Sunday, June 24, 2012

All from nothing... (part 15)

Our efforts to transform an unused piece of land into a productive vegetable garden.

First off, I noticed that my blog views have passed 3000 - 99% of which have been since I rebooted it in March. I'd like to take the time to say thank you to everybody who has taken the time to read it.
We also sent a few photos to the "Landshare" project (which runs in England) and were chosen as "Landshare allotment of the month" for June!

As I'm sitting at home with a glass of last year's rather excellent elderberry wine, I feel that's time for an update on how things stand at the allotment (on a side note, most of the berries from the wine were foraged from the same farm the allotment is on!).

I've been working the past week straight, and had little chance to visit the allotment during this. We had visitors over yesterday, so heading over wasn't an option. I had resolved to head over (weather allowing) first thing this morning, and surprise, the weather allowed. 

On my initial inspection, I made a surprising discovery - the asparagus has begun sending up shoots! 

The first asparagus shoot!
Everything else appeared to be growing well, so I set about my work - forking through the soil. The last day I was over (a week ago), I had made good inroads and laid out another large bed. There was unfortunately a casualty of all this hard work - my garden fork, after years of good service, broke in half. 
I bought a new one in the village, but alas, it isn't near the quality of my old one, and as I worked today, the prongs in the fork continually bent, and I was forced to pull them back into place again and again, wasting valuable time. 

In the process of turning the soil in the allotment, I've come across a certain grub quite a lot. I've now discovered that these are "chafer" grubs, which are very bad news for allotments as they feast on root crops. As per the picture, they have white bodies and orange to red heads. Moral of the story: remove them if you find them!

The new bed.
I worked until lunchtime, when I swapped child-minding duties with Clare, and she headed over to weed and sow the new bed. In this bed, she sowed the brassicas - brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and kale.
When Clare finished up, I went back over to try and finish off the next bed. I didn't quite manage it before hunger drove me back home, but it's three quarters finished. We're going to sow our leeks in it. 

Before I sign off on the post, I'll share a couple of photos that I took of some of the beds this evening.
Our chard is growing fast and well. I'm looking forward to adding this to some summer salads. 

Our lettuce bed has had one or two plants die off, and have had to be replaced. The rest are doing fine, and will most likely be an early harvest. 

Garlic, butterhead lettuce, chard, cos lettuce.
More lettuce, this time butterhead and cos (the cos grown from seed) growing beside chard. 

Moving right along, our radishes are just about ready to be harvested. I had a sneaky one today as I worked, it was peppery and delicious!

Our potatoes are growing at an alarming rate - we've filled in to the top of the first frame, and one of my next tasks is to build another frame or two to sit atop this one. These will also be filled with earth as the potatoes grow. 

Finally, the post wouldn't feel complete without a photo of how the allotment currently looks. The transformation is almost complete.
The allotment as it looked this evening.

1 comment:

Niamh Hogan said...

What a difference a few months makes - great work by the both of you! The elderberry cordial had mixed responses in my house - but my kids are always wary of something new. Thanks again!!