Sunday, 21 September 2008

Walk on By

It's great when going to the supermarket at the moment because I can bypass most of the vegetables, because I don't need what they're selling - I've got my own supply.

Walking down the aisle with my trolley I went past onions (don't need them as I've got about 250 of my own), courgettes (still have two in the greenhouse waiting to be eaten and two on the plant waiting to get a little bigger), runner beans (gave up weighing them after reaching 20lb), red onions (OK they haven't been greatly successful, but we still have about a dozen left), cucumbers (still picking them), tomatoes (have eaten all the ones that we saved from the allotment, but still have at least 20 at home that are ready to eat), and potatoes (still eating the Charlotte variety that were dug up last week). Not bad eh?

This afternoon I picked the first green pepper that I have ever grown (there is another on the plant that needs to get a bit bigger), and I shall take great pleasure tomorrow in making a salad from pepper, tomato and cucumber that is completely "home grown".

Eat your heart out Tesco.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Gathering In

Good news and bad news! Good news first. The white onions have been superb this year. I am still harvesting and drying large amounts of onions. Some I have placed into net bags and some I have plaited French-style and hung in bunches from the greenhouse roof.

The runner beans have also been very successful and ideally need to be picked every other day as they are so prolific. I counted at least 20 beans hanging from one stem, and their weight was so heavy that the bean stem they were hanging from was bent right over. I am told that if I keep picking them on a regular basis they will be cropping into November. Will have to wait and see.

I think we have come to the end of the courgettes. They have been very successful and I still have some in the greenhouse that I have managed to successfully store for a few weeks, but probably will not store for much longer.

I am still harvesting potatoes, but this year they have been a bit disappointing in size and number compared to last year, but nevertheless are very tasty and as one allotmenteer said to me "you've harvested more than you put in", so that is a comforting thought.

Now for the bad news. The cauliflower and broccoli - they were doing so well up until about 2 weeks ago, and then with the space of a few days have been eaten - probably by slugs - and I think they will have to be consigned to the compost heap.

There has been a similar case with the sweetcorn, except this time I suspect it's squirrels. 2 sweetcorn cobs have been stripped and eaten, but as they weren't ripe maybe the squirrels got tummyache and won't come back for the rest!

The tomatoes all but succumbed to blight which has ravaged most people's plots this year due to such a wet summer. The ones that I grew at home (same variety) have been delicious, so next year will probably grow most of the tomato plants at home and not at the allotment.

The cucumbers although small in number are there, so hopefully will be ready to harvest next week.

The other thing that is growing really well are the weeds, but as the earth has been so wet recently it's fairly easy to pull them out.