The potato harvest is in!

I set out for the allotment this morning with one job in mind. The potato harvest.

I have already picked a couple of hands full over the past week so I knew there were spuds down there.  It was with great anticipation that I grabbed  “The Big Fork” and sallied forth. The ground was soggy due to all the rain we’ve had which made it heavy going. Not a job for whimps as muscles were flexed, earth went flying, The Big Fork got red hot! (I have been known to exaggerate.)

If you promise not to laugh I will show you the results.

Here it comes ……….

The potato harvest

On the plus side I did have a good work-out.

Don’t know where I went wrong, perhaps the heavy rain hasn’t helped, but I’m not wasting tears over it – so I got on with the next planting.

This time I’m growing King Edwards and I’m going to use bags rather than plant them in the ground. I laid the potatoes on a layer of good compost and organic fertiliser. I’ll be topping up the soil as the plants grow, until I get to the top of the bag.

Here are three of the bags already in place.  Just behind the green bag you can see a small bed of potatoes that I will be digging up in a month or so. Hopefully there are some spuds underneath all that greenery.

I knew what I was doing when I named this blog “Allotment Adventures with Jean”  because gardening is an adventure. You put in the effort, you give tender care, and you may get zilch.  (Do you remember the catastrophic rhubarb?).  On the other hand, some stuff gets neglected and grows like Topsy.

When I set up this blog I had to decide between two names. It’s been on my mind today. The other name I thought of using was “Optimists Anonymous”.

Happy gardening.

An action packed weekend

The weekend just flew by and it’s only now that I have found the quiet time to sit and blog about it.

I went to Jan Powers’ Farmers’ Market over at The Powerhouse, New Farm Park on Saturday morning.  I grabbed my ‘Nanny Trolley’ and set off. The market was buzzing with folk out to enjoy a lovely sunny morning after all the rain we have had.

“Nanny Trolley”

I am lucky that I grow most of my own vegetables but there is still produce I need to stock up on. On the list I had eggs, avocado, tomatoes, a whole pumpkin (such good value at the moment) and enough new season strawberries and rhubarb to make jam.

I parked the car over near the library and strolled through the park, stopping on the way for a take-away coffee from the kiosk. As I was waiting for the barista to work his magic I noticed this lovely palm. Sorry I cannot name it, perhaps someone can help there.  Thanks to the passer-by for taking this photo.

Palm in New Farm Park

After strolling through the markets it was then time to retrace my steps across the park to New Farm library where Brisbane horticulturist Annette McFarlane was giving a workshop on vegetable growing, funded by Brisbane City Council.  I have been to quite a few of Annette’s presentations in the past. As well as being so knowledgeable, she is also an entertaining speaker.

Then I went home to make jam. A satisfying day all round.

Sunday morning was computer training over at the Apple Showroom at Chermside with trainers Jacob and Kim.

Onto coffee with son number one.

A quick sandwich and then it was off to the allotment. Always a good social time on Sundays as people who cannot make it during the week catch up with the gardening.  I seem to spend more time leaning on my fork on Sundays, yarning. But that’s good too as I learn so much and, just occasionally, hand out my pearls of wisdom.

An allotment neighbour had an abundance of lettuce and kale plants and generously passed some on to me. (She must have scattered the seed around in gay abandon – she could keep Brisbane in lettuces!). But we all get a bit carried away sometimes and cannot bare to destroy any of these precious seedlings.

One thing I had learned from Annette McFarlane’s talk the day before was that I was basically starving my vegetables. Evidently you should be able to grow a lettuce in six weeks.  Six Weeks! My last sowing of lettuce was six weeks old and still only two inches tall (in the old money!).  So even though I thought I had fed the soil – obviously not enough – I went out with the liquid feed and watered it in like mad. Willing them to grow.

Fortunately the secretary from the local Pony Club made a visit this week and has offered us pony poo. So that is the way to go I reckon.  Six weeks Annette? – just you wait I’ll have those lettuces popping up in five.

Finally I dug up some potatoes for dinner. Here they are. And they were delicious.

‘Nicola’ potatoes for Sunday dinner

Have a good week.

“A Tale of Two Spuds”

We’ve had heavy rain in Brisbane over the past couple of days. So I packed the Super-Wellies into the car boot and set off for the allotment this morning.

As expected I sloshed through the farm to reach my bit of dirt (allotment!).  But today it was more like my patch of mud.

The object of the exercise was a bit of bandicooting. For the uninitiated it entails grubbing round in the dirt (or mud in this case) to forage for the new potatoes. ‘Why bother?’ I hear you asking.  BECAUSE there is nothing like a new potato boiled with a few sprigs of mint  and slathered all over with as much butter as your doctor will allow, and when I woke up this morning that is what I fancied for dinner.

As it happened I ended up with only a ‘side order’ of potatoes but they are so young and tender and so gorgeous that I am happy as this is the first harvest of the season.  I took them home, washed them, set them on a bed of mint (from the allotment of course) for the photograph.

‘Nicola’ potatoes and very ordinary mint from the allotment

I have to admit that the plate is a side plate.

The other spuds (please refer to the subject of this post) are sitting on the kitchen windowsill while I wait for them to chit.

‘King Edward’ seed potatoes.

So I’m looking forward to a crop of King Edward potatoes before Christmas.

Happy gardening.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

Nourishing Traditions

The Blog that Challenges Policitally Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

Allotmentals Plot 103

Allotment, garden and other stuff

myproductivebackyard

Sustainable Backyard Food Production

My Front Burner

making what matters

30 acres of sunshine

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

Lottie Land Girl

Living the 'Good Life' the Brown way!

Throwback at Trapper Creek

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

Foodnstuff

Energy decline & self-sufficiency from Melbourne, Australia

horticultural 'obbit

'obbitry of the horticultural kind

The Garden Smallholder

A Tiny Farm In A Big Garden

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

Nourishing Traditions

The Blog that Challenges Policitally Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

Allotmentals Plot 103

Allotment, garden and other stuff

myproductivebackyard

Sustainable Backyard Food Production

My Front Burner

making what matters

30 acres of sunshine

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

Lottie Land Girl

Living the 'Good Life' the Brown way!

Throwback at Trapper Creek

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

Foodnstuff

Energy decline & self-sufficiency from Melbourne, Australia

horticultural 'obbit

'obbitry of the horticultural kind

The Garden Smallholder

A Tiny Farm In A Big Garden

not just greenfingers

Mrs Thrift's Simple Living in the Modern Day......Kitchen Garden, Allotment, Baking And More...

quarteracrelifestyle

The "Good Life" on a quarter acre, frugal living

Gardener Jen

Trials, errors and joys of creating and maintaining my first garden.

Our Everyday Life in Pictures

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

Exercising Septuagenarian

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

frugalfeeding

n. frugality; the quality of being economical with money or food.

The Next Stage

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

The Greening of Gavin

Sustainable Living in the Suburbs

down to earth

Growing vegetables on one small allotment