Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Damson in distress

On Friday I made a salad using the mixed salad leaves that I've grown in a large terracotta pot in the back garden.  They tasted very fresh and crunchy, miles better than the stuff in bags from the supermarket.

I haven't done a wine review for a while, but this week we had a Spanish wine - Vina Albani 2002 Gran Reserva.  It was a weak blood red colour, and the taste wasn't great.  It was OK, but I won't be buying it again.  I had a wine last week that was good - but I can't remember its name, I'll buy it again, and do a review.

On Saturday, after rebuilding a stone wall, Chris painted my mum's fence, and he wasn't finished until 9pm.  So that was a 13 hour shift on a Saturday, after a full week at work.  I keep telling him he needs to rest, but he's relentless at the minute.  On Sunday he was up again at 7am glossing all the metal work in the garden, then laying the last 3 flags in the patio at the allotment.  The patio's finished now, and we're really pleased with it.

Chris also put 2 trellises up in the back garden and I planted out the morning glory.

Down at the allotment, I rescued the damson in distress from a sea of nettles that came out of nowhere and completely swamped the space around the damson tree.  I managed to escape with only one nettle sting, which was pretty good going considering how many nettles I cleared.  I always think you never get away with weeding nettles, same with brambles too, they always manage to sting or prickle you in an act of revenge. I didn't clear the brambles though, they weren't obstructing the damson tree, and I think it's worth keeping them for the blackberries in August.

In the afternoon I potted up a sunflower, a misc. shrub,  I took the herbs out of the elephant plantpots, as they weren't doing very well due to the plantpots drying out, and potted up a mixed pot of herbs each for me and my Mum. 

It was Father's Day on Sunday, and I visited the memorial garden at the allotment.

I weeded under the tomatoes, squash and peas and beans.  I put up some netting above the peas for the plants to climb up. 

The brassicas look well.

The kale and spinach are catching up.

Down at the allotment and in the greenhouse at home, there are lots of green tomatoes, but no red ones.  The epsom salts worked well on getting rid of the yellow tomato leaves at the allotment and all the tomato plants look strong and healthy.

Some of the big outdoor strawberries are starting to ripen.  There are lots of gooseberries and blackcurrants waiting to ripen too.  The garlic has started to flop which means it's nearly ready to harvest.

The sweetcorn is thriving and getting bigger, and the pumpkins in the bottom greenhouse are getting bigger by the day.  

The beans and peas have picked up and are also doing well.

The courgettes, marrows and squash haven't done much yet, hopefully they'll pick up soon. 

The onions aren't as swollen as we'd hoped - it's probably the lack of rain.  A few sent up a flower shoot so we snapped them off, and we've been trying to watering them more to make them bigger.

The raised beds are filling up.

The first early potatoes have flowered.

The peaches are getting bigger, but haven't changed colour yet.

I've got a 7 inch cucumber in the greenhouse at home - the cucumbers are producing lots of fruit at the minute.

The other plants in pots in the greenhouse at home are growing very fast thanks to the warm weather and I need to water them everyday.

Len came to see us to ask if we're interested in forming an allotment association.  I think this is a good idea and the launch is on the 10th July at 11am at his sister's plot.

There are hundreds of bees congregated on a tree at the back of the allotment.  I don't know what kind of tree it is, but there are little blossom buds on it.  They don't seem to be bees from the community garden's hive, as they're meant to have brown coloured bottoms, and the bees on the tree have white fluffy bottoms.  There's a distinct hum coming from the tree once you get near it.

I spotted a song thrush at the allotment on Saturday, a lovely pale beige coloured bird with a spotty belly.

On Sunday night we went to our friend Leah's midsummer eve party.  I took a home grown lettuce and a bottle of home made organic plum wine, which my friend fondly refers to as moonshine!

On Monday night, the shop held an event to issue £25 shares in the co-operative.  We need to raise £15,000 to get the shop off the ground.  There wasn't many people at the launch, probably because the local media overlooked our press release, but we're not giving up hope and there's another month or so to continue raising funds.

I realised I haven't really bought anything other than food all month, so I treated us to a new toaster as our old one went bust, and I'm missing not having toast.  Looking forward to a bumper toast session once it arrives.

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