillos. (What?) Never mind.
This is a marathon, not a sprint.
Perhaps a watched pot really does not boil.
Good things come to those who wait, but you can have runner beans now.
Saturday, 21 June 2008
La. This plot belongs to Vic.
The blue flashes are improvised water butts. We have a rather neat arrangement with a local factory. They give the allotment association their spent 40 gallon barrels (which previously contained water-based glue) and save themselves a bundle on waste management fees. We save a bundle on 40 gallon water butts. Happy people everywhere.
To convert the barrels you take a hand saw and cut off the tops and let them fill with rain water for summer crop watering. Some people cut them in half and grow spuds in them.
I take credit only for the idea. It will surprise none of you to know that the natty framework was built by Harry and painted by Coryn. After experimenting with an "X" frame which proved a little unsteady Harry decided that, whilst certainly elegant, the "X" frame needed too much safety engineering. These things are surprisingly heavy when full of wet dirt. The cradle design is far more suitable.
Here's one I made earlier. Left to right Rocket-Lettuce-Spinach. Bagged and washed and bought in a supermarket a bag of this stuff is about £1.50. There's enough for about 10 bags there and it grows back every week. Sorry Tesco, I now eschew your "lazy-boy" bags of salad leaves.
Thursday, 19 June 2008
Nothing here yet. Bottom right plot. Will probably be potatoes and leeks and a few exotics that I have my eye on.
Friday, 6 June 2008
Sadly during his excavations he destroyed my rocket crop. This leaves me with a moral and maybe even legal dilema.
Here is my problem.
The darker part of me says: What kills foxes? Where can I buy some?
Sunday, 1 June 2008
Raspberry rehabilitation centre
I later explained to the bushes that this is a stay of execution only and they can either fruit up or ship out. I assured them that I can always build more compost heaps.
The Loganberry and Teyberry bushes are the other side of the greenhouse and we have not reached those yet. However, they have seen what has happened to the others and know they are next on the list. I shouldn't be surprised if they prune themselves this week.
This Loganberry need a jolly good talking to.
Some was transplanted, and he kindly donated the remainder to our neighbours. Good thing too. I suspect we would have been overrun with the stuff next year as there were a good deal more (roots/tubas/bulbs*) under ground than (sticks/stems/fronds*) above ground.
*delete as applicable.
I fear that some over enthusiastic hacking at what I genuinely believed to be Doc Leaves may have contributed to Harry's surprise at finding so many rhubarb roots. Whoops!
Despite the humidity and no noticeable breeze Harry continued his digging frenzy. His sterling efforts have meant that we have passed the magical three quarters of the digging finished mark.
I continued to clear out the area between shed and green house and built frames for the Sweet peas. Sweet peas are not peas and are not sweet. Huh!