I took my camera to the allotment today

With the camera in one hand and the instruction book in the other …

Not quite “raindrops on roses” as sung by Julie Andrews, more like “water on lettuce”. The ground was dry so I gave the allotment a hosing and wanted to see if I could capture the drops of water on this cute little lettuce.  Yay!!

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Note to self. When you take a photo make sure your shadow is not directly over the subject. But I still managed to capture drops of water on the rosy coloured leaves. Homework – check where the sun is next time.

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I like the detail on these leaves, below. Just wish I knew the name of the vegetable as it was gifted to me amongst a few lettuce seedling. It was such a tiny little thing I didn’t even know if it would live. But thanks to the magic of worm juice and some tender loving care here it is. Beautiful.

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I’ve got the bit between my teeth now and I’m determined to crack this photography lark.

Happy gardening.

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Digging in the dirt

The best de-stresser as far as I’m concerned. Go dig in the dirt.

My allotment has been a bit crowded of late, due to a really successful winter crop, so it’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to get ‘the big fork’ out. (In truth, the size of my tiny allotment I could probably achieve the same with a nail file – but I like to swagger through the allotments with the big fork.)

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A great way to spend a Sunday morning.

So, yesterday I removed the last of my tomato plants which left me with a nice bit of ground. What to do with it?

I was given a handful of cabbage and lettuce seedlings a few weeks ago that were struggling as they were crowded in. And I had a couple of pots of flowers that I bought from Oaklands Street Community Garden the other day. So I put them in together which should give me something for my dinner plate in a few weeks, a bunch of flowers to cheer up the place, and keep the bees happy at the same time. Win, Win as they say.

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The first of the plants goes in. Narf from Serendipity Farm has given me of the name of these daisies. Osteospermum daisies.

And to keep to the theme of the day here is a pic of my favourite cushion.

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Go dig in the dirt folks. You know you want to.

Happy Gardening.

Broccoli – the plant that keeps giving

I have four broccoli plants and they have been feeding me for weeks. The magic of growing your veggies in an allotment is that you are never short of advice, wanted or otherwise. So you pick up these tips. I was given four tiny broccoli seedlings months ago. (Another benefit of having an allotment.) It is of course reciprocated.

I thought to myself “Great, I can now depend on four broccoli heads”. Wrong. In due time, and with diligent care, the tiny little seedlings grew to their full potential, which gave me a glut(?) of four broccoli heads! Fortunately, after I harvested them, a much wiser gardener – and there’s plenty of them over at the ‘lottie’ –  stopped me yanking said plants out and told me to ‘leave them be’ and they would re-sprout.

So I did. And this is the result, below.  Now I know it’s not a very clear picture, but you should get the idea. You can see where I had sliced off the main broccoli head from the top of the plant and the new broccoli head is growing from the stem that I left in the ground.    More dinner for me.

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But wait, there’s more! This head of broccoli is from one of the plants that completely re-grew from the bottom of the original stem and I get a whole new head.

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Now if that isn’t enough I’ll tell you what happened next.  One plant had provided me with the original head of broccoli, then it had re-sprouted and I’d harvested that and I thought ‘surely it’s done it’s dash’ and I tried to dig the (by then, I would have thought, exhausted) plant out of the ground.

That stem was so tough I couldn’t shift it. I got it half out of the ground and gave up. Left it for another day. I’d managed to shift half, but the other half of the root was still in the ground. I gave up and went home. Days later I returned and this is what I found.  That darn stem was growing again! You can see below. That tough old stem, lying on the ground with just a few roots still in the soil, is sprouting.

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A week later and the new plant is ‘growing like Topsy’ out of this stump lying on the ground. And you can see the scars on the stem where I have been harvesting already.

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And today I found a second plant growing even further along the stem.

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The lesson I have learned from this is that if you find a plant that loves where it is growing then the seeds HAVE to be saved so that they can be passed on to other gardeners in the same area.

Happy gardening.

The allotment is looking rather spectacular

If you never want to speak to me again I quite understand. Dear reader, it has been eleven months since I last blogged.

I haven’t been lazy, I’m still in love with my allotment and at the moment it is looking wonderful.

You may have noticed, I said ‘allotment’ singular. I gave up my second allotment during our last long hot summer, it was hard to keep up regular watering with no rain and regular 35 degrees celsius temperatures. So now I have one (tiny) eight square metres plot but it’s keeping me in vegetables and herbs. Take a look.

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The netting in the background is to keep the fruit fly off my tomato plants. I bought a mozzie (mosquito) net from the local op-shop for $2 and used that. Worked a treat and I’ve been eating tomatoes for weeks now. And they taste like tomatoes should.

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This season I scattered my veggies to confuse the pests. No straight rows and no ‘beds’ of the same veggies. Just a hotch potch and it seems to have worked. The ‘brides’ on the right of the picture are my netted tomato plants.

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Just an overview of my tiny plot. The bricks are the beginning of my little pathway through the allotment, long since disappeared under the foliage.

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This season I’ve also used flowers interspersed with the veggies to confuse the pests. That’s the theory anyway. It seems to work. With mixing the veggies up and adding the flowers I’ve had a really good harvest – and not too many ‘lace’ leaves.

It’s lovely to be back. Thank you to Sue over at the farm for giving me the push to revive my gardening blog.

I have a certain interest in another blog you may like to check out.   Happy gardening.

I’ve got new wheels

I have a new set of wheels, a Toyota Corolla. Not new, but pretty low mileage and it is really nippy. It is also immaculate inside which poses a bit of a problem for an allotment holder as my boot is my ‘shed’.  That’s where I keep my tools and inevitably bits of straw and soil invade.  So the first thing I did was line the boot with a big waterproof sheet which will do the trick. Looks good eh?

Had a busy day yesterday. I spent the morning washing and vacuuming the old car and took it in for it’s safety check. Then in the afternoon I topped up the potatoes growing in large pots and potato bags. The plants were showing enough greenery so I put in another layer of fertiliser, compost and a top dressing of straw.

Then I raided the freezer for dinner, taking out the last container of a batch of leek and potato soup I made a while ago using leeks from the allotment. Topped it with a great big dollop of my home made yoghurt. Delicious.

A good day.

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Writing about all things thrifty, home cooking, fun on a budget and living between Cornwall and Huelgoat in Brittany.

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Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

The Power of Thrift

and other ramblings

Nourishing Traditions

The Blog that Challenges Policitally Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

could do worse

adventures in London

Allotmentals Plot 103

Allotment, garden and daytrips

Pickle Me Too

Nourishing foods for the whole family (including pickles!)

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My Front Burner

making what matters

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organic, sustainable and self-sufficient hobby farm in the making

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An ongoing chronicle of meeting the expectations of the land...

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