Sunday 3 May 2015

Spring Activity and a local Thurnderstorm

Almost every weekend Mr R and I spend time up at our allotment, digging, weeding, expanding the beds and an endless stream of little jobs.

The fun starts however in the Spring when, after putting loads of organic compost and horse manure onto the soil, the bean frames are set up,
The leeks and onions are coming along nicely and
its time to plant!! We erected the vine arch and planted the red and white grape vines, one each side and if they do well we will plant a couple more.
But as you can see above the sky started to change to a really dark grey and all of a sudden the heavens opened and the sky rumbled and I made it to the shed.  Mr R managed to get into the car and nearly fell about laughing because I was stuck in the shed, thunder and lightening and heavy rains preventing me from making it into the car.

As quickly as the storm started the skies cleared, becoming a beautiful fresh blue and we carried on with the work.  The colours were so intense and the light magical, giving us a renewed purpose to carry on.
We are off on holiday tomorrow and the anticipation of how everything will have grown is immense - will my little seeds have started to produce the beginning of our summer-autumn food! Watch the blog to see the progress.

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Easter Helpers - Poo Pile Moving

When you have a huge pile of poo to shift on your allotment get the family in to help.  Easter weekend we had my daughter and her two boys staying and with some beautiful weather we headed up to the allotment.

It is a great place to get some fresh air into everyone's lungs and build up an appetite. Faced with the prospect of moving the pile of poo on his own Mr R was more than happy when Caroline offered to help! Check out the rhubarb before a poo feed. Wait till you see it a few weeks later!
Beautiful, natural and organic!
Caroline came equipped with her wellies ready to help move the poo pile!
'Small' also called 'Me Too' wanted to help mummy with the weeding.
Let's get those onions weeded!!
What a surprise, the Easter Bunny made a quick pass over the allotment!
'Small' was so excited to have his own gloves and tools to help!
'Big' carefully packing up his gardening bag ready to put in the shed for the next time they visit.
Enormous appetites ready for Easter Sunday roast lamb dinner!

Tuesday 31 March 2015

The Edible Garden Show - 2015

Last year we attended our first Edible Garden Show held in North London at the iconic Alexandra Palace where we go so many ideas and tips for our allotment. Suffice it to say we were really looking forward to repeating the experience again this year.

We got there just at opening time on a blistery and windy Saturday afternoon stopping briefly to admire the fantastic view from the outside of the venue but the cold did get to us and we went inside.  It is like being a child in a sweet shop - where do you start, which way to turn, there were so many good looking and interesting stalls to visit.  Some of the interesting stalls we visited and people we spoke to are following:

Wolf-Garten tools with their innovative interchangeable pieces of garden equipment.  We have a hand pole and a long pole on our allotment and four tools.  I want to get the hand fork you see below next and a mid-range handle.
The lovely demonstrator from Omniblend making a mango ice cream.
Instead of feeding the meal worms to the birds Charge feeds them and uses their poo as a fertiliser for increasing the vitamins and minerals you put in to condition your allotment soil in a completely natural way.  I was given a 1ltr tub and asked to use in one of my allotment beds and to report back in a future post.
Mr R was really taken by the Wood BlocX system of raised beds.  They are simple and easy to assemble in your own garden however are made to fit the size and area you need for your own raised beds.  I have an area in my flower garden which has concrete under the surface and very difficult to plant anything over.  I think a raised bed from BlocX will be perfect!
I love the fact that you can have a curve, this is exactly what I need in my garden.  The big question is how many I need.
Flax Farm Linseed where I learned loads about the linseed including the fact that linseed and flax are in fact the same thing. The Americans use the word flax and the British say linseed. Linseed oil is high in Omega3 and fibre and is rich in antioxidants helping you to feel fabulous, feel great and look amazing!
There were lots more companies worthy of a mention but I only had space to mention a few. I have lots of ideas and projects from visiting the show. I will be attending next year so keep an eye on this blog for dates and ticket giveaways.

I was a guest of The Edible Garden Show but was not required to write a positive review. As usual all opinions and photos are my own.

Tuesday 24 March 2015

And the season starts all over again!

Several times this winter Mr R and I have spent time over the weekends, weather permitting, working on our allotment, doing clearing up and other boring winter jobs in order to prepare for the new growing season.

We have been buying our seeds and getting ready to begin planting them in the greenhouse next month, visited The Edible Garden Show at Alexandra Palace for inspiration and tips but the biggest step we have made this year is having a load of horse manure delivered directly to our site!

Mr R hates me stopping to fill up bags of manure at farms and buying it in quantities at the garden centres can work out expensive.  Our allotment society arranges for a chap to deliver either half a load or a full load to individual plots and this year I decided to get it all in one go.
After several false attempts, due to weather conditions mostly and our plot is at the top of the slope, last Saturday we took delivery of a huge pile of poo!!
Those buckets and tires give a bit of perspective as to the size of the pile!

I love the earthy feel and smell of meadow and look forward to leaving it out for a bit more to rot down, eventually using it to help condition my soil and add nutrients.

Now Mr R (I have a bad back you understand!) will just have to move it to the other side of the plot so it is not in any one's way. I really must not laugh!!