Allotment After The (Snow) Storm

2017-01-14-08-37-35

Although our snowmageddon turned out to be a slightly cold and damp squib, we did have enough to make me go down to the allotment to check things out. Snow will weigh down netting and other structures and if there’s enough cause them to collapse or tear. This then means that your crops underneath get flattened.

I’ve got some brassicas still under netting (and enviromesh), so I wanted to make sure all was well.

The snow (which had melted and turned to ice), had push down both cages a little. Not enough to cause them to collapse but enough to pull out some of the anchoring pins that secure it to the ground. I pushed off the remaining chunks of ice, tightened up the netting and re-secured the pegs. Job done.

The forecast at least in the short term is for fine, cold and dry weather. So now more snow, at least for now.

Symbols From The Allotment

There are symbolic things that happen on the allotment each year. They mark a particular moment in the growing season, a point at which you know you’ve reached the same point as a previous year, even though the exact date might be different. I suppose in many ways this is a kind of almanac.

This last weekend saw the final harvest of the purple sprouting broccoli from the plot. It’s been especially good this year, and has given us many meals of homegrown veg, at a time when our supplies are growing short and we are more reliant on store bought produce than I would like.

I used this final crop to accompany a slow cooked shepherd’s pie that I made to serve dinner guests on Saturday. The shepherds pie had a little heat and warmth included courtesy of a bit of chilli pepper, and was a fine result, enjoyed by all.

The area that was once the purple sprouting broccoli has now been dug over, and has had some pelleted chicken manure added to it. It is destined to be an area for sweetcorn or courgettes and pumpkins, depending on the exact position of those plants. At the moment these are still seedlings in the potting shed so it will be a little while longer before they are ready to go out onto the plot.

I also recorded a short update video for YouTube, embedded below to watch should you wish.

Little Things

image

Sometimes it is the little things that make the difference when it comes to having an allotment. All the wet weather recently has meant that in total I’ve probably only spent one full day on the plot since the start of the year.

In practical terms that’s not a huge problem, I’m ahead of where I need to be with digging and the soil is still too cold to sow any seeds, but it was nice to see that the Purple Sprouting Broccoli is just starting to show some florets.

Looks like there’s already a good meal there, and the start of a few more besides.

Seeds Are Sprouting

Radish Are Go!

The first of the seeds that I sowed a couple of weeks ago are starting to sprout. Great news!

So far; radish, lettuce, peas, rainbow chard and broad beans are all poking through the soil. Most of these are under cover, so I spent quite a bit of time watering them. The parsnips haven’t shown any sign yet, but they’re always slow to get going. The cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower plants are also doing well so far.

The wind was back again yesterday, although quite mild generally, it was keen and kept things distinctly chilly.

Purple Sprouting & Kale

I also harvested some of the kale and purple sprouting broccoli, I’m pleased how this has done over the winter and I’m looking forward to my Easter Sunday lunch!