Tuesday, August 4, 2020
July at the Allotment
The grand harvest has begun and what a harvest it is! Even with only a few functioning beds while I work on developing the rest of the plot, there has been an abundance of produce. I'm leaving runner beans on neighbours doorsteps and freezing as much as possible.
The courgettes produce on a daily basis and on a couple of occasions I've left one that was just the small side of perfect only to come back the next day to find it has ballooned to nigh-on marrow size. We've had them stir-fried, bhaji-d, added to casseroles and done simply with butter and thyme and served on toast. I'm not entirely convinced courgette jam is the way to go, but I may not have an option. Of the 2 types we've had - yellow and green - the former are the most delicious. I shall stick to those in future.
The beans have produced a whopping 6lbs so far and I spent a Sunday topping, tailing, de-stringing and chopping into small pieces, 4 of those 6lbs. These have been blanched and are now in the freezer waiting for a free weekend when we can turn them into chutney.
The squash are curling themselves across the beds and I've made a note to plant them in a different location next year as they are slightly in the way. They should be a bumper crop too.
The wildflowers are spectacular, bursts of colour at the top of the allotment that the bees go crazy for. The borage had a total of 10 honeybees on there when I last checked, all of them heads down, bums up, almost drunk on the pollen they were harvesting.
All of the potatoes are up now and I lugged home the last 17lbs of them at the weekend. I'm letting the beds rest until we've built the cabbage cage and then the seedlings can go in, safe from butterfly eggs and pigeons. The planned asparagus bed has been covered over so the weeds can die down before being dug over in winter.
And I finally finished digging out the fruit cage area! That really was a battle of woman against plot as I dug through 3 years of accumulated weeds, grass, bramble root and leavings from previous tenants. I'm now unsure that it's big enough but, as the boyfriend pointed out, we can always extend it next year.
It is still one of my favourite places to be. My colleague recently gave me a "return to work" gift of a little green notebook with a Moomin on the front and the quote "I only want to live in peace and plant potatoes and dream". I'm with you there, Moomin Papa.
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