Wednesday, 30 June 2010

More 'you know what'

Apologies now, as I'm sure it's getting a bit repetitive with me waffling on about my strawberries, but this post also mentions them...a bit. They're the superstars of my plot at the moment, so I can't help it, but sorry if you've had enough already.

We went to the plot on Sunday as usual, but in the evening and only to water and pick as it was sweltering - plus we had a dismal England game to watch in the afternoon.  We were there for over an hour though and the fruit we brought home was fabulous.

We got 3kg of strawberries, loads of red and black currants, the first of the rozzers and loganberries - plus a few jostaberries (sitting on the red currants).  We had the new Strawberry King, which pips the fella from last week.........

He's sitting on my hand too and not the girlies'!  Absolutely delicious he was - this big boy didn't make it home!  

The majority of my strawberries got made into my first jam of the year.  Very, very tasty indeed!  There are 9 jars plus a half jar (now only about 1/6th jar) that went in the fridge.

I also made Currant Jelly (too lazy to do separate currants, I'm sure they would taste nicer, but not by much!).  We've had some already with some pork, it was delicious and tasted fantastic.

The currant bushes

The loganberries

The raspberries

And here are the cherries - the entire crop (I'm suspecting foul play from some critter as there were more than this!).  Hubby, the Girlie and I had one each and they were well worth waiting for.  Please excuse the red fingers, I'd been chopping strawberries.

And finally my lovely roses.

Monday, 21 June 2010


Strawberries, strawberries everywhere! Guess what we had for pudding?! Yup!  I had probably the most gorgeous strawberry in the whole world yesterday at the plot.  It was massive, tasty and sooo sweet.  We've never had this many before, they are a mixture of last year's runners and 2/3 year old plants.  We've got a few varieties too though I'm not sure what they are now.

The girlie had another whopper on her plot and we brought home all the ripe/very nearly ripe ones - leaving lots and lots left on the plants to ripen.  Our pud was just strawberries and the low fat Vanilleta icecream from Tescos which we love and tastes like a much more calorie laden/expensive icecream mmmmmmmmm.

The poppies have opened up this week too.  I'm ever on the look out for a beautiful deep red poppy that my plot neighbour talks about that was growing on my plot before we took it over.  He said that it was huge, right in the middle of the plot.  He had been watching it and waiting for it to run to seed to save some, but then a tractor came on the the allotments and ran over it - squishing it to oblivion!  Maybe one day we will see one again?! Meanwhile, it is all the lovely lilac ones and a few pinker variations too.

Bees were very busy yesterday, enjoying the sunshine :o)

Our job for this weekend was to weed the direct sown seeds and attack the poor littlecut flower bed that seems to spend it's life drowning in weeds. I weeded and thinned the fennel bulbs, swedes, beetroot, carrots (all 6 of them) and the non existant parsnips :o( Even the chitting and nurturing of the seedlings was no match for some critter that munched through them all!  Anyway, probably wouldn't have survived the weeds onslaught :o(

The veggies can all breathe now!

Cherry update.

Currants are heaving with berries all turning.  I need some recipes now.

And finally - my haul for the weekend.  We also dug up another 3 potato plants giving us 2-3 dinners worth and loaded it all on my bike for the journey home.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Alpacas and bicycles

My muesli contained alpine strawberries (or alpaca strawberries as the girlie called them :o) ) from the garden yesterday morning.  They were absolutely delicious, such a strong strawberry hit mmmmm! I make my own muesli - the big blobs are banana - just in case you were wondering....

Here's my new baby!  I got my lovely new bike for my birthday last week and although I'd ridden it up and down the street to test it out, I hadn't given it a proper outing until yesterday.  I loaded it up with squashes and sweetcorn and toddled off to the plot.  It was fab, I loved it!

The normal strawberries on the plot were looking great, there were loads of them and some were well on the way to being ripe too.  Unfortunately for us the only one that was actually ripe enough to eat was on the girlie's patch which meant we didn't get a look in!  I've been back today though to pick elderflowers and managed to pick 6 that had ripened since yesterday.

Our job for yesterday was to sort the beds out for the squashes, this one had four Turks Turban and four Uchiki Kuri.  Around the edge you can see my darling step-over apple trees and the big tall weed thing in the middle is a massive lilac poppy.  We also planted 5 butternut squash (metro), sweetcorn (together in another bed) and 2 courgette - Jemmer and Romano in yet another. All in all a busy day at the plot and then we cycled home in the rain!!

These are the baby apples I thinned from the step-overs.  They were very happy and have produced loads and loads.  What can I do with them?  I'll have to look up a recipe or two.  Can I use them like crab apples?  It'd be a shame to waste them.

The gooseberries got a good picking too (aarrggh, prickly devils!).  As I said earlier I went back today to pick some elderflower to go with them. 

I had decided to change the way I go about digging up the spuds this year.  I've only sown first and second earlies and haven't bothered with main as these always become totally slug damaged and scabby on my plot.  Also rather than waiting for the spuds to be ready with lots of babies, but then not getting through very many baby new potatoes before they become big new potatoes - this year I thought I would start digging them up as soon as they flower.  Which I did (or rather hubby did).  This is all we got, but blimey they were gorgeous! Boiled with fresh mint, and seasoned with salt, pepper and a little blob of butter.  We ate them just like this - yum!

Lastly an open rose flower with two buds.  I thought this was beautiful and it smells really strongly too.

Monday, 7 June 2010


I've been getting orders for these simple pendant necklaces containing a handmade lampwork nugget and strung on corresponding coloured ribbons.  The findings are all in sterling silver.  I really enjoy making these and aim to put a few on my website in the near future.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

And then the rain....

I woke up this morning all ready for another stint at the allotment but should have expected the rain that I could hear outside considering the thunder and lightning from last night.  I suppose I thought it would stop it being quite so muggy and be a bright clear day - but no, t'was rainy.  We pottered around the house until lunch then as it had cleared up a bit, headed off to the plot this afternoon.  It did have a few downpours, but hid in the greenhouse in the worst of it and managed to get a fair bit done.

So here's the finished fruit beds in all their carpetted glory.  We've popped down a few (currently very wobbly) slabs too as that bit of path always gets very slippery.  Wobbly or not, it's better already.

Other things we got done today was to weed the pea and bean beds (and picked the first of the broadies) and Hubby hacked down all the long grass on the paths with some shears.  Looked lots, lots better.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Feeling a bit better.

We went off to the plot today after going to pick up some free used slabs.  Focusing on the fruit patch we cleared it of all the big weeds so that we could see what we were doing - leaving the horrible docks to die a slow hot death on the paths.  It looked so much better already .  We'll have another bash tomorrow and aim to get every available method of (free) weed suppressant down to stop the return.  At least for this year anyway.

Pic from Thursday....

And this was a pic from today....

I know it's not totally tidy yet, but we'll have another good go tomorrow. At least I can now see my fruit bushes.

And what is there to see?  Well, gooseberries are looking fine.  We are going to pick a few tomorrow and as the elderflowers are also blooming we'll get some of them too and have a go at concocting something from them.

The cherries have started to turn red - yippee.  I'm looking forward to this little bunch (that's all there is!) as I've been waiting 3 years more or less for it now :o)

The redcurrants are on the turn.  They are always the first to go and are absolutely dripping in berries this year.

The loganberry has a HUGE amount of flowers on it.  I can't wait for these, it's not as nice as my wonderful blackberry that I almost killed, but still very pleasant and makes great jam.

So what else?  I spied this little fella when I was weeding the flower border liberating my lupins from the evil docks.  He was really quite a cutie and we saw him several times in the 3 hours we were there today.  He seemed to be keeping an eye on us - or perhaps cross at me for disturbing his hidey-hole?

At home my hastily sown salad leaves have really started to take off.  We even gave a few a haircut for a light salad with our lunch.

And finally the herb bed.  It's looking terrific this year,  I've even got some alpine strawberries in a hanging basket from last year that seem happy enough to go again.  We've eaten a few already and they were delicious mmmmm! My chive flower pic is included just because I love them!


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