|Chutney decanting, in moody black and white.|
Sunday, 16 December 2012
Sunday, 9 December 2012
|Inspecting the fence|
We planted a few daffodil bulbs that had been hanging around.
Thursday, 6 December 2012
|The thrill of the grill, or some such other rubbish pun|
Monday, 26 November 2012
|Bird of Paradise plant|
|Our allotment's front door. No tipping, alright?|
Sunday, 18 November 2012
|Ooo, what a lovely day!|
|The leaf-strewn path to the patch|
Tuesday, 6 November 2012
|Long shadows as the mercury sinks|
Sunday, 28 October 2012
Thursday, 25 October 2012
Ok, so strictly speaking this recipe has nothing to do with our allotment, but what the hey, it tastes amazing and is dead easy to make so I thought I'd write it up. If you don't want to know about something delicious to do with a rabbit, you need read no further!
Sunday, 21 October 2012
|Smoke on the allotment. Which is almost, but not quite, a Deep Purple lyric.|
We've been blessed (figuratively speaking; I'm not thanking any particular deity for this. I don't have much time for those guys) with blue skies and even a bit of warmth over the weekend which has made pottering around on the plot very pleasant.
My parents were passing through yesterday, and in exchange for little more than some genuine appreciation my Dad brought a chainsaw over to hack up some knackered old planks that weren't good for anything much more than burning.
Tuesday, 16 October 2012
|Cabbage; prepare to be Kimchi'd|
We'd recently had a couple of great Korean meals at Mannaza in Newastle, where we'd eaten Kimchi for the first time.
Sunday, 7 October 2012
Thursday, 4 October 2012
That's not some daft tongue-twister I just made up for a laugh (I've got better things to do, just about), but a roundabout description of what we've been up to today. We've started buying Kitchen Garden magazine, after quite excitedly finding a copy in Carlisle Tesco. Not really having thought that magazines solely dedicated to growing food existed (not that there's any reason why they shouldn't of course) it brightened up an otherwise dull train ride to find a copy. I should point out here that contrary to popular belief, excitement can be found in Carlisle Tesco, provided you find gardening magazines exciting. Rock and roll...
|In the sun, yesterday.|
With it having been about a week since we'd been down the plot, it was great to get down yesterday on a day off to get some bits and bobs done. Having to go to work every day really cuts down your allotment time! There is a very autumnal feel on the plot now, with so many things having been harvested, and others, such as courgettes, coming to the end of their tenure. We've got quite a few empty spaces now. Those that haven't been treated to any manure since we've been on the plot are, when clear, going to get a good dose of rotted turd before being covered for the winter. Lucky them.
Friday, 28 September 2012
It has been another week of treacherous weather in the North East. While floods in June and August came as a result of biblical, if brief, downpours, this time it was an unspectacularly relentless spell of precipitation over 48 hours that did the damage. You've got to feel for the poor folks of Morpeth, some of whom are flooded for the second time in four years. In Newcastle, things weren't quite so bad, although some fairly serious gusts on Monday resulted in the town being littered with the skeletal remains of discarded brollies that just weren't up to the job.
Talking about not being up to the job, it looks like what's left of our fence has finally shrugged it's shoulders and given up.
Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Of all the things I had no idea about before starting off this allotment game, high up the list of previously held ignorances is the extent of stuff you can grow over winter. I was vaguely aware that kale was a wintery thing as I remember my mum cooking us seemingly endless kale-based meals when we were kids. I wasn't keen on the stuff back then, though I love it now. However; broad beans, onions, garlic, spinach, hardy lettuces, and no end of brassicas- who knew?!
Last year we grew shenshyu overwintering onions and some unknown variety of garlic, both of which were procured from a stall at Newcastle Quayside Market, with mixed results. The onions did not too badly at all, despite trying to run to seed quite frequently. The garlic wasn't so great, producing piddly little cloves that I can scarcely be bothered to peel. This year we've gotten a bit more organised and have just engaged Thomson and Morgan to provide us with a mixed selection of garlic, three different types of onions, plus some "Shakespeare" as they seem to be well-rated. I'm looking forward to these arriving so we can see which work well. I'm especially looking forward to the elephant garlic - even though it's not a "proper" garlic - as at least we should be able to get some decent sized cloves of the stuff. Godspeed our fine prospective alliums!
Sunday, 16 September 2012
So last Sunday, with a head that felt like it was filled with aching fur, I trotted with Kasia down to Newcastle Civic Centre to have a look at the Allotment and Garden Show.
Tuesday, 4 September 2012
This weekend just gone we finally got to the stage where all parts of the allotment are either planted with something, or have been well dug over and are more or less sans weeds. It's only taken 15 months! Some people seem to come onto a plot and sort them out in a matter of weeks. Well, that was never going to be the case for us, but it feels good to look around and see everything being tidy and under control, if still a bit scruffy. The last patch to get dug over yielded some mega-dandelion roots.
Monday, 27 August 2012
We attended the AGM of our allotments at Nunsmoor in Fenham, Newcastle today (it's just by the BBC). Apparently, and in contradiction to what I'd always presumed about allotments in general, there isn't a waiting list at the moment. So, if you want a plot and don't want to wait, gimme a shout and I'll pass on your details to the relevant authorities!
|Things looking pretty tidy from the gate|
Thursday, 23 August 2012
After picking a bunch of nasturtium seeds from the plants in our border on Tuesday, I've now got them pickling away. If this works out then I reckon we're onto a total winner as regards future cheapo birthday/ chrimbo presents; "I grew these and then pickled them myself" I'll regularly exclaim, as various relatives and acquaintances unwrap yet another pot of macerated seedage, their faces full of wonder. After all, who can refuse a delightful home-grown gift? So thoughtful, so personal, so authentic. And so very, very cheap.
|brining my seeds|
Tuesday, 21 August 2012
When, in the depths of winter, we're plodging around in freezing mud like idiots in order to try and get a patch on the allotment sorted, it'll help to have a record of a day like today. A day when, after work we popped down to the allotment and dug up the remainder of our spuds (Marfona 2nd earlies- no main crop for us), three cabbages, 4 massive courgettes, some rhubarb and a few berries. Good frigging times.
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
With Kasia being away for the weekend, and it only taking about 2 minutes out of the day to feed the cat sufficiently, I had plenty of time on Saturday to spend on the allotment, pottering about. It was really great to sit in the sun, read, and watch the pigeons rapidly chew through the seeds which actually we put out for their less sizeable cousins. Ho hum; if they're stuffed on wilko's finest birdseed, perhaps they'll be less inclined to fraternize with our crops.
Monday, 6 August 2012
A day of mental weather on Sunday meant that two slices of allotmenteering had to fit either side of a big meaty filling of a pretty serious thunderstorm. Not for the first time this year, chunks of Newcastle found themselves underwater. Things were fine down on the plot early in the afternoon and when the sun came out it was red hot. Then it got muggy as hell, we were treated to a ferocious thunderstorm and then the heavens opened.
|A storm brews over Fenham|
What a rubbish post title, sorry, couldn't think of anything else that rhymed with sorrel. Anyway never mind that; to the topic at hand. We'd been enjoying plenty of sorrel in salads but I fancied cooking it, and found a really simple sauce recipe from good ol' Hugh F and set out to make poached eggs with sorrel sauce for a weekend breakfast.
Tuesday, 31 July 2012
|Things looking nice in the sunshine|
Monday, 16 July 2012
It's been over a week since I wrote anything on here, and with good reason; we've barely been down the ol' plot. The weather has been what they refer to at the Met Office (probably) as "utter shite", with the only question being how many months worth of rain will fall on any given day. But hey, you know all this right? I mean you noticed didn't you? Thought so. I was all set to write some grumbly screed about how awful it all was when KA-POW!!, we've had a weekend where it only rained a tiny bit, and the sun even came out! Weird.
|Blue sky not photoshopped. Seriously.|
Thursday, 5 July 2012
Some things seem to just want to grow despite you. We got given a crown of rhubarb when we got the allotment last May and buried it in one of the first patches we cleared of weeds. After a few months there didn't seem to be any growth on it, so we dug it up to make room for a couple of blackcurrant bushes and lobbed it on the weed-heap. A couple of months later and Kasia noticed it had, phoenix-like, managed to spring to life. It was re-dug into a new patch and, hey presto, we've just harvested our first rhubarb from this unlikely specimen.
Saturday, 30 June 2012
Apparently the weather is discussed 282 times per second in the UK, which isn't very surprising when it's as mad as it has been in Newcastle over the last few days. See here, here and here for three of the more dramatic vids of the downpour. We were down the allotment earlier in the day when it was raining a bit, though there was no suggestion of the drama to follow.
|The View from the gate on a damp morning|
Wednesday, 27 June 2012
|Leeks! Garlic! Me!|
So here we are in late June, roughly halfway through our first proper growing season. After getting all excited about it, especially in March when the weather was (briefly) amazing, we've seen a fair chunk of our efforts completely scuppered by one of the wettest and coldest summers on record. Seeds haven't germinated, courgettes have perished in record time and things have just generally been as sodden and grim as.... well, let me know if you've got a really good "cold and wet" metaphor, I can't think of one.
Sunday, 24 June 2012
|Day 1; The view from the gate|