Friday, 28 September 2012

After the Deluge, part deux

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

Mail Order Alliums

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

Lazy Harvest Time

Fresh back from brief holidays in Dublin, we had just time to do a swift bit of harvesting and surveying of the plot this morning, after having escorted my sister down to the Great North Run.

Mutant Veg = Jealousy/ Bemusement

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

A milestone of sorts

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.

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