Sunday, 5 October 2014

Downsizing and Tidying Up

A couple of weekends away, like the ones we've had recently, are all it takes for things to get unruly in allotment land. We spent a few hours down there today harvesting bits and bobs and having a well-needed tidy. There is an extra impetus to get all our veg out of one side of the allotment as we've decided, after some deliberation, that having the whole plot is a bit of a stretch and so we've offered it up for newcomers. Better to do half a plot well than constantly be chasing our tail, or planting great swathes of minimum-effort veg; that's the thinking anyway.

The bit we're "giving back"
It was only a few days between mentioning this to the committee and us meeting some potential new plot-mates which is pretty great. The half we're giving back is the one we first started on nearly four years ago. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with it.

The bit we're keeping
I spent most of the morning digging up the last patch of spuds from what is now to be "next door". As with all the rest of our main croppers, these King Edwards have done well, producing good amounts of smallish tubers. The reason why main croppers have succeeded this year while earlies have singularly failed will never be satisfactorily resolved.

Pretty in pink
We'll defo be growing King Edward again; I like the look of the things and they roast really well; top spuddage.

After a good strim, I picked what is likely to be the last bagful of red tomatoes; from here on, were looking at green tom chutney I reckon. Kasia freed up another section on the neighbours-to-be plot by harvesting the last of our chard (just had it in an amazing Ottolenghi herb pie recipe) and some kale, while cutting the giant Jerusalem Artichoke canes down to size- see pic at top of post.

The autumn-planted spuds we experimented with haven't enjoyed being left to the elements and have died off; should've put fleece over them. They've been aborted from a raised bed, to be replaced by onion sets next week.

Red Clover
Our first ever successful attempt to grow a green manure came to fruition as I dug over the covering of red clover that we grew on a patch that had onions in it earlier this year. Kasia had read that you're meant to dig it in before it seeds, so as the flowers were out, over it went.

Kasia moved our dalek-style compost bins over onto "our" side of the plot meaning that some compost in the bottom got scattered onto an ex-spud patch. I was a veritable frenzy of worms, surely a good sign.

A globe artichoke gone to flower. Pretty huh?
We left feeling that we'd gotten a fair amount done in the few hours we were there. The future of the allotments is still uncertain, but I think we've sort of resolved to enjoy them now regardless of what happens in the future. With the autumn sun shining, bagfuls of food coming home with us along with the pleasant feeling of having accomplished some tasks that had needed seeing to, there aren't too many places I'd rather have been. 


  1. Sounds as if you have made the right choice. Lots of allotmenteers try to do too much, and fail.

    1. Hopefully it'll be more fun doing less and doing it better.

  2. If going to the allotment is a chore them your decision is a sound one. You have to enjoy what you are doing, I think s few people on our site need to have a similar assessment of whet they really want.

  3. Hi Sue. The going isn't a chore, but the guilt that we haven't gone enough has become a bit of one. There's all sorts of shenanigans on the site we're on these days, not worth banging on about on here though.

  4. Just a minor point.What ever the green manure in your photo was , it wasn't red clover.

    1. Really?! Bloody said it was on the pack! Any idea what it might have been then?


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