grow your own
The best bit about being on leave is that I can go to the allotment during the day pretty much as often as I like. The other good thing is that going frequently means I get a chance to actually get the whole plot under control. So having tackled the right hand side (looking from my shed) of the plot I was also able to have a clear out, re-organise and plant of the left hand side.
Lots of the garden centers have their vegetable plants on offer at the moment – I guess because it’s getting late in the season, but with how the weather has been I think we’re in for a funny year anyway, so I’ve been merrily planting some extra bits and pieces in the hope I’ll be lucky!
I have a lovely lavender plant at my allotment, although I have no idea what variety it is, and it obviously quite likes where it’s planted because this year I have had a crazy number of flower stalks.
I decided to cut it earlier in the week because it had spread so much and was covering the path between mine and my neighbor’s plots and was starting to get trampled. However once it was cut and I saw quite how much I had i realised I had no idea what I could even do with it.
Thank goodness for Pinterest…. (the link will take you to a search for Fresh Lavender Recipes)
The first thing I tried was Lavender Syrup. I found the recipe here on The View From Great Island blog. As I had a lot of lavender I doubled the recipe up and ended up with these 2 bottles of syrup.
It’s super easy to make but mine did need the food colouring to changing it from slightly murky grey to a more appealing lilac shade.
The syrup has a strange more-ish taste, it’s obviously quite sweet, and definitely tastes of lavender, but leaves you with a slightly antiseptic taste at the end – which bizarrely is the bit that makes you want more. The serving suggestion was with ice cream, but I think it would also work well in lemonade or Prosecco.
There was still lots lavender left so I started looking for other recipes too, and found this one for Lavender Sugar. It doesn’t say if the lavender should be dried or fresh, so I’ve tried it with fresh and if that doesn’t work I’ll try again with dried! Further research is suggesting I should have waited for the flowers to dry but we’ll see what happens.
I also now have 2 massive bunches of lavender drying in the cellar for future use…
I’ve been down here a bit over the last few weeks, but only to pull a few weeds and dig over. Finally though I have had a chance to spend some real time at my plot and get some plants from home planted out.
I’ve been growing loads of chilli plants and having completely taken over all available space at home I decided to take the plunge and get them planted out.
I’ve also been given some tomato planted by my parents – my Grandpa got a bit over excited when sowing the seeds a few months back so there are tonnes. Guess I’m going to be making lots of chutney and ketchup!
There’s some celery and corn mixed in the rows too and I plan to fill the gaps with some quick turn around crops – lettuce, radishes, spring onions etc.
At least half of it now looks presentable! Just the other half to retame now!
This year I have been lucky enough to have a complete glut of rhubarb. Lots of rhubarb means lots of preserving! In fact, we haven’t had rhubarb crumble once yet! It’s looking like we won’t get it either, the last batch of rhubarb I picked was pinched by the other half and is currently marinating in a jar of gin….
Rhubarb syrup is quite simply one of the best things ever – it’s great with lemonade or prosecco – just remember put the syrup in second! Because I’m presuming that you probably won’t enjoy drinking a glass of rhubarb bubbles as much as you’d enjoy a rhubarb Bellini…..I am wondering if I can justify one of those straining stands now though…. although the upright in the cupboard and string works pretty well for now! Look at that syruppy goodness….. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
If you fancy making you’re own – why don’t you give this recipe a go: Rhubeena
I am officially an incredibly lucky girl. I say this because my rather lovely BF broke up and then reconstructed a pile of pallets my Mum and Dad had been saving for me into a wonderful composter for my allotment. It took most of the afternoon, and quite a bit of swearing and sweating but he managed to get it done and I am a very happy lady.
I also really enjoy having company while I’m at the allotment. It’s a lovely place to go and I really love it there, but sometimes it’s a bit lonely and if you’re having a bad weed day it can all be a little soul destroying. At least I now have somewhere smart to put all those weeds!
It was really quiet down the allotment this morning, in fact there was only me and one other chap there.
The day before I had been to Simpson’s Nursery near Newmarket with my parents and Grandpa and having looked at all the plants there (but wisely had left my purse at home!) I decided to go and buy some peas and strawberry plants on the way down.
I did some digging over and a lot of weeding and then popped my strawberry plants in near my currant bushes. I’ve put cloches on them to provide a little bit of protection – it’s still chilly at night and I don’t want them to die. It’s probably a little early for them to be out at all but I’m pretty impatient.
Peas have gone in to the fruit cage, and then I’ve taken my chances with 2 more tepees without mouse/bird protection. Fingers crossed they’ll be ok. I’m hoping the ones in the raised planter will be a little bit sheltered by the tulips and daffodils for the time being.
That’s all for Easter Saturday – Have a lovely day 🙂
Mental weather here at the moment! Went to the allotment today but was only able to stay for a little while before the weather just became too much. This is the back end of my allotment and there used to be a 6′ high wooden fence here, it’s a little bit flatter now! There is also now officially no felt left on the old shed i inherited. Definitely a job that is going to require doing this summer.
Happily though I have a rather handsome row of French Breakfast Radishes coming through. This made me a happy bunny. The other radishes in rows on either side are emerging too but these are definitely the current leaders. I planted the seeds on 7th March so I’m pretty pleased considering the weather then took a turn for the cooler and is only just warming up again.
Unfortunately our strimmer broke today. Strimming is the job my other half does at the allotment so it left him at a little bit of a loose end. However he dismantled it and has located the problem, now to track down a new part. On the plus side the engine still works and he was carrying it round “vroom vroom”ing at me. At least it made us smile through the rain!
Will try again on Friday – hopefully it’ll be a little less windy and a bit more productive!
Happy allotmenting. xx