Wednesday, December 1

November in pictures

Sunday, November 28

Snow in November?

Last week started in much the same way as previous weeks. We went to the allotment and cleared and tidied up more beds.
It was bitterly cold and so we needed to do something energetic and digging certainly fitted the bill.

With even colder weather forecasted, Martyn decided that he had better increase protection for the dahlia tubers in the plot greenhouse and so they were covered with a huge pile of hessian sacks and enviromesh.
This was a good decision as by the end of the week things certainly took a turn for the worse. The temperatures dropped and we actually had snow! We don't usually get snow in November so it was a bit of a shock to the system.
It looks as though this may have put paid to anymore work on the allotment, that involves digging, as the melted snow is likely to have made our soil unworkable. On the positive side the frosts should help break down the clumpy soils that are a feature of some of the beds.
We managed some walks with Ruby before the snow came. All three of us wrapped up in warm coats and managed a shortened visit to Nostell.

Ruby then had to content herself with gazing out of the window, which I don't think impressed her very much.
At least it was warm and cosy inside, the poor birds had it much tougher. The bird feeders were very busy.

I'm afraid the photos that I managed to take are of rather poor quality. The light was poor and I was shooting through our leaded windows. The birds didn't tend to stay still for long either, and who can blame them?
On Monday we brought a few leeks home from the allotment. I found a tiny bug in one of the leeks and some on the leeks have brown streaks on the white shafts which I hope isn't a sign that the allium leaf miner has made it to our area. I have looked up information and I don't think this is the case. Fingers crossed. Soon we will be at the stage where everything that we grow will need to be covered!
Some of the leeks along with homegrown carrots and parsley were added to turkey when I made a pasta bake.
More leeks, along with some of our pink banana squash, small potatoes and parsley were used in a chicken and vegetable casserole. It was based on this recipe but I used apple juice instead of cider. The photo makes it look very oily but it wasn't.
More pink banana squash, onion and green beans from the freezer went into a Thai curry. Some coriander that I had frozen also was used in this meal.
Here's hoping that the snow doesn't hang around.  Keep safe, well and, if you have freezing cold conditions, keep warm. With power outages in some parts of the UK we are lucky that we still have heating, lighting and can cook a warm meal.

This week I am once again joining in with Dave’s Harvest Monday collection of posts over at Our Happy Acres

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments author S Garrett

Monday, November 22

Little splashes of colour

My blog posts are becoming rather repetitive so I thought that I would start with something a bit different, On Sunday it was bitterly cold at the allotment and, as I can't see them hanging on for much longer, I thought that I would take some photos of the flowers that are still braving the wintry conditions.

The roses were still producing flowers and even had new buds.
The statice were also producing clusters of papery flowers.

The calendula and cosmos are occupying a bed that I should be clearing but I really didn’t want to discard the plants whilst they were still trying their best to deliver a shot of colour into what is otherwise dull scene.
Strawberry flowers are still setting fruit but the berries go mouldy before they manage to ripen. Taking the strawberries indoors to finish ripening no longer works as the fruit still goes mouldy before it ripens.
Now for the repetitive stuff! We had three afternoons at the allotment and did more clearing and tidying. We are really quite pleased with how much we have managed to complete. We are much further ahead than we were at this time last year. However, there's still lots to keep us busy if the weather allows.
The sweetcorn has been dug up consigned to the compost heap.

We had planted potatoes in an old strawberry bed. After having housed strawberry plants for a few years the ground was fairly compacted and the potatoes were planted to break down the soil. We have already lots of potatoes in storage and didn't expect a crop from that bed but we did harvest a bucketful of decent Apache tubers. As Martyn lifted the potatoes, I cleared as much bindweed and couch grass as I could. We ended up with a wheelbarrow full but I am sure there will be lots of new growth shooting up next year. Bindweed and couch grass are horrendously difficult to eradicate. The potatoes have done their job and the soil is now really workable.
The overwintering onion and garlic will have perhaps stopped growing now until the weather warms up next spring. There were a few weeds springing up amongst the young plants so these were pulled out.
Martyn, trimmed the apple hedge to restrict its height and spread. We actually treat it like a hedge rather than pruning in the recommended fashion but it doesn't seem to affect fruiting.
As well as the unexpected bucket of potatoes we also harvested a bunch of leeks. This time the variety was Porbello.
We brought home a couple of cabbages too.
Cabbage - Cabbice and Savoy - Cordessa

Last week, we cut into the first of our Crown Prince squashes. Maybe hacked into it would be a better description as they have really tough skins.

Some of the squash was used in a curry, along with one of our onions. It was based on this recipe. The rest of the squash was frozen for use later. I find once the squash is frozen the flesh becomes softer and takes less time to cook.
I used some of the leeks to make Wensleydale patties. These are really a Yorkshire version of Glamorgan sausages. I use Wensleydale cheese and shape them like fishcakes instead of using Caerphilly cheese and forming into sausage shapes. They were served with some of our potatoes sautéed and a mix of our frozen peas, sweetcorn and French beans. Some patties were frozen to provide a quick meal at a later date.
More leeks were used in a chicken pilaf. I also used some of our carrots in this along with some bought mushrooms. I alter the proportion of rice to the other ingredients as we prefer the rice to be less dominant.
In other news, Ruby was taken on her usual walks but wasn't too keen on the shower that she had to suffer after her walk around Nostell. Her feet were filthy and she would have got away with a footbath but she was due to be groomed the day after so the full works was required.

Martyn and I had our flu jabs which I am pleased to say were a lot less hassle than the Covid boosters.  We were back home before the time that out appointments were due.

That's all for this week, I hope everyone is still keeping safe and well. Take care!

This week I am once again joining in with Dave’s Harvest Monday collection of posts over at Our Happy Acres

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments author S Garrett