Birthday gifts

It was my birthday earlier in the week and I got a couple of things for the allotment.

Firstly, this truly amazing wind sock!20160625_103711

Here it is fluttering away this morning. It’s attached to the bottom half of our fruit cage. On the right of the path you can see all our potatoes growing away nicely. The canes in the middle belong to our neighbour opposite.

Also with the money I received have purchased this Blood Orange tree20160625_122515


Popped to the nursery this morning and brought it back in the car. Our first citrus tree it’ll be interesting to see how it gets on. At the moment it’s just starting to produce tiny fruits. If all goes well I have my eye on one of two more trees.

Other things done today: Some more flower planting and general weeding, plus lifted the garlic which is now drying off in my garage. Pic below is of the elephant garlic20160625_103657

Also have begun digging the first earlies in earnest now. They’re quite a bit bigger than expected, probably due to the vast amount of rain we’ve had!20160625_103704

Next week it looks like our gooseberries will be ready. Picking them is a job I hate, but eating them is a task I love!

Pre-rain digging

I almost overslept this morning, but thankfully managed to get up in time to get up to the site and do some more ground preparation on our new plot. The area where the greenhouse will go has now had its topsoil cleared off and has been semi-levelled.20151114_094113

Weather permitting i want to try and get the base down before we have our little winter break in a few weeks time. Only then will the true levelling be done. The greenhouse itself has now been ordered, so eagerly awaiting it, and all our new trees/bushes arrival.

Elsewhere our overwintering onions are now through. 20151114_094200

As are all four varieties of garlic. 20151114_094311

That’s about it for today as the rain came by 9.30 and although not too hard made it unpleasant to stay much longer.

Finally, we attended the allotment association’s AGM last night. Hottest topic of debate: what type of onsite toilet to install! Some want an eco, others a cesspit. Decisions, decisions….

Planting and picking

Well what a cracking weekend. Weather has been absolutely superb and I’ve spent most of the time sitting in the sun, drinking beer and relaxing at our local food festival. Great to see so many small local businesses making a living and creating such high quality produce. Bliss.

Spent a few hours out in the glorious sun at the allotment too, where have planted next years garlic crop. I’ve love garlic, not only the taste of course, but how incredibly easy it is to grow. Also what can you harvest in June and still be eating the following April? Brilliant.

Anyway this year have planted four different varieties again. 20150926_08472620150926_085540 (1)20150926_09004020150926_090642

Haven’t tried Mikulov White before, but the cloves were in fantastic condition, so look forward to seeing how they grow. Planted some onion sets too and did a bit of general tidying up. Picked the last few plums, the first lot of main crop potatoes (sadly no photo), which look in great condition and also have our first few apples ready.

Here they are on our two trees20150926_084531

and here our the Red Falstaff variety ready to eat20150927_185645

It;s been a bumper year for apples so these three are the first of many. Sadly we have at least thirty fewer than we would’ve due to a branch breaking off in some unseasonably windy weather earlier in the summer. Both trees are about seven years old now and after a slow start to life are both now incredibly productive. The taste of the fruit is superb and as Monty Don rightly said this week, there’s few things better than picking and eating an apple you can’t buy in the shops. I quite fancy another heritage variety, but an earlier sort so we can have fruit from August onwards.