First Frost

2015-11-23 08.33.24

We had our first frost of the season last weekend. Both Saturday night and Sunday night the temperature dropped below zero, only by a few degrees but enough to make the plot look quite pretty under its white frosting.

Everything seems to be okay, I haven’t anything on the plot now that isn’t frost hardy, at least to a point, so what’s there should take us through the winter in terms of vegetables.

The rest of the week has been pretty wet, with rain most days at some point, so this hasn’t been conducive to getting much done on the plot, but then that’s fairly normal for this time of the year. I’m hoping to keep on top of the plot as much as possible, this last year has been a great one for me on the allotment, and I really want to build on that for going forward, trying to be much more self-sufficient and live a simpler life.

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Quick Links 24th November 2015

Each week I’ll try and post quick links to things that I’ve seen, read or just sparked my interest in the previous week. Mostly gardening, cooking and environmental stuff but not always.

 Cats Scared by Cucumbers [Huffington Post]

The Week in Wildlife – in pictures [The Guardian]

Gennaro Contaldo | Braised Rabbit & Pumpkin Stew [YouTube]

The Atlas Snow Arch Greenhouse Build Part 5 Installing doors and covering the end walls [YouTube]

How I Built Our DIY Hoop House (Greenhouse), pt. 2: Door & Plastic Cover [YouTube]

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Lifting Dahlias 

I’ve had one job on the allotment that’s been outstanding for a few weeks, and that’s to lift the dahlia tubers before the frost gets to them.

I sowed the dahlias from seed at the start of the season and they’ve been flowering well into October, but the forecast for the weekend is for frost and snow. Whilst the latter didn’t materialise, it was cold last night so I went off to th plot this morning specifically to get this task done.

The weather was pretty unpleasant, raining, windy and cold, but it only took a matter of minutes to lift the tubers, remove the remaining top growth and excess soil and they’re ready to store until next season. They’re too small to split at present but I have got 7 tubers from my packet of seed. A job well done.


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Quick Links 17th November 2015

Each week I’ll try and post quick links to things that I’ve seen, read or just sparked my interest in the previous week. Mostly gardening, cooking and environmental stuff but not always.

Britain loses top energy rating [Guardian]

World’s Climate About to Enter Uncharted Territory after it passes 1C of warming [Guardian]

Will Reintroduced Lynx Hunt Britains Sheep? [Guardian]

The Week In Wildlife In Pictures [Guardian]

Harissa Roast Chicken & Warming Bone Broth and Tomato & Basil Risotto meets Harissa Chicken Bone Broth [Hole Food Family Blog]


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Sacred Sierra by Jason Webster

I’ve just finished reading “Sacred Sierra: A Year on a Spanish Mountain” by Jason Webster. It’s a book that I thoroughly enjoyed and here are my thoughts.

Sacred Sierra: A Year on a Spanish MountainSacred Sierra: A Year on a Spanish Mountain by Jason Webster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is Jason Webster’s story of his first year in the mountainside “mas” which he and his wife Salud move to, and begin to renovate both the cottage and the land.

As he works with the elements he narrates a wonderful story of the characters he meets and the friendships made, as well as his expansion of almond, olive and truffle farming.

Each chapter, told in monthly parts, is started with a traditional folk tale from the area, which adds something extra to what is already a great and well written story.

This book was one that was recommended to me by Amazon on the basis of previous purchases and for once was spot on as something I really enjoyed and was sorry to finish. I’ll be checking out his other books, as he is also a crime fiction writer, although I’d certainly read more tales from his mountainside too, where he ever to write more.

There’s also a video on YouTube, where the author explains a little more about the book.

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Allotment Update & Recovering the Timber Framed Cloche

I was trying to beat the rain this morning to upgrade the cloche, somewhat unsuccessfully as you’ll see below.

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Job for the Weekend: Cleaning Bird Feeders

2015-11-12 10.59.03It’s the time of year when the bird feeders come down and are cleaned. They need a regular cleaning to prevent the buildup of bacteria, mould etc.

Very simple to do with hot, soapy water, and an old cloth.

Then rinse and leave to dry.

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