Sunday, July 22, 2007

Not so bad, really.

As a reminder when I look back on this in 2008, this summer has still yet to start. Having rained most days for the past 6 weeks or so, the garden is green, but I've not been able to do much in it.
In the garden, I've harvested one Pershore Yellow egg plum, but some are rotting on the tree - some more will ripen soon, if they don't rot before then. I had an excellent crop of blackcurrants from the bush in the garden (Ben Sarek). I've used the currants to make blackcurrant sauce.

Recipe: Hot blackcurrant gin sauce:
Harvest and wash blackcurrants, and weigh. Add sugar (around half the weight of the blackcurrants) and some water. Heat for around 15 minutes, until the currants are cooked and soft, and the sugar dissolved. Depending on the amount of water added, the sauce may need to be boiled to get it to a sauce like consistency. Cool slightly and add a generous amount of gin. Goes very well served hot on lemon curd ice-cream.

The allotment has been abandoned for a fortnight due to rain and then holidays. It is very wet - my main concern when taking the plot on was that the sandy soil would mean that I lost plants through drought. Pah! On our return to the allotment this morning, the weeds have taken over, the onion bed is under water and we can't dig on number 99 as it is so sodden. However, we're better off than some on the site. Having asked Henry for his advice, the onions have stayed in the ground. If it's still sodden by the end of the week I think I'll have to harvest them and try and use them quickly as they are not really ready yet. Sweetcorn is growing very well, and weeding on the bed is a doddle as I put down membrane when I planted the corn. Must do that for more beds next year. Harvested potatoes (blight ahoy!), a couple of carrots, some beetroot, the last few mangetout and some peas. The beetroot will be roasted by SomeBeans along with the potatoes for dinner this evening - roast beetroot are a delicious discovery.

No. 99 is looking rather sorry for itself - the pink fir apple potatoes are OK, and we have one or two small round courgettes, and quite a lot of weed regrowth. SomeBeans is doing a stirling job scything down weed growth, having passed the half way mark. It's just too wet to do anything else - I'd have liked it to be half dug by now but it's impossible. We'll get it done over autumn and winter and hopefully be able to get some fruit bushes in over winter, too. SomeBeans is learning from the more experienced allotmenteers and is going to construct a sturdy compost bin on 99, using waste wood we've got at the house.

I'm confident that I can beat the weeds this week, as I have a week off work - if only it stops raining...

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