Monday, 27 August 2012

Want a plot? Come on Down!

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!

A Full Day (and a bit)'s Toil, Plus Double-Newt Action

Things looking pretty tidy from the gate
You've got to love bank holidays, that extra day makes all the difference. Saturday was, allotment-wise, a write-off as it rained pretty much all day. It was that fine rain that gets you really wet too. We thumbed our collective nose at the elements and headed to Tynemouth and Whitley Bay for a traipse round the market and second hand shops, and to get some shit-hot chocolates (Salted Caramels and Malbec Truffles both great) at Gareth James and really amazing coffee from Ouseburn Coffee Co. Sunday, however, was a peach of a gardening day, the sun coming out regularly but also disappearing often enough to stop it getting too hot to want to work.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Pickle my seed

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

Harvest (in the nick of) Time

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

Pottering On

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

Storm Sandwich

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

Don't quarrel with sorrel

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.

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